Fear Thy Neighbor is in the Frankford area of Philadelphia, PA, to examine the murders of Bob DePaul and his partner August Dempsey by their neighbor Kenneth Hoyle in 2017.
Hoyle had been in a long-term feud with his close neighbors for some time, but the police say that, on this occasion, he flew into a rage and lost control of his common senses.
In the early hours of July 16, 2017, at approximately 2 am, Hoyle shot and killed his two neighbors. When the cops arrived, they found 45-year-old DePaul and 42-year-old Dempsey lying facedown in a breezeway; they had both been shot in the head.
Kenneth Hoyle admitted to killing Bob DePaul and August Dempsey
Hoyle approached an officer and said, “I’m the homeowner…Y’all took too long to come here [and] I shot them.” It later transpired that Hoyle and his wife, Maria, had telephoned the police multiple times that evening to complain about drunken and offensive behavior by DePaul and Dempsey.
In Hoyle’s final call to the 911 despatchers, he had confessed to shooting his two neighbors and again suggested that it was the police’s fault for not coming to the scene sooner.
He told the cops that he shot them because he felt threatened. Surveillance footage did show DePaul and Dempsey cross onto Hoyle’s property, but the pair were unarmed, and investigators concluded that they hadn’t posed an immediate threat to Hoyle.
Kenneth Hoyle was initially arrested at the time of the shooting but was released. He was then arrested again 12 days later and charged with a double homicide.
Other neighbors on the street spoke of how there had been friction between the neighbors for years. One witness told how DePaul and Dempsey were constantly harassed by the Hoyle couple every time they were in their yard.
A jury subsequently convicted Hoyle of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of possessing an instrument of crime. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
More from Fear Thy Neighbor
Follow the links to read about more neighborly feuds that ended in murder.
Danetta Henry was murdered by Alvin Dalton from Fresno, California. The pair had been antagonizing each other at the apartment complex they shared for a long time. One day, Dalton became enraged during an argument and opened fire with his handgun on Henry and her two teenage children. The children survived, but their mother perished.
Jeffrey Weigle and Dean Keller from Greenwood, Indiana, had been arguing and fighting for nearly a decade when, one day, in 2017, they pulled out their handguns and had a shootout over the fence in the yard. Weigle was hit four times in the chest, and Keller escaped injury. The police concluded Weigle was a fault for the gunfight.
Fear Thy Neighbor airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.