The Abernathy Murders, February 19, 1997

Kathlyn Rhea Transcript

Susan sent this transcript to me in January 2005. I have webbed it here in its entirety with the exception of one name which I have edited out.

Hi Katy

Kent and I had a meeting with Kathlyn Rhea in the same year that Brendan and Neal were killed. We showed her pictures of Brendan, Neal, a boy that Brendan had had difficulties with at school (name removed), and pictures of our house. I've attached a transcript of our meeting. We still haven't put together a transcript of our later meeting with George Anderson, but still plan to someday. Our meeting with George was a different experience, because we actually seemed to contact Neal and Brendan in that session.

I just found that Kathlyn Rhea has a website of her own. She is now in It is . There is recent article about her in the Gilroy Dispatch. (warning from the website owner: the Gilroy Dispatch wants to load up a large and hoggy animation into their article viewing frame so you may want to disable animations before you visit this link if you have a slow connection)

You are welcome to include this transcript on your website. It is getting close to 8 years now since the murders. I would love to find and convict the killers, and see them in put in prison during the lifetimes of those who loved Neal and Brendan.



Notes from Meeting with Kathlyn Rhea (KR)


(Notes taken from meeting and off of audio tape. The notes are not verbatim. Attendees with Kathlyn Rhea were Susan Abernathy and Kent Truscott.)

KR (while looking at photo of Brendan) - He is a bright outgoing boy. He likes physical things...physical expression. Somebody didn't threaten him. He didn't expect this.

KR (while looking at 6th grade photo of [name removed])- Not this boy, not unless larger. A larger person did this.

KR (while looking at photo of Neal)- when was his birthday?

SA - February 5, 1954

KR- He is a very protective man - would try to protect his son. Would say what he thought and you could believe it - honest. Protective and honest. When he had something to accomplish, he would stick to what he started. He doesn't play games with business. He thought that Brendan was very good, would still make him do different things...Loving but required him to "do your homework."

KR - More than one person in the house, they are angry at Neal not Brendan. Neal was their target. Neither of them (Neal or Brendan) expecting this - no reason to lock the door. Was anything stolen? They were in and out in a hurry - didn't saunter. Why were they in and out so fast?

KR - Two guys go two different directions. One doesn't travel as far, one lives further away. The one that owns the gun was the one that shot. The gun is in more than one person's hands...more than one person has used this gun. Off the street. Something prevented them from staying too long. So late - afraid you might be coming home? Something bothered them - got in & got out.

KR - They didn't open the door - may have rung the doorbell. Neal may have opened the door. Don't see them opening the door. I feel they have been in more than one house - a couple other burglaries connected to them & nobody was home. I would look for a street or name of a town with the letter "G." Where this happened, another street or town. Not the same MO, nobody dead. Gone in and burglarized. They go for electronic equipment. They have a way of selling it. Did you have a computer? Was it big and heavy?

KR - Who heard the shots? I feel like that is what made them leave in a hurry. They didn't go there to kill. Were there footprints? Somebody with sneakers? One goes down the hall to get jewelry and other one holding Neal & Brendan. The one in the bedroom heard the shots and ran out "OH GOD". Somebody tried to do something - get away. That's what led him to shoot.

KR -Shot in the back of the head. 22 bullets are small and go in and go around & around in the body. Unless they hit a vital spot - rattles around inside. Were there any exit shots?

KR - Jewelry - any footprints in that room? Should have been fingerprints from that person in the bedroom. I see these two guys take off in two different directions. Let me take a look at the backyard. They didn't bother your dog at all? Was the back door unlocked? One goes straight ahead and one goes down. Don't go together. Had to have used both doors. Someone opened the front door from the inside - a trusting person.

KR- One guy is fairly big. More husky than Kent, there is someone bigger than Neal standing in that room. Not as well educated - colored men. Language accent. Not Julius, maybe a bigger brother. Do you know what gang Julius claimed to be in? Somebody bigger than Neal. Taller than Neal - feel like he... Julius...idle boasting, just 'talking about.' One of these men could have been in early 30s. Tied up Neal because more afraid of him. Neal was the first one shot.

KR- Were there unhappy people who worked for Neal? Around early 30s, maybe late 20s. Feel strength inside. Both of them had been taller than Brendan. One of them is slimmer and other is more muscular. Tatoos around right forearm.

KR - Gun was wrapped up in something. Wrap up & bury it to protect it. Stuck away somewhere where it would not be found. Stashed. In garbage maybe.

KR - I see a Green Sedan. See it around parked down a ways. Go two different directions. Your son is frightened, but doesn't know who they are. Neal ....- I don't feel it is a crime of anger. He does not have a reason to kill them.

KR - Brendan.....

KR - Was there a necklace? I see a female. He gave it to a girlfriend, somebody's wearing it. She doesn't know the value of it.

KR - Gilroy - I felt it was more south. Bad stuff going on there. A murder or two. Look for something similar to this down there. Hmm ...Los Gatos, maybe.

KR - Brendan was trying to "be the man," because Neal was tied up. Experience told him he could do more than he could do. He had no concept of what it was like to get shot. He was concerned what you would say when you came home & the house was messed up.

KR - These are not kids - he had to look up at them. One went down the hall - they would have taken a lot more if Brendan hadn't done something. I feel like they kicked Neal in the side and made Brendan upset. He thought it was unfair that they kicked his dad in the side. They had an uneducated language - very dark skin.

KR - They went two different directions from the house. One going more straight. One's taking off and going further. One lives closer to your town & other one goes further. "G" is very important. Who is working on this case? They seem inexperienced. They need to look at other similar burglaries in different area....Fingerprints...water glass in your bedroom...could be important.

KR - One wearing a jacket with light colored T-shirt. A black jacket w/zipper. Language sounds - black, broken. What the police need to do is find another town with a similar crime.

KR - I feel one made a lunge. I feel like Neal made a lunge. I think he thought...trying to distract, thought that if Brendan ran then they would take off. Brendan saw them shoot Neal and said " You shot my dad." He was really angry, really angry about that. I feel like they grabbed his left arm.

KR - Stupid thing! - thought the guy with jewelry. They don't think they would be recognized. Neal didn't know them. Couldn't be identified. Why would they select your house? Where was your car? This happened close to 5:15 give or take a minute or so. Another car came along, or headlights maybe that startled them. What time do you get off work?

KR - Guy with gun was on drugs - goosey, not a well experienced steady hand type of guy. Grabbed Brendan by the arm when he tried to get away. Where was Neal's jacket? Feel like Neal opened the door. They asked for water (or map) & then came through. One with gun. One was keeping attention talking & other came around. Shorter guy stayed around talking with Neal...saying or asking for something. The one with gun comes around and on through. They didn't force their way in. They asked for something.

KR - Your son was in a different room. Hadn't been in there long. They were home for awhile after doctor's appointment. I feel like Brendan comes in after they came in. Brendan comes in after things taking place, and Neal getting tied up. He was in a place in the house where he couldn't see. He came to see what all the rumpus was. Brendan was grabbed by arm. He assumed Neal was doing something, otherwise he could have snuck out.

KR - Amazing how the soul knows when it is time to leave. It is like going through a maze, and then a stranger comes up. Their souls were ready to go or this wouldn't have happened. They leave you a gift - 2 of them - all different sizes. Open the gift that they left you. Ask "What did I gain from their lives?" There lives are not in vain. Look for what they brought to you. I feel you will marry again soon. Those that die always leave you gifts.

KR - The investigators really need to look for a couple other burglaries in your vicinity, in the area right around - this would also tie into these guys. The guy with the jewelry left prints - check for a couple other burglaries with the same prints. These guys are really smart.. they don't stay together. Come together, then split apart. Can't put the two together, not like buddies.

KR - One of them has worked around grease, ...trucks, services or works on them. He is a lacky, not an executive. He does a daily check of 'maintenance vehicles.' County or State maintenance trucks - he gets his hands dirty. He was the shorter one - with a bulldog build. These were not teenagers. They have their own thing going...they met in prison or both have done time in prison.

KR - the other one, I see a guy wearing an apron, wrapped around and tied in front. He may have worked in a grocery store. May not be a steady job. They knew each other from the past. They have both 'laid low' for a while since this crime. They don't know our family. "G" city or street is important. We should go beyond this immediate area. We need a different type of system to share information between police departments.

KR - The big guy with the gun was definitely... I feel inside his body...strung out on drugs. ....[Tape ran out ].....The big guy (shooter) had a large ugly vaccination scar on his right shoulder/ got infected; not a clean vaccination.