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Mothers Day 1986

A man named Tommy Sells admitted to crime.
Illinois authorities have no comment.

Each time I visit a crime scene, I say to myself the words, "Every Sparrow that falls" It is my way of reaching out to God and asking why this had to happen. When I visited Ina, Illinois recently, a town of four hundred and sixty people in Southern Illinois, I was struck by the horror of our task.

The murder depicted here is one that occurred in 1987 and remains unsolved. It is the murder of an entire family: Mother, father, three-year-old boy. During the murder the seven and a half-month pregnant mother delivered her new child. It too was then murdered. The umbilical cord was torn and the baby beaten to death with a baseball bat. The husband's body was found not far away and he had been beaten and shot. Three of the victims were left in the trailer in a way that tells Unsolved Crimes, their killers knew them.

The killer or killers showed extreme remorse at the scene. We will list what we feel are some clues to finding a possible motive. We are confident the killer is still alive and very likely will read this site. We are asking for your help and are open to any suggestions on this case. The victims are as follows: Ruby Elaine Dardeen 30, her son Peter Dardeen 3yrs old, her new born, and her husband Russell Keith Dardeen.



To view coroner's finding click here

  1. Victims were not high-risk types.
  2. Time of murders is around five thirty at night.
  3. The month was November and it would have been dark.
  4. They let their killers in. We have no forced entry.
  5. In our history of working crimes all baby killings are personal.
  6. Crime scene was staged, showing deep remorse on the part of the killer.
  7. Husband was taken from crime scene no.1 and moved to crime scene no.2 where he was killed. He was beaten, shot and had his penis removed.
  8. Killers were familiar with the area.
  9. Killer or killers spent a great deal of time at crime scene no.1 without fear of exposure.
  10. Killer or killers drove husbands car to a town five miles away named Benton.
  11. Car was parked close to a lounge but also close to a rooming house where husband had stayed prior to moving his wife and children down to Ina.
  12. There was no DNA testing in 1987. Could bodies be exhumed and tested for others blood?


View of the crime scene?

Front view of the crime scene
Original trailer gone.
All else is the same

Another view of the crime scene

Husbands car found here

His body found here

Boarding house where husband lived
in Benton before moving to Ina


The killer will be approximately the same age as the husband at the time of his death. He will be short in stature and a very complex individual. He will be struggling with his homosexual urges and because of his profession must keep them secret. He will be an active homosexual and what we call a "closet Queen".

He did not go to the residence of the Dardeen family to kill them but to try to talk them out of something. He had no weapon of intent with him. He will be a deeply religious person, perhaps even active in the church. His feelings of remorse at the scene are so deep that he is a believer in miracles. He may have even tried to revive them or position the bodies to pray over. He is very familiar with the trailer and felt safe enough to stay there at the scene a long time. This person has never killed before but has experienced trauma of massive proportions. He may have worked as an ambulance driver or EMS technician or a male nurse. It has been a long time since the murders and he is still living close by, living his secret life.

If you have any information that may help us in any way, please fax us at 210-828-4867 or write to us at:

Unsolved Crimes
PMB #144
6338 N. New Braunfels
San Antonio, Texas 78209

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