The Nightmare Before Thanksgiving spotlights the brutal murder of Narleen Campton, in a killing that shocked the small Washington community where she lived.
The night before Thanksgiving 2011 in the close-knit town Northport, Washington, and 62-year-old Narleen Campton was killed in her own home.
Her body was found on November 24, and she had been killed by blunt force trauma, though disturbingly cuts on her face and evidence of strangulation indicated she’d probably been tortured.
The case rocked the small community, and detectives were under pressure to solve the murder quickly. Luckily they caught a break when a 4-year-old boy had some nightmares, and his mother reported what he’d told her to the Child Protective Services.
When police interviewed the boy, he was able to give them details of the murder that had not been released, and he also said his father had “killed a lady.”
His father was Robert Cody Wirtz, 30 at the time, and police charged him with the murder. Further investigation showed that Wirtz was elsewhere when the crime was committed, and all charges against him were dropped.
Eventually, detectives gathered enough evidence to charge another man, Jeremy Bryant, 36, with the crime. He made a plea deal and admitted killing Campton. His story was that he went to Campton’s house to get back a phone he thought her son might have stolen. He heard a noise and armed himself with a knife, when Campton came out of the bathroom he stabbed her in the neck and ran.
However, the family was not happy with the deal, and Bryant’s account does not explain the torture marks on Campton’s body.
The Nightmare Before Thanksgiving airs at 11:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.