No one knows why some people commit atrocious acts of murder, sometimes there is no reasoning behind why people do these acts. This is the sad end to Kelly Eckart’s life by someone who had no connection to her whatsoever.
Kelly Eckhart’s Rape and Murder
Kelly Eckart was only 18 years old when she was raped and murdered in a disgusting act by a man who had no connection to her whatsoever.
Prior to her murder, Kelly Eckart was a university student who was currently studying at Franklin College. Aside from being a freshman in university, Kelly Eckart was also working at local Walmart as a part-time job.
The last person who saw Kelly Eckart alive was her boyfriend. Kelly Eckart had met up with her boyfriend on September 27th, 1997. After her meeting with her boyfriend, the authorities found Kelly Eckart’s car abandoned on September 28th, 1997.
When authorities found Kelly Eckart’s car, the keys were still in the ignition and the lights of the car were still switched on.
After four days, Kelly Eckart’s body was discovered. When authorities found Kelly Eckart’s body it was in a ravine in Brown Country. This is what they found on and of Kelly Eckart’s body:
- Kelly Eckart was asphyxiated
- She was strangled using her own shoelaces
- The clothing Kelly Eckart was wearing was also cut
- The clothing she was wearing were overalls
- Authorities found that Kelly Eckart’s overalls were cut by her suspenders
- Kelly Eckart’s body also had a bullet wound on it
- She was shot straight in the forehead
- Kelly Eckart’s body was found completely naked
- When an autopsy was conducted, they found semen inside Kelly Eckart’s body
Who raped and killed Kelly Eckart?
When the authorities had first found Kelly Eckart’s body, they were not sure who could be behind this atrocious act. So how exactly did the authorities come to the conclusion that Michael Overstreet was in fact the man who had raped and murdered Kelly Eckhart? Let’s take a look at the facts:
- Michael Dean Overstreet was not initially a suspect in the murder and rape of Kelly Eckart
- The authorities only started talking to Dean Overstreet on the 6th of November 1997
- At this point, it had been nearly 10 days since Kelly Eckart’s body was found naked and lifeless in a ravine in Brown Country
- After talking to Michael Overstreet, police placed him as being a key suspect in the case
- Scott Overstreet, the brother of Michael Dean Overstreet was the key point in this case that finally allowed the authorities to pinpoint Michael Overstreet as the person behind the death of Kelly Eckart
- Scott Overstreet told the police about how on the morning of September 27th, 1997 Michael Overstreet had met up with him and told him that he had abducted a girl
- Scott also told the authorities that he and Michael Dean Overstreet initially drove to Camp Atterby together, but Scott left Michael alone with Kelly Eckart
- Michael Overstreet drove the van he borrowed from his brother that had Kelly Eckart’s body inside it to Brown Country from Camp Atterby
- When police tested the van, they had found that fibers in the van matched those found on Kelly Eckart’s body
- Further investigation concluded that the seamen that were found in Kelly Eckart’s body was, in fact, a direct match to the DNA of Michael Dean Overstreet
Now why would a man who never knew had any connection to a young girl like Kelly Eckart would want to rape and murder her? To answer this question, we will have to take a look at the kind of Michael Overstreet was as a child and factors of his childhood that could have impacted his mental health.
Who is Michael Overstreet?
Michael Dean Overstreet is the man behind the rape and murder of 18-year-old Kelly Eckart. But who really is Michael Overstreet and what drove him to the point of committing rape and murder?
As a child, Michael Dean Overstreet suffered a tremendous amount of trauma. According to reports, Michael Overstreet suffered trauma as a result of having an abusive childhood.
The reports also state that Michael Overstreet suffered hallucinations that were regarded as being demonic hallucinations. From this report, it can be said that perhaps Michael Dean Overstreet was somehow possessed by the devil or had satanic properties surrounding him.
As a result of Michael Dean Overstreet suffering from hallucinations and at times claiming to have seen demons, he was later diagnosed by a psychiatrist as suffering from psychological disorientation and schizotypal personality disorder.
In order to understand how Dean Overstreet’s mind worked, we need to understand what the two disorders he suffered from are:
- Psychological Disorientation
The term disorientation refers to when your mental state of mind is in a constant state of confusion.
As a result of this confusion, a person may lose all sense of their identity. Meaning that a person may not know their own name, the current time of day or date, the location they are in and the people they are currently with.
When a person suffers from psychological disorientation, they also suffer from several other symptoms that can cause their mental state to be in a constant state of delirium.
These other symptoms include having hallucinations or imagining things and feeling false things. This is a symptom that Michael Dean Overstreet had. He had hallucinations over demons, and thus why psychiatrist diagnosed him with Psychological Disorientation.
The delirium that Michael Overstreet faced could be directly as a result of the abuse he faced during his childhood years.
According to several psychological studies, delirium in a person is often triggered by a memory that is deemed to be traumatic for the patient.
- Schizotypal personality disorder
For short, STPD is another mental disorder in which a patient suffers from issues regarding anxiety, being in a constant state of being paranoid, and unconventional beliefs.
When a person suffers from this mental disorder, they can often have disorders in their speech and dress up in peculiar ways.
This type of disorder also causes a person to isolate themselves from other human beings because they have a strong issue of paranoia. They feel as if they aren’t able to trust people, that people will turn against them.
It is because of this sense of paranoia that people may create a false sense of reality while suffering from this disorder. They crave human comfort and contact but they do not know how to react or act in a way that is normal around other people.
After analyzing both the disorders that Michael Dean Overstreet was diagnosed with, it can be assumed that the reason Michael Overstreet raped and murdered Kelly Eckart had to do with the fact that he was not himself when he abducted Kelly Eckart, raped her, murdered her and then dumped her body in a ravine in Brown Country.
The hallucinations that Michael Dean Overstreet had as a child most likely carried on throughout his adult life. As previously mentioned, Michael Overstreet often hallucinated demons. It must have been these demonic thoughts that drove Michael to commit an act only a demon would commit.
Another plausible cause as to why Michael Dean Overstreet raped and murdered Kelly Eckart could be to do with the schizotypal personality disorder. As mentioned earlier, people who suffer from this disorder long for human comfort but do not know how to obtain comfort because they are too afraid to get close to people.
It could be that Michael Overstreet was looking for a person to talk to, to get close to but he took it a step too far by not being able to control himself. Instead of talking to Kelly Eckart like a normal person would when they would like to get to know someone, he abducted her and raped her as a result of not being able to control his urges.
Aside from suffering from these mental disorders, Michael Overstreet did not achieve much success in his life. He had joined the Marines straight out of high school, however, his time in the marines lasted only a mere 3 months.
What became of Michael Dean Overstreet?
Michael Dean Overstreet was convicted of the murder and rape of Kelly Eckart on the 13th of July, 2000. He was convicted after nearly three whole years in which he had raped and murdered Kelly Eckart.
The court ruled on Michael Dean Overstreet’s conviction by demanding that Michael Overstreet be charged with the death penalty as a result of DNA samples being found on the victim’s body that matched the DNA of the perpetrator.
The court charged Michael Dean Overstreet with rape, murder, criminal deviate conduct, and abduction. The death penalty was finalized on the 18th of May 2000 and Michael Overstreet was placed on death row on the 31st of July 2000.
In terms of Michael Dean Overstreet’s death, he is still awaiting his death on death row as his original sentence is 20 to 20 consecutive years imprisonment.