The tragic and horrifying murders of Bearnhardt and Cora Hartig in April 1990 is the subject of the documentary True Crime Story: It Couldn’t Happen Here, which will air on AMC+. The couple were spotted by their neighbor’s son who was visiting their ranch in Portage County, Ohio.
Before the police could finally identify the perpetrator, they had to investigate a number of possible leads and gather relevant information. This program breaks down the facts in no uncertain terms and takes viewers on a journey through the complicated investigative process. If you’re interested in knowing the offender’s name and current whereabouts, you’ve come to the right place. Shall we dive right in then, shall we?
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Bearnhardt and Cora Hartig: the couple’s cause of death
Bearnhardt Hartig was the son of George Hartig and Rachel Bevans Hartig. He was born on September 22, 1908 in Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland. Cora Arnold Hartig’s parents, Lloyd A. Arnold and Susie A. Baker Arnold, gave birth to her in 1909 in Avilton, located in Garrett County, Maryland. They had their wedding and then moved to a ranch in County Portage, Ohio, United States. They were in their early 80s but still quite energetic people who, despite their advanced age, lived active and happy post-retirement lives.
That’s why neighbors began to get suspicious when they discovered that the Hartigs’ lawn tractor had been parked in their yard for two days without the old couple being seen. During this time, the neighbors did not see the Hartigs.
On April 7, 1990, the neighbors’ son, James Davis, went over to check on them and found the garage door was open. Upon entering the home, he was surprised to see the couple’s lifeless bodies lying on their kitchen floor. When police officers arrived at the scene, they were greeted by the stench of rotting flesh and discovered 10 empty Winchester .25 caliber bullet casings lying next to the dead, still wearing their clothes.
Cora had internal injuries from gunshot wounds to the chest, according to the coroner, who found she had been shot at five times in total. According to the autopsy, Bearnhardt Hartig was found dead with “multiple visceral injuries” and gunshot wounds to the right breast.
Hartig was shot three times before he died. The coroner concluded that the fatal shots had been fired from at least more than “one and a half to three feet” away because there was no spotting or gunpowder residue on the victim’s body.
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Details of the Bearnhardt & Cora Hartig killer
Tyrone Noling, Butch Wolcott, Joseph Dalesandro and Gary St. Clair were taken into custody by Alliance, Ohio police on April 9, 1990 and charged with various robberies in the town of Alliance. Tyrone reportedly confessed to another inmate, Paul Garner, that he was responsible for the Hartigs’ deaths while he was in captivity.
Paul testified that Tyrone told him he had no intention of murdering the couple but had no alternative when Gary accidentally spoke his name in front of the victims. According to Paul’s testimony, Tyrone told him that he had no intention of killing the couple.
According to the allegations, Tyrone said, “I didn’t want to do anything. That just happened. The lady said: “I am aware of your identity.” But he denied the claims to police and allegedly even went so far as to say that he was framed for the murder of the elderly couple by his accomplice Gary. On April 5, 1990, between 3:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., the four convicts drove to Portage County, Ohio.
Bearnhardt had been mowing the lawn outside when Tyrone and Gary broke into the Hartig home, wielding a .25 semi-automatic and a shotgun. Bearnhardt had been surprised by the presence of the two men.
As a result of the testimony, it was also determined that Butch and Joseph were in the Hartigs’ driveway about twenty to thirty minutes after the start of the robbery when they heard gunshots and a woman’s scream. The scream was followed by another round of gunfire, and then there was complete silence. After a short while, Tyrone and Gary hurriedly got in the car and the four quickly drove away.
Current location of Tyrone Noling
In a trial that took place in 1992, all charges against Tyrone were dropped; Despite this, he was indicted by a grand jury in August 1995 for the murder of the Hartigs. All of the charges against him have weapon specifications, including those of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and two counts of felony murder.
He was indicted on all of these charges. In order to obtain the indictment, the state had to produce testimonies from investigating officers, as well as testimonies from some of Tyrone’s former acquaintances and co-defendants.
In 1996, a jury ruled that Tyrone was responsible for all charges against him and sentenced him to death. However, the Ohio Innocence Project claims authorities lacked any physical evidence linking Tyrone to the elderly couple’s murder.
Additionally, they alleged that the detectives exerted undue pressure to obtain statements from Tyrone’s accomplices, all of whom changed their stories after the trial. In the years since, numerous appeals have been made on Noling’s behalf, including one in the Ohio Supreme Court, but all have been dismissed.
In recent years, the case of Tyrone, who was wrongly convicted of a felony, had been taken up by the Ohio Innocence Project, a program of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The organization provides legal representation to convicts who, in the organization’s view, have been wrongly convicted as a result of their investigations into the crimes and their testimonies in court.
Tyrone was awarded a partial victory in March 2022 when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted him and his defense attorney access to documents that reportedly “contained evidence never presented to his trial attorneys.” This was Tyrone’s first triumph since his initial arrest. Official court documents show the man, now in his 50s, is currently being held on death row at Chillicothe Correction Institution in Ross County, Ohio.
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