Burglar Rapes, Murders 87-Year-Old Woman Then Sets Home On Fire

Convicted sex offender Kristopher Gartrell has been arrested for the brutal murder of 87-year-old Virginia Barbour.

Gettysburg, PA – A convicted sex offender who absconded from probation has been arrested for repeatedly raping an 87-year-old woman before he allegedly strangled her and tried to set her home on fire.

"This is one of the most heinous murders and related assaults I have ever seen," Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett told the Evening Sun.

Kristopher Gartrell, 48, allegedly confessed to having entered the home of 87-year-old Virginia Barbour on Nov. 21 through an unlocked door, police said.

He then forced the woman to show him where she kept her valuables, and proceeded to restrain and rape her twice.

Gartrell ultimately strangled Barbour to death, wrapped her body in a sheet, and stuffed her under a bed before he set her home on fire and took off in her car, according to police.

On Thanksgiving, Barbour’s friend and cleaning lady, Dorothy Koontz, went to Barbour’s home at approximately 9:30 a.m. and realized it had been ransacked.

Her friend was nowhere to be found.

Koontz contacted police, who discovered the elderly woman’s lifeless body stuffed beneath her bed.

Pennsylvania State Police also found gasoline cans and burn patterns throughout the home.

After questioning Barbour’s neighbors, investigators ended up speaking with Gartrell’s girlfriend, Sheila Schriver.

Schriver told police that Gartrell had murdered Barbour, and that he threatened to kill her and her family unless she complied with his demands to drive him to several locations in York and Adams counties.

She said she ultimately left Gartrell at a hotel in Gettysburg.

Police located Gartrell outside the hotel on Saturday, as he was preparing to leave the area.

He was allegedly found in possession of items stolen from Barbour’s home, including about $1,200 in coins, a pair of women’s underwear, and two firearms.

“We were devastated,” Barbour’s neighbor of more than 40 years, Nancy Tate, told the Evening Sun.

She described her elderly friend as a feisty, kindhearted woman, and said they got together every Thursday so she could fix Barbour’s hair.

Gartrell has been charged with criminal homicide, kidnapping, arson, and rape, among other offenses, the Evening Sun reported.

Prosecutors have not specifically addressed whether or not they will seek the death penalty in the event Gartrell is convicted.

"A sentence consistent with the criminal act is appropriate but it is premature to say what that is," Sinnett told the Evening Sun.

Gartrell, a registered sex offender, was previously convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and other offenses in South Carolina.

He served over two decades in prison before being released in March, according to the Associated Press.

In August, he was named one of South Carolina’s most wanted fugitives, after he absconded from probation, the Evening Sun reported.

Gartrell’s preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 5.

Comments (30)
No. 1-19
Shastabeau
Shastabeau

Hope he gets incarcerated in the RIGHT jail!!

LEO0301
LEO0301

Rapists can never be rehabilitated. If convicted of rape you should spend the rest of your life in jail.

BLUsupporter
BLUsupporter

Terminate sex offenders. Women are not prey.

gfc1963
gfc1963

Should just execute him. At least he won't get out to do this again.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

I'm torn here......execution or life in jail with no possibility of parole, and leave him in the general population. As has been previously stated by @BLUsupporter , "WOMEN ARE NOT PREY ! "

Skidoo
Skidoo

Star Chamber

Dfc3166
Dfc3166

Execute these jerks, then you don't hsve to worry about them doing it again!

Stanracer
Stanracer

With his record...execute the bastard!

negolien
negolien

and he doesn't deserve the death penalty why liberals?

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

nope no death penalty. send him to prison and let his fellow prisoners deal with him. he will have a miserable life if he even is allowed to live..

Janken
Janken

This is terrible. Who ever let this pervert out. He should have had everything removed. This good woman to have to endure what he did to her should be done to this man very slowly and then strangled very slowly

pixiepup
pixiepup

Death for sure.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Sounds like the police did a great job here. Sounds like they probably prevented one or more future murders / rapes by tracking this guy down quickly.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Cut off his junk and make him piss through a tube until he's put to death!! Sorry POS!!!

Nielkyleevankate
Nielkyleevankate

Cut off his junk below the chin. As long as he lives he will be a sexual predator. No privates? No problem, where's a broom? Etc He'll find a way.

Nielkyleevankate
Nielkyleevankate

They get released every day. That's why women can't safely walk the streets.

Happytalk
Happytalk

Props to the girlfriend for having the courage to turn this POS in, now beat him to death ... SLOWLY.

tomcd
tomcd

GUILTY! Execute this p.o.s. immediately. End of story!

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

The girlfriend needs to be charged with something since she assisted him after the crime and never talked to the authorities till they went to her. Shame on her.