In the episode titled ‘Vengeance: Killer Families: Deadly Inheritance,’ the narrative unfolds around the murders of Hap Enander and his wife, Velva Sue Enander, discovered in their bedroom. Initially, the police directed their suspicions toward Hap’s son, Jared, residing next door to the couple, considering plausible motives. However, upon a dedicated and thorough examination of all evidence, it was ultimately Jared’s sister and Hap’s daughter, Kara Lounsbury, who was ultimately convicted.
How Did Hap and Velva Sue Enander Die?
On the morning of January 5, 2009, Linda, a neighbor in Adams County, Colorado, noticed that the door of Hap and Velva Sue Enander was slightly open, raising suspicions. The Enanders, known as musical pastors in their local community, had not attended church that morning. Concerned, Linda decided to check on them. Upon entering their residence, she discovered a scene of disorder, with signs of a ransacked home. In the couple’s bedroom, she found Hap, 69, who had fallen from the bed and sustained a gunshot wound, with various items, including clothes, scattered on top of him. However, she did not see Velva Sue in the room. Distraught, Linda urgently contacted the police, requesting their immediate assistance.
Upon the police’s arrival, they discovered Velva Sue, 61, lying on the opposite side of the bed, having sustained four gunshot wounds and additional head injuries. Her body was positioned in a crouched manner on her side, with her right arm extended. Hap, found face down with his sleep apnea mask still on, had suffered a single gunshot wound. Both individuals were pronounced dead at the scene, and the autopsy results later confirmed that they had succumbed to the gunshot wounds, with Velva Sue also experiencing head injuries from blunt force trauma.
Who Killed Hap and Velva Sue Enander?
The police initially approached the case with the hypothesis of a burglary gone awry, given the evident disarray in the house, with opened drawers and items strewn about. However, their investigation faced setbacks due to several inconsistencies with this theory. Firstly, the neighborhood was not known for frequent burglaries. Additionally, there was cash and jewelry still present in the house, untouched. How the couple, especially Velva Sue, had been killed suggested a level of anger and brutality, resembling an “overkill,” which did not align with the characteristics of a botched burglary.
The police discovered shell casings from two different types of guns at the crime scene, identified as a .45 and a 9mm. Additionally, they found a latex glove stained with blood. Given that Hap’s son from his first marriage, 35-year-old Jared Enander, was the closest neighbor to the couple, the police interviewed him. Jared claimed to have learned about the incident from Linda, who had called him, and he provided surveillance footage from the night in question. Upon searching Jared’s residence, the police found around 90 different types of pistols and guns, a relatively common possession in the region. The police collected samples to compare with the casings discovered at the crime scene.
When attempting to play the CCTV footage provided by Jared, the police encountered difficulties as it would not play, leading them to suspect possible interference. It was revealed that Hap, who operated his own business, Aqua Hot, specializing in manufacturing and selling heating systems for RVs, frequently collaborated with Jared’s car accessory rental business. In the holiday period preceding the murder, father and son had experienced financial disagreements, with Hap feeling that his son was overcharging him. Eventually gaining access to the CCTV footage, the police observed a female figure arriving at Jared’s house around 3 in the morning on the day of the murder. Subsequently, the woman sat in her car and proceeded toward the residence of Hap and Velva Sue.
The police identified the woman in the CCTV footage as Jared’s sister, Kara Lounsbury. Jared acknowledged recognizing Kara in the footage and willingly provided it to the police. During the interview with Kara, she admitted to arriving at Jared’s house in the middle of the night but claimed that after ringing his bell without a response, she did not proceed towards her father’s house, contrary to what was captured in the video. Upon being shown the footage, Kara opted to secure legal representation at that juncture.
Velva Sue’s daughter informed the police that Kara had a strained relationship with her father, stemming from her parent’s divorce when she was just 8 or 9 years old. The contentious divorce had led to a lack of communication between Kara and her father, fostering resentment. Kara further alleged that her father had mistreated her, and she harbored animosity towards his embrace of Christianity after marrying Velva Sue. Kara and her husband Stuart were also part of her father’s company’s payroll. She had been speculating about Hap’s will and expressed dissatisfaction, considering it unfair that her father was considering bringing in an external CEO while she was still associated with the company.
The police received the lab analysis results for the latex glove found at the crime scene, and the blood on it was determined to be Kara’s. A few weeks before the murder, she had reported the theft of her 9mm gun. However, during interrogation, her husband, Stuart, stated that the gun had been missing for only the last 2-3 days. With this information, the police obtained a search warrant for Kara’s house and discovered the same bullets found at the scene of the crime. On February 27, 2009, Kara was officially charged with the double murder of her father and stepmother.
Kara Lounsbury is in Prison Today
Kara’s trial commenced in 2010, and the prosecution, lacking evidence of a monetary motive, emphasized her troubled relationship with her father and the deep-seated grudges she harbored against him. They argued that the particularly vicious nature of the attack on Velva Sue indicated a personal motive behind the crime. In her defense, Kara said that her brother, Jared Enander, had placed the evidence at the scene of the crime which implicated her. However, on February 16, 2017, Kara was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, resulting in a sentence of two concurrent life sentences without the possibility of parole. Currently, Kara is serving her sentence at the Colorado Department of Corrections.