A beloved father disappeared from his home, never to be found again. According to his wife and his two friends, Franklin Harrod Jr. vanished from the face of the Earth. However, some years later, it was revealed that Franklin hadn’t disappeared, he was killed, and his death had been the consequence of a devious plot by his wife and two friends. Investigation Discovery’s ‘American Monster’ details the events leading up to Franklin’s murder in an episode titled ‘Don’t Forget Me.’ If you are here wondering about the case, we might be able to solve your queries.
Who Killed Franklin Harrod Jr.?
Franklin Harrod Jr. was better known to his loved ones as Punkie. Punkie had a wife named Kelly, and together with their two children, the couple lived in South Wichita, Kansas. In late June or early July 1997, they extended the shelter of their home to two of their friends, Jerry Trussell and his wife, Tammy. The couple had been evicted from their home. However, the harmony between the two couples was short-lived. Franklin was last seen towards the end of July, after which he disappeared, and Kelly reported him missing.
An investigation into Franklin’s disappearance ensued. In August 1997, the police got an anonymous tip from a neighbor, who later turned out to be a man named Jerry Wilson, suggesting that the Trussell couple had tried to obtain a gun from him. Another tip the police received was from Tracy Wells, the ex-wife of Shawn Martinez. She used a pseudonym to inform the police that Jerry Trussell had attempted to hire Shawn to dispose of Franklin Harrod Jr.’s dead body.
The investigation continued till 2001. All the while, Kelly, Jerry, and Tammy maintained that Punkie had just disappeared. But in 2001, Tammy began talking to the police about what had happened to Punkie. However, she gave many different versions of the events which implicated both Jerry and Kelly in Franklin’s death. It was ultimately revealed that Franklin Harrod Jr. fell prey to a vicious plan formulated by his own wife, Kelly Harrod. Even though she did not pull the trigger, she contributed significantly to his demise.
Where is Kelly Harrod Now?
Kelly Harrod revealed her motive behind plotting to kill her husband in her testimony during the trial. She testified that their marriage had turned tumultuous due to Franklin’s supposedly abusive behavior. She said that she had left Franklin in January 1997 and had taken their two daughters with her. But Punkie had filed for a divorce after she left, which gave him the temporary custody of their children. Thereafter, Kelly said, she returned to their South Wichita residence, following which Kelly discovered she was pregnant with their third child. Franklin withdrew the petition for divorce.
However, Kelly started confiding in Tammy about her frustrations, eventually telling Tammy that she wanted out of the situation. Kelly said that the conversations later earned a third listener, Jerry Trussell, who struck a deal with Kelly to “take care of it” in return for sexual pleasures from Kelly. As the three started having regular conversations about how to kill Franklin, the Trussells asked for a gun from neighbor Jerry Wilson who later testified to the incident.
Kelly filed a missing person’s report after Jerry and Tammy finally executed their plan by shooting Punkie. The investigators had been unable to trace Franklin’s body even though they were led to the site by Tammy, where he was supposedly buried. They only found the blue tarp that Franklin had apparently been wrapped in. At the end of her trial, Kelly bargained for a plea deal. She pleaded guilty to solicitation of attempted first-degree murder. Prosecutors said that she had implored the Trussell couple to kill Harrod.
Kelly was subsequently sentenced to almost 3 years in prison in 2006, and after paying her debt to society, was released. From her Facebook profile, it seems as though Kelly is residing in Wichita, Kansas, where she has developed a local business to sell self-designed custom jewelry, scarves, and hair ties. She also seems to have remarried and is keeping healthy based on her updates about her health and diet regimes.
Read More: Where Are Jerry and Tammy Trussell Now?