This is one of those cases that leave you wondering how this person got away with all that he had done and how he had treated people for so long. I know the statistics say that abused women do not report it often and stay way longer than they should and I get that, but there is no way that there were not plenty of others that knew what was going on, through two marriages, with children that did not report things. To add to this two women were able to get away from him but it seems that neither would break off ties enough to at the very least keep themselves safe. Sure, Betty Windsor even went out and got a restraining order against her estranged husband but she voluntarily broke it herself and went to his home. It was the last time she, or her son, would go anywhere. Now, do not take this as me saying she asked for it or deserved it, because that is not what I am saying here, but what I am saying is we all play a role in how things happen, not just in our own lives but in the lives of others.
Shawn Windsor married his first wife, Angela when she was fifteen sometime in the early 1980's. It appears that they always lived in or near Louisville Kentucky. By 1994 the couple had two sons and a daughter and Shawn's abuse towards Angela, that first only seemed to happen when he was drinking, had escalated over time. Sometimes the abuse would trickle down to their sons and if when Angela intervened he would turn his anger towards her. Then Angela's cousin, Betty Jean moved in with them. She was fifteen and having issues at her school. She asked to live with the couple because they lived in a better school district. It seems that within a few months Betty was pregnant, with Shawn's baby. After all of the years of threats that if she left him he would kill her, Shawn let Angela and their children move and and he granted Angela a divorce.
Betty Jean would give birth to a boy the couple named Corey and soon after she and Shawn would marry. They got married in the bread aisle at a grocery store that Shawn worked at as a security guard. I swear I am not making this stuff up. AND, Angela attended their wedding. It is highly doubtful that at the time of the wedding Betty did not know Shawn was abusive. Sure, he may have convinced her in the beginning that when he had beaten Angela or their kids it was somehow their fault but I would gander to guess by the time that she married Shawn she knew differently.
For the next seven or eight years it seems that things got progressively worse with the couple. I am sure, like with Angela, Betty was beaten and threatened. It is likely so was Corey from time to time. Finally in July 2003 after an incident in which Shawn hit her in the face while she was driving and their son was in the back seat she seemed to have had enough. She moved out, taking Corey with her, and got a restraining order against Shawn. A few months later she filed for divorce but he repeatedly refused to allow himself to be served and it left the divorce in “limbo” so to say.
Then Christmas of 2003 came around and Betty's family said she felt bad that Shawn had not gotten to see Corey. It appears that Shawn contacted her and rather than turn him in for violating the protective order she accepted his invitation for dinner at his place on the 28th. She and Corey would leave their home against the wishes of pretty much everyone who knew her and headed to Shawn's. It was the last time anyone heard from her. When they got to Shawn's home he almost immediately stabbed Corey in the heart. I can only assume he attacked him first because he knew Betty would not leave him alone and likely dying. He then went after her with a barbell. By the time it was over both Betty and Corey had been beaten to death and left inside Shawn's Louisville apartment.
Shawn then took off with Betty Jean's car and headed towards Nashville Tennessee but no one knew that at the time. When Betty and Corey did not return the police were called and they went to Shawn's apartment. They found the bodies but they also found a written confession signed by Shawn. The letter was covered in blood. A nationwide hunt was now on but it seemed like he, and Betty's vehicle was gone.
It was not until July 8, 2004 that Betty's vehicle was even found. This just astounds me because it was found in the parking garage of a hospital in Nashville and had apparently been there since just after the murders. I am always floored when vehicles are found in places such as this or airport parking and no one has seemed to have noticed for months on end. By now the television show America's Most Wanted had been interested and had shown his story twice. Finally a viewer recognized him and put police on Shawn's tail. The viewer claimed to have seen him in a homeless shelter in North Carolina a few months prior. U.S. Marshalls went to the shelter and learned that not only HAD it been Shawn Windsor, he had used his real name and birth date while staying there. But, as the case often is, Shawn was no longer there, but he had been “transferred” to a shelter in Shelby North Carolina. Once there they had missed him again, but they were able to determine that he had left the shelter with another man and the shelter had the address of the other man's parents on file. They went to the home where the people who lived there admitted that Shawn had lived with them for nearly four months. He of course was not there at the time but the Marshalls were told he was at work at a salvage yard. It was there that authorities finally caught up with him and he was arrested without incident.
Shawn Windsor's trial was supposed to begin on July 7, 2006 but on that morning he took what was only described as an overdose of prescription medication and the trial was delayed. On July 13th a competency hearing took place. There were several doctors who testified, all saying that he was competent to stand trial. On July 17th Shawn Windsor walked into the courtroom and wanted to plead guilty and asked that he be given the death penalty. The judge did not jump on Windsor's change of heart immediately and apparently advised him as to what he was doing, as did his lawyers. Finally after he allegedly repeated his request at least five times the judge accepted his plea of guilty but delayed his sentencing until a hearing could be had in October. A two day hearing was held then in which his attorney's would argue mitigating evidence to fight against the death penalty. They would claim that he had been abused as a child and that his “troubled upbringing” had led to his “unstable mental state.” They also mentioned that his mother had been mentally ill and that caused Shawn to have an outburst in court yelling a his attorney.
At his sentencing on November 17, 2006 Shawn Windsor would say... “Enough is enough. I've admitted to it; I've accepted responsibility, and I'm willing to take the punishment and I've asked for the harshest punishment possible, which is the death penalty.” The judge honored his wishes and sentenced him to death on the two counts of murder. He also gave him five years for the theft of Betty's car and one year for the violation of the restraining order.
Despite the fact that Kentucky has not executed anyone since 2008, and that was because the inmate volunteered, Shawn Windsor cannot seem to decide what he wants. Three years after he begged the judge to sentence him to death an appeal was made in which he argued the judge had erred and should have delayed his plea until a competency hearing could be held. The appeals court found this argument moot considering there had been just such a hearing just three days before he re-entered the courtroom. But, just five months before this appeal was issued (and his conviction and sentence upheld) in August of 2010 Windsor had been trying to speed up his execution in the firing of his attorney's and waiving his right to appeals. A few months after that he had changed his mind again and decided to wait and see what the courts decided.
Whether Shawn Windsor will ever be executed by the state of Kentucky remains to be seen. They have to get their ducks in a row and get a law that can pass. Many states are having this issue since the access to the drugs that were commonly used for executions were sent from other countries and now those countries refuse to send them for the purpose of execution. A few states have found new solutions but it takes a lot of bureaucracy and red tape to go through and as we have seen it has taken years. It looks as if currently there are thirty-three inmates on Kentucky's Death Row. Only the future will tell what will happen.