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Chris Hansen spotlights murder of Henry Weatherford that took nearly 20 years to solve

Henry Weatherford
Henry Weatherford was shot three times and it took 19 years to solve his murder

This week Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen, looks at the murder of antique dealer Henry Weatherford that went unsolved for nearly 20 years.

Henrico, Va., in 1994 and 50-year-old Richmond antiques store owner Henry Weatherford was found dead in his own home, he’d been shot in the head three times as he slept.

When the forensic team arrived they began their work, moving through the house methodically from the front door to where the victim was found.

The first thing that jumped out was just how immaculate the home looked, there was nothing out of place. That made them think that whoever committed the crime was in the house with the owner’s permission.

Detectives had several suspects but very little evidence, other than Weatherford’s car that was found in Missouri and some DNA evidence from the scene.

Lonnie Ray Wiseman
Lonnie Ray Wiseman admitted killing Weatherford, but not for almost 20 years

Weirdly Weatherford’s business partner confessed to the killing but detectives did not fully believe him and it was later recanted with the man explaining he’d only confessed to highlight a rape conviction against him that he thought was a miscarriage of justice.

Despite their best efforts the case soon went cold and it remained so for 19 years.

Then in 2001 serial criminal Lonnie Ray Wiseman was linked to the murder through DNA and at his trial offered a no contest plea and was given 23 years in prison, though he was seemingly just keen to get back to his prison job as an engineer, knowing already that he’d never be released due to his string of other convictions.

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This week Chris Hansen will guide viewers through the quite complicated case that has everything from multiple suspects to false confessions.

Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen airs on Tuesdays at

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact or follow him on Twitter.

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  1. Wiseman is not innocent!! He has done his share of felonies. He has robbed over 10 grocery stores and has never killed anyone in the process!! But Wiseman did not and could not have kill Weatherford! Wiseman is too homophobic to be around a gay man let alone be caught in the house of an older gay man.

    Wiseman found an abandoned car with keys in the ignition at a Wal-Mart parking lot in the state of Missouri, and took off in it and brought the car back leaving his cigarette (and DNA) in the ash tray. His cigarette DNA was in Weatherford’s car 5 states away from Virginia. A few days later police were notified of an abandoned car in a Wal-Mart parking lot in the state of Missouri that was registered to Weatherford. Police under a 20 year pressure to find a killer, eventually planted Wiseman’s cigarette DNA in Weatherford’s home.

    In 1994 Wiseman was nowhere near the state of Virginia so he could not have killed Weatherford. After presenting credible evidence to them, the Innocent Project is helping to exonerate Wiseman from this murder. Weatherford’s killer is still out there!!!

    • I was the investigator that arrested Wiseman, regarding this murder. DNA was part of the evidence, along with an identification of him by a woman (friend of the victim) who had lunch with Wiseman & the victim the day before. My feeling is that Wiseman was upset about the victim’s sexual comments.


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