The case of Sheila LaBarre: 'Avenging angel' who confessed to murdering two BFs might have killed more men

The case of Sheila LaBarre: 'Avenging angel' who confessed to murdering two BFs might have killed more men
Sheila LaBarre who was born in 1958 in Alabama, graduated from Fort Payne High School in 1976 and had several unsuccessful marriages (IMDb)

EPPING, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Sheila LaBarre killed her two boyfriends Michael Deloge and Kenneth Countie in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and said she did it because God had sent her to Earth as an ‘avenging angel’ to punish pedophiles. On June 20, 2008, a jury found that LaBarre was sane when she murdered both her boyfriends in Epping, New Hampshire, whose remains were found on her 115-acre farm. However, to this day, investigators are unsure how many men LaBarre killed.

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In 2006, while searching the LaBarre property, detectives also found three human toes close to the farm, which brings another question to the investigator's mind whether LaBarre killed more people than she is actually admitting. The remains were reportedly not those of Countie or Deloge, according to a forensic examination, and no DNA match has yet been found, according to New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper. LaBarre is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole at the New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women in Concord, New Hampshire.

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LaBarre, who was born in 1958 in Alabama, graduated from Fort Payne High School in 1976 and had several unsuccessful marriages. In 1987, LaBarre relocated to Epping, New Hampshire, after responding to a personal advertisement placed by the town's chiropractor, Wilfred 'Bill' LaBarre. Bill LaBarre was someone she lived with till his passing in 2000, even though they never had an official marriage, she adopted his last name. Claiming she was Bill LaBarre’s common-law wife, LaBarre later inherited his entire estate, including the farm, despite objections from his children.

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Later Deloge and Countie, a young man with a learning problem who LaBarre met through a personal ad, were tricked into visiting her farm, where they were abused physically and mentally. According to The Portsmouth Herald, two police officers remembered seeing Countie in a wheelchair inside a nearby Walmart, covered in burns and bruises, just before he was killed. LaBarre called Epping police in an unusual way a few days after the Walmart sighting and played an audio of Countie confessing to being a pedophile. When police conducted a welfare check, they noticed a burn pile containing what looked like a large, fleshy human bone, bone fragments, and a pair of sneakers. 

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On April 2, 2006, the authorities executed a search warrant and detained LaBarre after she made an attempt to flee. Police searched LaBarre's farm for three weeks before making their findings, which included a burned mattress, human bones, and blood splatter all over the house. LaBarre acknowledged killing Countie with a knife and then setting his body afire. Deloge's cause of death is unknown, however, she also admitted to killing him and setting his body on fire. Brad Bailey, a defense attorney who represented LaBarre, told A&E True Crime, “There seemed to be no basis whatsoever in reality to any suggestion or any claim that her victims were pedophiles, engaged in pedophilia, or were child abusers. None whatsoever. And that, too, was something that informed the insanity defense I pursued at trial.”

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“At the time that I represented her, I would describe Sheila as a severely mentally ill individual. Both our mental health experts were in agreement that Sheila was suffering from a substantial mental health disease or defect, such that she could not conform her behavior to the conduct of the law, or appreciate the difference between right and wrong, which is the standard in many states for an insanity defense,” Bailey added. Even though LaBarre admitted to two homicides, her defense team believed there was sufficient evidence to show a lack of criminal responsibility as defined by New Hampshire law based on observations, interactions with LaBarre, and various mental evaluations. 

However, Bailey and his team presented multiple violent events where LaBarre used a hatchet to break into a trailer where her then-boyfriend was sleeping. They described her shooting another boyfriend with a handgun as he raced through a field. Additionally, they called witnesses who said they observed LaBarre command her victims to be placed in the trunk of her car and that they had reason to believe she kept the guys in cages on her property. As a result, the jury found LaBarre guilty of first-degree murder after rejecting LaBarre’s plea, finding her guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and sentencing her to life in prison, where she remains today.

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