This week on My Family’s Deadly Secret, the team profiles the case of a custody battle that turned to violence and murder in rural East Texas in 2016.
Nathan and Krystal Maddox were gunned down in the parking lot of a rural church in a crime that shocked and stunned this rural community.
Their murders turned out to be the result of a custody battle between Nathan Maddux and his ex-wife Kirsten Westfall.
Kirsten Westfall, along with her parents, Letha and Lloyd Westfall, and her brother Cameron were found to be responsible for organizing and carrying out the murder of Nathan, 35, and his new-wife Krystal 30.
According to Chief Deputy Phil Ryan, the Westfall’s “were worried that Nathan was doing better in his life and might get custody of the little girl.”
On January 18, 2016, Nathan and Krystal Maddox were lured to the Mount Carmel Baptist Church near Colmesneil, about 110 miles northeast of Houston, for a supervised visit with Nathan’s daughter. When they arrived, they were shot dead.
Nathan Maddox’s daughter was inside the church
Letha Maddox, who had custody of Nathan’s daughter at the time, was inside the church with the child when her father and stepmother were murdered.
In the spring of 2016, Letha Westfall pleaded guilty, thereby avoiding a trial, but still received a life sentence, she will be eligible for parole when she is 86.
Letha’s daughter, Kirsten Westfall, was tried a few months later and was found guilty of murder, she was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Her brother, Cameron Westfall, had cooperated with investigators from the beginning of the case. He led the police to the murder weapon and other pieces of evidence that the family had attempted to dispose of in a pond. He also testified against the other family members, and as a result, he got a much lighter punishment of just 10-years.
Finally, in the following year, the father of the family, Lloyd Westfall, entered a guilty plea on the charge of first-degree murder and received a life sentence.
Nathan’s daughter was subsequently put into a foster home by the Texas authorities. Nathan’s father, Jim Maddox, has since petitioned to become her primary caregiver.
More from Investigation Discovery
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on ID.
Previously on My Family’s Deadly Secret, Earnest Hargon of Mississippi slaughtered his cousin Michael and his young family over a dispute regarding inheritance. Later that day, he told his wife he killed them while having Valentine’s Day dinner.
Claudette Ficik was another student, this time at Georgia’s Southern Tech, when she vanished one day in 1994. She had been pregnant and was due to marry her boyfriend, Jason Ragland. Instead, Ragland murdered her and dumped her remains in the Oconee River.
My Family’s Deadly Secret airs Sundays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.