The Pryor Times

Community News Network

October 2, 2013

Man found headless, handless in barrel, killed by arrow to heart

A Pennsylvania man is accused of shooting his daughter's ex-boyfriend through the heart with a hunting arrow and stuffing the dismembered body into a barrel, police said.

Gerald Vandyke, 55, had been missing since Sept. 14. Pennsylvania State Police found what they believe is his body Friday in a rural section of Crawford County in northwest Pennsylvania, about two miles from the home of 68-year-old Richard Houy, who has been charged with Vandyke’s murder.

Additional DNA testing will be needed to confirm the victim's identity, because his head and hands were missing, but investigators said they are confident that the remains belong to Vandyke. An autopsy revealed that the man died of a ruptured aorta pierced by a hunting arrow, said Dr. Eric Vey, a forensic pathologist.

Houy was jailed after he confessed to the crime in an interview with state police last week, according to a search warrant affidavit. He told investigators that he killed Vandyke following an argument, and then dumped his body in a creek.

But Tina Skelton, Vandyke's live-in girlfriend of 10 years and Houy's daughter, told police a different story. She said she had broken up with Vandyke about three weeks before his disappearance, but the pair co-owned 26 acres of property in neighboring Erie County.

Skelton said she last saw Vandyke on the morning of Sept. 14. Later that evening, she went to her father's house, where Houy confessed to killing Vandyke, according to the affidavit. Skelton reported Vandyke missing the following day.

Skelton said she believed her father used a chainsaw to cut off Vandyke’s head and hands before disposing of his remains. The victim's head and hands have not yet been recovered, police said.

Details for this story were reported by The Meadville (Pa.) Tribune.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Local Highlights
Poll

What is your favorite section of the newspaper?

Crime and court
Sports
Education, community news and features
Agriculture and outdoors
Other
     View Results
AP Video
Stocks