In 2012, the bodies of Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne were found shot dead at their home in Mountain City, Tennessee. After a lengthy investigation, Jenelle Porter was found guilty of organizing their murders through her parents and boyfriend, Jamie Curd.
The police believe that the murders stemmed from a feud that began on social media, which led to the deaths being dubbed as the Facebook Murders by the nationwide press.
Award-winning author James Patterson is teaming up with ID once again to investigate a series of grisly murders. The first episode will be focusing on these Facebook Murders involving Jenelle Potter.
On January 31, 2012, Hayworth and Payne were found dead by a friend in their bedroom. Payne had had his throat slashed, and both had been shot. Hayworth had been cradling her 7-month old son in her arms when she was killed. The infant was discovered covered in his parent’s blood, but he was, otherwise, unharmed.
Jenelle Potter has been described as socially awkward and as someone who struggled to make friends, a predicament that was not aided by her over-protective and strict parents, Barbara and Marvin Potter.
Jenelle suffered from Diabetes and was unemployed, meaning she spent a lot of time at her parent’s home on social media. However, she did form a romantic relationship with Jamie Curd, who was Payne’s cousin.
It’s claimed that Payne and Hayworth got into an online feud with Jenelle that ultimately led to their deaths. The police believe that Jenelle was obsessed with Payne and was angered when he moved in with his fiancee, Hayworth.
Jenelle Potter created the profile of a fake CIA agent
The case took a bizarre turn when Jenelle created an online personality which she called Chris. The fictional Chris was a CIA agent, who Jenelle used to persuade her parents and boyfriend Curd that her life was in danger.
The police believe that Marvin and Curd were convinced that the Payne and Hayworth were threatening Jenelle, so they murdered them at her behest.
The police knew of the bad blood between Jenelle and the victims, and when they put pressure on Curd, he admitted to being involved in the murders and agreed to enter a plea arrangement. Curd telephoned Marvin and managed to get a recorded confession from the Vietnam veteran.
The police subsequently arrested all three members of the Potter family.
Barbara, Marvin, and Jenelle Potter are all serving two consecutive life sentences for their role in the murders. Jamie Curd received a 25-year sentence for the part he played in this tragic incident.
More from Investigation Discovery
Follow the links to read about more heinous crimes spotlighted by ID.
The police believe that Kaitlyn Conley was so enraged when her boyfriend, Adam Yoder, ended their relationship. She took out her anger on his mother and her employer, Mary Yoder. Conley poisoned the popular and well-known doctor leaving her to die within 48 hours.
University of North Carolina student Faith Hedgepath was found beaten to death in her off-campus apartment. She was sexually assaulted and bludgeoned to death after returning home from a night out. A note was left near the body, which read: “I’m not stupid b***h jealous.” Her death remains unsolved.
James Patterson’s Murder Thy Neighbor airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.