Late in 2006, the law enforcement officials in Billings, Montana had to deal with the aftermath of a string of horrible crimes that included the discovery of three dead bodies. In the end, it found out that all of them were connected to a single robbery that took place in an apartment complex. Murder by Numbers: Dog Days of Murder is a documentary series that airs on Investigation Discovery. The series focuses on the murders of Patti Hubbert, Norman Leighton, and Gerald Morris. So, if you’re curious about what took place and who committed the killings, you won’t have to worry about it anymore since we’ll fill you in.
How Did Patti Hubbert, Norman Leighton, and Gerald Morris Die?
Patti Hubbert was born in the month of January in 1952, and she has called Billings her home for almost twenty years. She and Norman Leighton, who was 69 at the time, were roommates in the apartment. On September 22, 2006, at some point after 6:00 am, a call was placed to the appropriate authorities reporting a fire at the flat shared by Patti and Norman. After the flames were brought under control, the remains of Norman and Patti, who was 54 years old, were found in the bedroom.
While Norman was sitting on the floor, Patti was sitting on the bed. Both of them had wire hangers, duct tape, and a telephone cord wrapped around their bodies. Patti’s mouth was also closed with duct tape and had a cloth shoved into it. An autopsy determined that blunt force trauma was the cause of death for Norman, while suffocation was the cause of death for Patti. They were assaulted for several days, and then a fire was created to cover up the fact that the crime had been committed.
On September 23, 2006, the family made the unfortunate decision to report their next-door neighbor, Gerald Morris, as missing. On October 4, almost two weeks later, a worker discovered a decomposing body just a few feet from the road south of Billings; the body belonged to Gerald. According to the show, he was dragged to the location, and a weapon with a.44-caliber bullet was used to shoot him in the back and the neck. The authorities quickly made the connection between the three slayings, which led to an intensive investigation.
Who Killed Patti Hubbert, Norman Leighton, and Gerald Morris?
When the investigators went to the home of Patti and Norman, they discovered that a large sum of money, in addition to a revolver with a.44-caliber caliber, was stolen. The living room had the impression of having been trashed, with garments strewn all over the ground. The fact that there were no traces of forced entry led the authorities to suspect that Patti and Norman had let the killer into the home, where he then chained them, tormented them for days, and finally killed them.
According to the show, the police at first considered Gerald to be a probable suspect; however, their investigation into him was terminated when his remains were discovered two weeks after the murder. One of the fibers of fabric was discovered on his clothing, and it appeared to have come from the upholstery of a pickup truck. In addition to this, a single dog hair was discovered on the towel that Patti had jammed in her mouth. Marcia Whiteley, Gerald’s girlfriend, eventually provided the authorities with a statement. She told the police that the last time she saw Gerald was when he was leaving with a friend named Richard Covington. She said this in her statement to the police.
Prior to this, the authorities had been keeping an eye on Richard. Patti and Norman’s home was the target of a burglary in June of 2005, and the fire that broke out there was staged to look like an accident. According to the episode, Richard was investigated as a possible suspect but was never charged with anything. Interestingly, he also owned a dog as a companion animal. In the end, the authorities were able to determine that the dog’s hair was the same as the one found on the rag. The fiber that was found on Gerald matched the fiber that was found on Richard’s automobile seat, which was further incriminating proof.
Additionally, a maintenance man from the apartment complex said to the authorities that he had purchased a pistol from Richard that had a caliber of.44 from Richard. It was determined that Norman was responsible for the death of Gerald because the serial number on the gun matched a card that was discovered in Patti and Norman’s apartment. The authorities were under the impression that Richard had tortured Patti and Norman, and that Gerald had been murdered at approximately the same moment he attempted to intercede in the situation.
Where is Richard Covington Today?
In February of 2010, the trial of Richard Covington took place. During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Richard had not denied murdering the three victims while he was speaking to a witness. Richard had also stated that he wouldn’t get caught until the authorities did a better job of investigating crimes. In the end, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all accusations against him, which included murder, robbery, arson, and theft. Richard entered a guilty plea the year prior to the incident, admitting to robbing a woman in a parking lot in April of 2007.
Richard, who was 47 years old at the time, was given five sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in the month of June 2010. These were to begin at the same time as the existing 40-year sentence for the robbery that occurred in 2007. A consequence of his earlier criminal history, Richard had been convicted of robbery in 1981 and accused with another robbery in 1994, all of which contributed to the length of his sentence. According to the inmate records, he is still being held at the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Shelby, which is located in the state of Montana.