Murders of Adam Chrismer and Samantha Leming by Howard Hawk Willis featured on Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry

Howard Hawk Willis mugshot
Howard Hawk Willis was convicted of murdering Adam Chrismer and Samantha Leming. Pic credit: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry is featuring the murders of Adam Chrismer and Samantha Leming, both of Chickamauga, Georgia, by Howard Hawk Willis.

In October 2002, Chrismer, 17, and his 16-year-old wife, Leming, were reported missing. They were last seen with Willis, traveling from Georgia to Tennessee.

Authorities said the teens met Willis through his daughter, and soon after, they believe they became “involved in a sex-for-cocaine relationship.” 

Later that month, a fisherman discovered a head in Boone Lake near Johnson City, Tennessee. When the authorities arrived, they found hands in the lake.

The remains were identified as those of Chrismer.

Shortly after, an informant led police officials to a nearby storage unit on Buffalo Drive, where they found Chrismer’s decomposed torso and his wife’s body inside a large container.

Recorded jailhouse confession linked Howard Hawk Willis to the murders

On Oct. 16, 2002, Willis’ former wife, Wilda Gadd, went to visit him while he was incarcerated at the Washington County Jail. While there, she asked if he had killed the teenage couple.

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He said, “Adam and Samantha? Yeah, I blew their brains out. I just pulled the trigger right then and there on them.”

What Willis didn’t know was that Gadd was wearing a wire, recording his every word.

In his taped confession, Wilis said that when he fatally shot Chrismer, Leming turned around, and when she did that, he shot her too.

Prosecutors said the murders took place at Willis’ mother’s house in the 100 block of Brentwood Drive, although they did not find DNA at that location.

The motive behind the murders remains unknown

Police officials are not sure why Willis killed the teens, but they suspect they may have known something about the murder of his 73-year-old stepfather, Samuel Thomas.

His headless body was found in a wooded area about 40 miles from his home in Bradley County, Georgia.

Thomas had been shot to death.

Willis was a suspect in Thomas’ murder as well as a suspect in the disappearance of Deborah Willis, who was his wife. 

Deborah was last seen in December 1986.

On June 21, 2010, a jury found Willis guilty of two counts of premeditated murder and one count of felony murder.

Later that year, a judge sentenced him to death. He requested a new trial, claiming that he has evidence that would help his case, but his request was denied.

His conviction and death sentence were upheld.

He is currently on death row at the Riverbend Correctional Complex in Tennessee.

Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry airs Saturdays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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