A ‘Very, Very, Rare Crime’: The Guy Murders (True Crime)

October 11, 2020

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

A “very, very rare crime.” That’s how the wickedness of Joel Guy Jr. was described only a few short days ago during his trial for slaughtering and dismembering his parents in their Harden Valley home. Joel Guy Jr. was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison (despite asking for a death sentence).

Back on November 24, 2016, the Guy family met at their parents home for Thanksgiving dinner. Joel Jr. was the only child of both Joel Sr. and Lisa (Joel Sr. had daughters from another marriage) but according to daughters Chandise Fink, Michelle Tyler, and Angela Crane, there was nothing but love from both parents for each child equally. During this dinner, Joel was said to be “outgoing, friendly, and happy” which was odd for the reclusive Joel. He normally remained aloof while isolating himself in his apartment that his parents paid for. This happiness was starkly different to the rage and viciousness that he showed only days later.

On November 26, 2016, Joel Jr attacked Joel Sr. (61 years old) in an upstairs work-out room while Lisa (55 year old) was out shopping at their local Wal-Mart. Based on the blood spatter on the walls and the state of the room when police found it, it was quite the battle ending up with Joel Sr. dead and his body mutilated by at least 40 deep stab wounds. When Lisa returned from shopping, Joel Jr. attacked her from the stairs stabbing her over and over at least 31 times. With groceries and other items strewn on the floor just inside the front door, The now-double murderer went to work. Joel Guy Jr. painstakingly separated his parents legs and arms and placed the torsos in blue plastic tubs filled with various chemicals in an attempt to dissolve the bodies. Joel Sr’s arms were taken off at the shoulder, his legs at the hips and his right foot was removed. Lisa’s arms were removed at the shoulders and her legs at the knees. Finally, he decapitated his mother, placed her head in a stock pot, placed the pot on the stove top and turned the burner on.

It is a lot of work to disarticulate bodies and during the trial, the jury was shown the extremely graphic pictures and videos of the Guy home. The torsos dissolving in blue bins filled with the pre-purchased chemicals designed to execute a “denaturation” process, Lisa’s head in the pot, Joel Sr.’s detached hands on the floor where he had been killed, piles of bloody clothes cut from the victims and pools of blood all over the upstairs of the beautiful home. This was an act of rage and it was done without hesitation or remorse…and scrupulously premeditated.

Joel Jr., before returning to his own apartment, turned the heat up in the house to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and turned on industrial heaters in an attempt to speed up decomposition even more. At some point, Joel Jr injured his own hand. Whether it was while viciously stabbing his parents over and over or when he was unceremoniously butchering their bodies, he was injured severely enough that he went to Wal-Mart to get bandages and gauze for his own wounds. This injury, according to the prosecution was the reason Joel was unable to finish his his plan of completing decomposing the bodies and lighting his parents home on fire to hide his crimes.

How do they know his plans? That’s a good question and one the Joel Guy Jr. answers for you. Although the murderer didn’t testify at his own trial, his “book of premeditation” did the talking for him. Joe had written five pages with meticulous plans outlining exactly how he would slaughter his parents, dismember their bodies, cover up his crimes, and collect their life insurance of $500.000.

  • “douse the killing room (kitchen) with bleach”
  • “Flush chunks down toilet, not garbage disposal…don’t have to get rid of body if no forensic evidence”
  • “Kill him with the knife…clean up mess from him before she gets home.”
  • “Kill her with a knife…place her in shower and turn on hot water and point at her to get rid of forensics

Even just these few excerpts from his plan shows the premeditation and planning that went into killing Joel Sr. and Lisa Guy.

Half a million dollars may seem like motive enough for Joel Jr. to murder his parents but it wasn’t the only reason this monster snapped. His parents had been supporting him his entire life. Joel had no job, never had a job, no prospects, and no desire to change that. His parents paid for his apartment, food, and everything else. Joel Sr. and Lisa had recently announced that they were planning to retire and, due to this, were no longer able to support him in the way he wanted. Between having to choose between getting a job and collecting $500.000 from his parents, Joel Jr. chose to commit one of the worst, remorseless and gruesome crimes in recent history.

The police entered the Guy home on November 28 because Lisa’s boss had called when she hadn’t shown up for work.  Even with all his careful planning, Joel Jr. was taken into custody the very next day and on October 3, 2020, after only 3 hours, the Jury found 32-year old Joel Guy Jr. guilty of two counts premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of abuse of a corpse. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 51 years.

The entire trial is available on YouTube and, to be honest, the most disturbing thing is the cold, relaxed way Joel Jr sits and listens to the evidence against him. He casually cleans his mask and sips on water while his sisters weep about their parents. He appears cold and smug. He shows no emotion, let alone remorse. He simply sits there spectating as the prosecution works through the four large carts-worth of evidence against him.

After the trial, Knox County Assistant District Attorney General Charme Allen stated: “it is my hope that we were able to provide a small amount of hope and comfort to the family.”

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