Three people are dead in Casper, Wyoming in a shocking crime that leaves clues scattered as far as Vernon, Connecticut. On Friday morning, 25-year-old Christopher Krumm walked into his father’s computer science class at the local community college in Casper. Christopher shot his father, 56-year-old James Krumm in the head with a high powered compound bow at about 9 am in front of his students. James fell to the ground before he regained footing and proceeded to fight his son, giving his students a chance to evacuate the room.
During the ensuing scuffle, Christopher stabbed himself several times, then stabbed his father in the chest with a large knife. Although between 4 and 6 students were still in the room during the beginning of the altercation, none were injured. As they exited, the classroom door closed and locked behind them. Someone found a maintenance person with keys and all attempted to help their teacher, but it was too late for either James or Chris by the time the doors were reopened and emergency assistance arrived.
While the college campus and city of Casper reeled in response to this horrific act of violence, another body was discovered in the street of a neighborhood near the school. It took little time to identify the body as that of Heidi Arnold. Heidi was a 42-year-old co-worker and live-in girlfriend of the deceased, James Krumm. It appeared that she had been stabbed multiple times and that she had fought for her life. Authorities currently believe that just prior to his arrival at the Casper Community College, Christopher murdered Heidi, who was found in her pajamas with multiple defensive wounds.
Although no motive is yet known for these tragic losses, authorities have wasted no time in their investigation. They have been able to piece a few facts together, including that the perpetrator no longer resided in Casper although he had apparently grown up there; he attended and presumably graduated from Natrona County High School in town. A family friend said that Christopher moved to Vernon, Connecticut, recently to work in electrical engineering. Authorities in Vernon have searched Christopher’s residence and it has been reported that they removed multiple boxes of some kind and told the press that those items will be turned over to Wyoming authorities as part of the active investigation of this incident.
It is assumed that Christopher Krumm drove from Connecticut to Wyoming. The Casper Star Tribune reports that:
“There are few hotels in Casper that are farther from Hawthorne Avenue than the Shiloh Inn. Technically, the motel sits just across the city limits in Evansville. It’s an unassuming place, tucked behind a former gas station that’s now a barbeque joint.
Chris checked into his room shortly after 3 p.m. on the day before the killings. There was nothing remarkable about him, according to the front desk clerk. He paid for his two-night reservation with a credit card.”
Perhaps the only window into understanding a possible motive for this crime comes from the one of the only people on record who knew Christopher Krumm in Connecticut, a neighbor by the name of Matt DiPinto. DiPinto described an encounter with Krumm that seems to be revealing in the aftermath of the killings:
“He gave me a ride home from McDonald’s once,” he said. “He told me his dad gave him Asperger’s [syndrome], that his dad shouldn’t have passed it on. He said his dad should be castrated. I didn’t know him that well, he just kind of said it out of nowhere, so that kind of threw me off a little.”
Casper is a relatively small town, although it is the second largest in Wyoming with a population of 56,000. There are seven community colleges in the state and one university. Word of the three lives lost Friday morning spread like wildfire on social media sites with some Wyomingites as far away as Laramie hearing about the lockdown and murders in near real time. Throughout the state people mourn the loss of Jim Krumm and his girlfriend Heidi. The Governor, Matt Mead, happened to be in Casper for a previously scheduled event but chose to stop by the college and give his condolences to the students and staff on Friday evening. The president of the college, Walt Nolte, lamented the deaths, calling Friday the worst day of his more than 40 years in higher education.