A family planning to spend the holiday together comes face to face with ex-cons who are on the run.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
It was a few days before Christmas in a cabin in the mountains of Utah. It sounds like a pleasant way to spend the holiday with family. It?s what the Tiede family had planned when senseless evil came crashing in on them.
On December 22, 1990, while the Tiede family was out shopping in Salt Lake City. Their cabin had been broken into. Where the burglars remained lurking as the family started to return. This wasn?t a case of the burglars being interrupted. No, they had waited intently. And as the burglars waited, they made the decision to kill the family when they arrived.
While the soon to be killers waited for the family to come home. They recorded themselves opening up the Christmas gifts from under the tree. Showing no sign of stress or anxiety over what they were about to do.
First to arrive would be Beth Potts 72 the grandmother of the family. Along with her daughter Kaye Tiede 49, and one of Kayes daughters Linae 20 at the time. It would be later reported that the burglars would within three minutes kill both Beth and Kaye. Branding themselves murderers.
The three had arrived back at their cabin around 12:30 p.m., and it would be Linea who first spotted the two men. She called out to her mom, saying there were robbers inside. But the men had a mission, and they ordered the two women to come inside. Beth Potts sat down on a barstool, and her daughter Kaye stood nearby. They tried to reason with the men, asking what they wanted, what they needed.
These two murderers were no strangers to crime. Von Taylor 25, had recently been paroled in October. After serving time for aggravated burglary.
His partner in crime was Edward Deli 21. Who also had been recently paroled in November, after serving a year of a 5-year sentence for arson.
The two had met at a half-way house, which they had walked away from on December 14. Afterward, a lot of questions would be raised about how these two criminals had been paroled so soon. And how they were able to leave their half-way house for so long and not be searched for.
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Taylor and Deli didn?t say a word to the women. Instead, Taylor pulled out his gun and shot Kaye first, then Beth in the head. Beth stood up, and he shot her again, then once more after she fell to the floor.
Linea scared and worried, begged the killers to let her call an ambulance. But nothing would get through to these two. They tied up and gagged Linea, while they talked about what to do with the bodies of the two dead women. Taylor got Deli to help him move the bodies out to the balcony and then threw them over.
A short time later Rolf Tiede 51, husband to Kaye would arrive with their other daughter Tricia 16. Rolf knew something was wrong as soon as he approached the cabin.
He saw a man identified as Taylor holding his daughter by the throat, and he also had a gun shoved into her back. Deli pointed his gun right at Rolf, demanding that he remove his clothes and to hand over any money he had. After Deli took the $105 and put it into his pocket, Taylor told Deli to shoot Rolf.
Deli raised his gun, cocked it, but didn?t pull the trigger. Taylor being impatient to get it over with pulled up his gun and pulled the tricker. Twice, before the third time discharged a bullet, hitting Rolf in the face.
After being shot in the face, Rolf fell. He played dead as he listened to the two men talking about trying to set the cabin on fire. More shots were fired before the men were back standing over Rolf, where he was shot in the head. Still hanging onto consciousness. Rolf felt the gasoline being poured over his legs, back, then his head.
The two men continued to talk, now about taking the girls with them. Shortly after this Rolf heard the snowmobiles start and then fade away.
Rolf got up and tried to put out some of the small fires that were burning around him. But caught fire in the process himself. He removed his burning clothes and continued to try and battle the blaze. Before he realized that it was much too much for him to put out on his own.
While this carnage was going on, luckily someone close by had heard the shots. Then saw the two men fleeing with two young women, and called the police.
Photo by Grme Bruneau on Unsplash
Rolf knew he needed to get help. He went outside and got on his snowmobile and road down the hill to where his brother was. From there, his brother was able to use his phone to call the authorities. While Rolf was being taken to the hospital, the police were searching for the girls. Miraculously Rolf was able to pull through.
What the witness had heard was the girls being forced to drive the killers away on the snowmobiles. The killers directed them to take them to the girl?s father?s car down the hill. The four got into the car where the men told the girls of their plan. They were going to go to New York, then leave the country, where they would send the girls back home they said.
It would be a deputy who was responding that first spotted the suspects? car heading south. He gave chase for close to 10 miles. Where Taylor, who was behind the wheel, drove speeds of more than 90 mph. At one point he also drove through a roadblock. During the chase, an officer from Kansas joined in the pursuit.
Police gave chase through the winding mountain roads. Finally firing on the vehicle, forcing the car off the road to apprehend the convicts. They both surrendered after being missed by the officer?s bullets.
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It was determined that Taylor and Deli would be tried separately for their crimes. Which would result in two very different outcomes.
Both were charged with two counts of first-degree murder. One count of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. Along with aggravated assault, theft, arson, and failure to heed a police signal to stop.
Von Lester, a friend of Taylor?s, told authorities that Taylor had planned the robbery and murder ahead of time. And it was all to get their car and take off.
In the end, Taylor decided to plead guilty to the killings and other crimes and was given the death sentence. He is currently housed at the Utah State Prison.
One thing that would come out at trial that would add another twist of fate to the case. On at least three occasions, Rolf Tiede had met and assisted Edward Deli. Once had been when he had helped the soon to be killer get a three-wheeler unstuck on the mountain.
Edward Steven Deli went with a trial instead of pleading guilty. He was convicted of second-degree murder. And sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 62 years. He currently resides at the Central Utah Correctional Facility.
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