Recalling the Copenhefers

My wife was channel surfing and came across an HLN program called Mystery Detectives. The topic dealt with a 1988 murder in Corry, Pennsylvania involving a David Copenhefer. Copenhefer had kidnapped and murdered the wife of a local banker. He was eventually caught, tried, and sentenced to death for first-degree murder.

The Copenhefer case came as a shock to my hometown of Greenfield, Ohio. Prior to relocating in PA the Copenhefers had resided in Greenfield for five years. His wife, Pat, had been involved in local activities, she volunteered at the local hospital, and was a member of a local quilting club. While in Greenfield the Copenhefer’s home burned and to the best of my recollection it was arson. The owners were suspected of setting the fire but I don’t recall if that was ever proven.

Following Copenhefer’s arrest in PA it was discovered that he had also served time years earlier as a suspect in the murder of a college acquaintance. Imagine the surprise of a small rural community to learn that for five years they had such an individual living among them.

Following the TV program’s conclusion I did an Internet search discovering that in January of this year, 2013, David Copenhefer died at age 65 on a Pennsylvania prison’s death row. Cause of death listed as natural causes. He had lost his final appeal several months earlier and was awaiting execution.

Pat Copenhefer was later arrested for having issued threats toward several of the state’s witnesses in her husband’s case. David was also accused of soliciting “hits” against an FBI agent and the banker. There is reason to believe Pat Copenhefer currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. Her husband never acknowledged his actions or guilt.

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