A shocking murder in the late 1990s that occurred in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, garnered local headlines. Finding Ann Hoover’s dismembered remains led to a homicide investigation that ended just as quickly as it started. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Fear Thy Neighbor: Tunnel of Hate’ chronicles the sad case where neighbors sharing the same wall got into a legal war regarding the property’s upkeep. So, if you’re curious to find out more about what happened, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Ann Hoover Die?
Ann Alison Hoover had bought her first home in the South Oakland area of Pittsburgh. The talented 44-year-old graduated with a degree in music in 1975 and was known for her devotion to the piano. Ann loved animals and was close to her family. She taught music and also worked for the Pittsburgh Symphony as a fundraiser. Ann was looking forward to a new phase in her life by fixing her property and living on it.
But on March 25, 1997, neighbors heard no response when they knocked on Ann’s door in the morning at around 8:30. The authorities were called when the neighbors learned that she didn’t show up to a court hearing. Eventually, Ann’s dismembered remains were found in the basement of the house next door. She had been strangled to death and then had her limbs cut off. The parts were placed in trash bags, presumably to be disposed of later.
Who Killed Ann Hoover?
The owner of the house next door was Roy Kirk. After the authorities took him into custody, more details regarding his history with Ann began to emerge. Roy had bought the house beside Ann’s sometime after she moved in. However, they butted heads regarding how Roy took care of his property. As per the show, while they initially began working together to make the neighborhood better, Roy’s home required multiple repairs. That often caused trouble because he chose to work on them himself.
During the time leading up to the murder, Ann wanted Roy to stop dumping junk in his yard and hoped he would fix his house soon. At the time, the property didn’t even have electricity. The work Roy did at his place soon began to affect Ann. He had pulled out the gutters on his property, leading to water damage in her home. It was stated on the show that Roy even had a rodent problem on his property.
Eventually, Ann made a complaint with the city’s Health Department, and as a result, Roy incurred thousands of dollars in fines. Others warned her to be careful with Roy, and she herself thought he might be crazy. On the day the remains were found, Ann, Roy, and a few other neighbors were supposed to appear in court regarding the housing issue. But when neighbors got to Ann’s home to give her a ride, the gruesome details of her death came to light.
Investigators believed that Roy dug through the basement wall into Ann’s house. As per the show, they felt he used a hammer to incapacitate Ann and then drag her into his basement. There, he possibly strangled her with an electrical cord and then proceeded to dismember her with a power saw and a hand saw. While an exact time of death was difficult to pinpoint, the police believed Ann died sometime late on March 24 or early on March 25. Roy was found in the house when they entered that morning. The authorities thought he was in the process of bagging the parts at the time.
How Did Roy Kirk Die?
After Ann’s dismembered parts were located, Roy was cuffed and held in a police wagon. When he was being arrested, Roy reportedly screamed, “Just kill me now, just get it over with.” Roy was in the wagon for about 30 minutes before the police began driving to the police station for questioning. When they opened the back of the van, Roy was found hanging from his belt. Despite being cuffed, he could take off the belt, fashion a noose out of it, and kill himself through asphyxiation. The coroner believed that the 28-year-old was flexible and agile enough to do that.
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