Wheeler's corpse was discovered on December 31, 2010, as a garbage truck was being unloaded at the Cherry Island Landfill in Wilmington, Delaware. Police eventually determined that his death was a homicide caused by assault and blunt force injuries, but they were unable to identify any suspects or significant leads in the investigation.
Police said there was no evidence of robbery, and Wheeler had not been missing for long enough to be considered a derelict person. His wallet and cell phone were still in his pocket, so it did not appear that he had attempted to defend himself against his attacker.
In addition to being a well-known physicist, Wheeler also worked for many years as a science policy expert for the U.S. Congress. He served as an adviser to several committees during this time, including the Commerce Committee and the Science Committee. In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed him chairman of the National Commission on Physics. The commission's goal was to make recommendations about how physics should be taught in American schools. The report was published in 2004.
The book was published in 1998 to critical acclaim and has since become a global bestseller.
Wheeler entered a business and asked a pharmacist for a ride to Wilmington, Delaware. Wheeler then departed when the pharmacist offered to call him a cab. On December 31, his corpse was discovered 14 hours later in a landfill after being dumped by a garbage truck. The autopsy report listed the cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds.
Police believed that the murder had been committed during one of two recent robberies of drugstores in the area. They released sketches of two men they suspected of being involved in the crime. One man was described as white with brown hair and eyes, about 5 feet 11 inches tall. He wore glasses and a dark jacket with leather buttons. The other man was black and between 30 and 35 years old.
Within days, police received several anonymous letters claiming responsibility for the murder. All of them included photos of John Wheeler taken at the time of the killing.
The first letter said that it was sent by "Two Guys from Delaware", and it promised more pictures if necessary. It also mentioned that the gun used in the murder was still buried under a house on South DuPont Parkway in Wilmington.
About a month later, another letter arrived at police headquarters. This time it was signed "The Fraternity". It too contained photos of the victim and information about his murder. The letter said that members of the fraternity had committed the crime because "John Wheeler must die".
Doug Johnston, 35, departed for his night shift at a computer graphics firm at 11 p.m. on May 14, 1990. He was discovered shot to death in his car in the business parking lot an hour later.
The case remains unsolved. No one has been charged with Doug's murder.
Before he died, Doug told investigators that he had gone to the scene of the crime around 1:30 a.m. and found the door open to Michael Myers' bedroom. Doug said he had also seen some blood stains in the hallway outside of Myers' room, but none in the kitchen or living room where it was supposed to be.
Myers' parents let him stay up late to watch TV. So, it's possible that Doug went upstairs to talk to Michael, who then opened his bedroom door and killed him before returning to bed.
In any case, this incident brought about a new generation of horror movies. And it's also interesting to note that most of these films were made within months of each other!
Larry shot Roger many times in the body as he exited a recording studio in Dayton, Ohio. Roger was transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital, but he died soon thereafter. Larry's body was discovered in a car not far from the crime location. There were no witnesses at the time, and Larry's motivation for Roger's murder remains unknown.
In addition to being a popular musician, Roger was also involved in criminal activity. He had several convictions for burglary and theft offenses, including one conviction when he was just 16 years old.
After his death, his band, The Zapps, went on to have success with their single "Love Is All Around". They also released an album titled Roger Zapp's Revenge that included some songs written by Roger prior to his death.
The location where Roger was murdered has been converted into a music museum called The Sound Factory. It features a large room dedicated to Roger's life and work.