Murder in the Heartland is investigating the circumstances around the murders of Delores “Dianne” Watts and her daughter, Jessica Watts, and Jessica’s friend, Chelsie Smith.
The three were brutally murdered by Dianne’s boyfriend, Raymond “Doug” Myers, with the help of his friend Johnny Lewis and his mother and brother too.
On July 30, 1999, the McMinnville fire department was called to the home of Dianne Watts after a neighbor spotted a fire in the house.
Inside the home, they found the remains of 42-year-old Dianne and her daughter, 10-year-old Jessica. There was also the body of Jessica’s friend, 13-year-old Chelsie Smith, who tragically had chosen that night for a sleepover.
The police determined that the fire had been set as an attempt to cover up the three horrifying murders. They learned that gasoline had been doused throughout the house and had been poured over Jessica and Chelsie.
An autopsy discovered that Dianne and the two girls had all suffered blunt force trauma blows from either a metal baseball bat or a torque wrench. Both items were discovered in the home lying near the bodies.
Dianne had died from her blunt force injury, but the two girls died from smoke inhalation, meaning that they had been alive when the killers set the house ablaze.
Dianne Watts’s boyfriend Doug Myers guilty of murder
The investigators quickly became suspicious of Dianne’s boyfriend, Doug Myers, and he was arrested less than a week after the murders.
The police also charged Doug’s friend Johnny Lewis, his mother Clemintine Myers, and his brother Gary Myers with murder.
It is thought that the four murderers plotted to kill Dianne because they believed she had found evidence that they were engaged in law-breaking and that she was going to inform the cops on them. Tragically, the two girls were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Before the murders occurred, Gary Myers home had been robbed of a lockbox that allegedly contained evidence of fraud on Gary’s part. For reasons unknown, Clementine believed Dianne had stolen the lockbox.
The police uncovered several witnesses who recalled over-hearing Clementine Myers talking about how Dianne had been “running her mouth” and how they would have to “shut her up.”
Dianne’s sister also informed the police that she had actually over-heard Clementine talking on the phone about murdering people and disposing of their bodies. The day after the murder, Doug Myers gave Lewis $900 from Clementine.
And the day before the murders, Lewis was seen purchasing five two-gallon jugs of gasoline.
Doug Myers was found guilty of first-degree murder and arson. He was sentenced to life in prison, plus 24 years. Lewis was found guilty of second-degree murder and given 65 years in prison.
Clementine and Gary Myers were also charged with criminal responsibility for first-degree murder.
More from Murder in the Heartland
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Murder in the Heartland.
Dennis Woodward and his girlfriend Elisabeth Gunter broke into the rural Missouri home of Joy Dishneau, intent on robbing the local businesswoman. However, Woodward stabbed the 63-year-old woman to death.
The body of Irene Trujillo was found shot and encased in concrete at the quarry she co-owned with her estranged husband in Colorado. Lionel Lopez was accused of the crime, and he eventually made a deal with the prosecution to serve a mere ten years in prison.
Murder in the Heartland airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.