Knox County Killer: 'I Did Not Know A Single One Of Them'


UPDATED: Tuesday February 8, 2011 6:19 PM

The confession of a Mount Vernon man who pleaded guilty last month to the slayings of three people and kidnapping a teenage girl was made public on Monday.

Matthew Hoffman promised to tell authorities every detail about how and he why committed the crimes, 10TV News reported.

Prosecutors told Hoffman that they would not seek the death penalty if he led them to the bodies of Tina Herrmann, 32; her son, Kody Maynard, 11; and family friend, Stephanie Sprang, 41.

The slayings occurred on Nov. 10 at Herrmann's King Beach Drive home.

SLIDESHOWS: Hoffman At Walmart (Suveillance Video Knox County Trees Bodies Found | Hoffman In Court Case Timeline Park Search   |   Images From Mount Vernon Neighborhood Four Missing

Hoffman discussed how he broke inside Herrmann's King Beach Drive home on Nov. 10 and killed Herrmann and Sprang.  Hoffman said that he killed them in a panic, as well as Maynard, when he came home from school.

"At this time, I was in a total state of shock," Hoffman said.  "I wandered around (the) house, slowly coming to realization of what I had done and how bad it was.  "During this time, I killed (Herrmann's) dog because it would not stop barking."

The three bodies were found on Nov. 18 inside a hollow tree at the Kokosing Nature Preserve near Fredericktown in rural Knox County.  The remains had been placed in trash bags that Hoffman purchased from a Walmart in Mount Vernon.

The Columbus Dispatch and 10TV obtained store surveillance video on Monday that showed Hoffman walking through the store and selecting items from shelves.

Shortly after the slayings, Hoffman said that he drove to nearby Gambier, where he went to collect gas cans from his vehicle and use them to burn down Herrmann's house.

According to Hoffman, a sheriff's deputy almost immediately pulled up and asked for his driver's license and reason for being there.  At that point, Hoffman said that he could not burn down Herrmann's house and returned to his home where he built a campfire outside his house, drank a bottle of wine and burned his shoes.

The bulk of the confession detailed the four days he spent with the 13-year-old girl who he kidnapped.  It explained how he let her play Wii video games, how they watched Iron Man movies together, how he cooked her hamburgers and promised her that she would be home by Christmas.

When investigators broke down his door, they found the girl bound on a bed made of tree leaves and blankets in a corner of the home's basement.  Hoffman went into great detail about how he chose the girl's home at random to burglarize.

"I did not enter the house to kill those people," Hoffman said.  "I did not know a single one of them.  I did not know their names and I did not know who all lived at the house.  I chose the house to break into because there (were) not any close neighbors and I noticed the garage door was ajar."

On Jan. 6, Hoffman pleaded guilty to all charges against him and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

He faced a total of 10 counts, including aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, burglary, kidnapping and raping the teenage girl.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage. 

Previous Stories: 

January 6, 2011:  Man Gets Life In Prison For Knox County Slayings, Rape
December 7, 2010: Accused Knox County Kidnapper Taken Off Suicide Watch
November 24, 2010: Fire At Home Of Slain Knox Co. Woman Ruled Arson
November 23, 2010: Fire Causes Minor Damage To Home Of Slain Knox Co. Woman
November 22, 2010 : Accused Knox County Kidnapper Waives Hearing
November 22, 2010: Knox Co. Community Reeling From 'Evil Personified'
November 20, 2010:  Knox County Women, Boy Stabbed And Dismembered
November 19, 2010:  Family, Community Mourns Knox County Tragedy
November 19, 2010: New Details Released On Discovery Of Bodies
November 19, 2010: Hundreds Join Vigil For Slain Women, Boy
November 18, 2010: Remains Of Women, 11-Year-Old, Found
November 18, 2010: Clothing Found During Knox County Search
November 17, 2010:  Sheriff: Reality 3 Missing May Be Dead 'More Prevalent'
November 17, 2010: Knox Co. Search Enters Seventh Day
November 16, 2010: Suspected Kidnapper Bought Trash Bags, T-Shirt, Tarps
November 16, 2010:  Families Still Hopeful 3 Will Be Found Alive
November 15, 2010: Mother Of Suspected Kidnapper Says He Is 'Loner'
November 15, 2010: Sheriff: 3 Missing People Could Be Dead
November 15, 2010:  Police Block Off Park As Mount Vernon Search Continues
November 15, 2010:  Suspected Kidnapper's Past Includes Arson Conviction
November 14, 2010:   Missing Girl Found Safe; Man In Custody
November 13, 2010:  Search For 4 Grows More Intense
November 13, 2010:  Support Growing To Find Missing Family, Friend
November 12, 2010:  Search Continues For Missing Women, Children
November 12, 2010:  4 Missing From Knox Co.; Discovery Of Pickup Prompts Kenyon College Lockdown