Joanna Hayes dressed in a wig and false moustache to murder her daughter-in-law Heather Strube

Mugshot of Joanna Hayes with police sketch of killer
Joanna Hayes (left) was found guilty of murdering her daughter-in-law. On the right is a police sketch of the killer. Pic credit: Snellville Police Dept.

This week on See No Evil, the team profiles the murder of Heather Strube, who was gunned down on Apri 26, 2009, in front of her 18-month-old son in a Target parking lot in Snellville, Georgia.

Heather had gone to the parking lot to meet her estranged husband, Steven Strube, to exchange custody of their son. After he drove away, someone wearing a wig and fake mustache approached the young mother and shot her dead.

It later transpired that the murderer was none other than Steven Strube’s mother, who was so concerned that her daughter-in-law might win custody of her grandson that she resorted to murder.

Several witnesses testified against Hayes, including an eyewitness who saw the shooting and told investigators that Heather seemed to know her killer but appeared surprised to see them.

Kiersten Rom later told a jury, “The woman [Heather] recognized this person… surprised to run into them in the parking lot. They weren’t expecting someone to be there, but kind of look at them with a little bit of shock.”

The evidence mounted against Joanna Hayes

A friend of Heather’s told police that the young mother had been scared of her mother-in-law and didn’t feel physically safe around the woman.

Finally, a colleague of Hayes, Paul Pinzino, recounted a conversation he’d had with the murderous grandmother where she described in detail how she would murder Heather. She even spoke about the minute details such as how she’d dispose of the murder weapon and which of her husband’s vehicles she would use to commit the crime.

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Police discovered that Hayes appeared to go through with many aspects of the plan she told Pinzino.

The police quickly ruled out Steven Strube as having any involvement with the murder. Steven initially testified against his mother but subsequently declared that he thought she was innocent.

In May 2011, Joanna Hayes was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm and was sentenced to life in prison. According to Georgia law, Hayes will not be eligible for parole for 30 years.

More from See No Evil

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on See No Evil.

Last week the show looked at the case of Devonere Simmonds, who walked into a convenience store in Columbus, Ohio, and instantly shot dead the clerk, Imran Ashgar. Simmonds and his friend Nathaniel Brunner subsequently embarked on a violent crime spree before being apprehended by cops in Dayton, Ohio.

In 2016, Larry Weaver was staying at a motel in Missouri when three hoodlums stole his Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. Weaver jumped into the back of their pickup truck and demanded they stop. Unfortunately, when they stopped the vehicle, they beat Weaver and left him for dead in a cornfield.

See No Evil airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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Sommer Godown
Sommer Godown
3 years ago

I know the son knew more than he let on. After his reaction to the surveillance and his recorded phone call to his Mom. It was her idea, but he knew. He just stayed at a distance. I could tell by his reaction as well as her frustration.

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