According to a 2010 survey by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately 10 million persons are physically abused by an intimate partner in America on average. Netflix’s ‘I Am A Killer: Trapped’ encircles a tragic case of domestic violence with a twist that resulted in the murder of Douglas Couch in Ohio in October 1984. If you are intrigued by the case and wish to learn about it in detail, including the identity and current whereabouts of the perpetrator, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Douglas Couch Die?
Linda Lee Couch was still a teen when she met Douglas Walter Couch at a wedding reception sometime in the early 1970s. Both of them hit off instantly, and it seemed like it was love at first sight. Months later, Douglas proposed, and the two soon got married. They gave birth to three beautiful children — two daughters and a son — and seemed like a regular American couple to their neighbors in Price Hill, Ohio. But something was rotten to the core of the family, and it ultimately gave way to a tragedy in 1984.
On October 14, 1984, Linda told her in-laws and children that Walter had left them after a bitter argument with her. Everyone knew Walter had a bit of a temper, but his parents got suspicious when they did not hear from him even after 10 days. Walter’s father decided to check the shallow grave in their backyard, which he said Linda made them dig due to “drainage issues” that apparently stood in the way of her starting her own garden. Shockingly, on October 23, 1984, he discovered the body of his son, wrapped in a roll of carpet and buried in the very hole they had reportedly dug.
Responding to complaints from neighbors regarding a domestic disturbance, the police appeared at the scene to discover the gruesome crime. Walter’s autopsy report showed a gunshot wound to the head with perforations of the skull and brain, the entrance gunshot wound being just behind the right ear. The bullet fragment was located near the back of the skull, on the right side of the back of the head. According to the prosecutor, it was an execution-style shot, designed to kill.
Who Killed Douglas Couch?
The detectives did not have to probe much since Linda Couch confessed to the crime immediately. She told them that Walter used to abuse and beat her up along with their firstborn daughter, Roxanne Raquel Wagner. On the show, Linda alleged that he used to hit them at the slightest of mistakes, targeting Roxanne mainly, adding that the mother of three used to take a lot of the beatings to protect their daughter. Linda even alleged that Walter used to bring his friends over and smile while watching them rape Linda.
However, according to Linda, things got out of hand when she joined a training college for nurses, and on October 13, 1984, she said Walter pulled out a gun to threaten her. A tussle followed, and Linda alleged that she accidentally shot Walter. While it was her version of events, she alleged that she did not tell anyone at that time as her defense counsel had specifically advised her not to. Meanwhile, the investigators decided to look into the timeline of the crime and found evidence that incriminated Linda. The Couch family had been living in Walter’s family home for 13 years until his parents gave him the house in 1983.
According to reports, Linda forged the deed to put the house in her name on September 28. She told the children on October 8 that they would be spending their weekend at their grandparent’s house and went to Van Leunen’s department store in Cincinnati on October 9 to buy a .22 caliber semi-automatic and bullets. The last nail in her coffin was her eldest daughter Roxanne’s testimony at court, where she painted her mother to be this scheming, selfish woman who had been setting money aside and allegedly taking loans from banks weeks before the murder.
Where is Linda Couch Today?
Combined with all the evidence and Roxanne’s testimony, Linda Couch was convicted of the charge of aggravated murder by an Ohio jury. She was sentenced to life imprisonment on March 18, 1985. As per official court records, Linda Couch is presently incarcerated in a prison cell at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio. Her parole has been denied at least seven times, with her next parole eligibility date set on December 1, 2023, as per her inmate records.