Murder of Jessica Goebel by ex-boyfriend John Hemminger spotlighted

Mugshot of John Hemminger
John Hemminger stabbed his former girlfriend, Jessica Goebel, 26 times. Pic credit: South Dakota Dept. of Corrections

In January 2015, Jessica Goebel was attacked and stabbed over 20 times in her home in the quiet community of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Her injuries included a fractured skull and a slashed throat.

The mother of young children was rushed to hospital in Sioux Falls but died five days later. Police zeroed in on two possible suspects, her current boyfriend Richard Hanley or the father of her children, John Hemminger.

Hemminger was allegedly angered that Jessica had put an end to their 4-year long relationship and had started dating Richard Hanley. The night she died, Heminger sent his former girlfriend multiple abusive texts before he grabbed his roommate’s knife and went round to her house.

John Hemminger called the police on Richard Hanley

Earlier in the evening, he had argued with Hanley at Jessica’s home, and he later tried to frame her new boyfriend for the murder. He had injured his hand when he stabbed Jessica, which led him to dial 911 and tell police he had “just been stabbed” by Hanley.

It was Hemminger who then told officers to check on Jessica, which is when the police discovered a blood-soaked kitchen, and the victim mortally wounded on the floor.

Hemminger had even smeared her blood on shoes and a sweatshirt belonging to Hanley that had been left at Jessica’s home.

However, the police weren’t fooled for long, and they arrested Hemminger when they discovered the knife’s handle in his pocket. It also transpired that Hanley had a rock-solid alibi and was in North Dakota at the time of the murder.

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In September 2016, Hemminger was found guilty of murdering Jessica Goebel. The decision came with an automatic mandatory sentence of life in prison. The prosecutors had already decided not to seek the death penalty after consultations with the Goebel family.

He appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court in 2017, but it upheld the original court’s decision.

More from Raw Terror

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Raw Terror.

Brett Knight drove from Utah to Long Island, New York, and fired 11 shots through the kitchen window of his former friend’s house. One of the bullets grazed Kevin Murray’s arm, but his partner Paul Reisner was killed.

Luc Tieman murdered his wife Valerie and buried her in a shallow grave in his backyard because he was having an affair. Bizarrely, he buried love poetry, a bag of potato chips, and a bottle of men’s cologne called Guilty with his victim’s remains.

Raw Terror airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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