In Hot Springs, Virginia, where visitors stay at the historic Homestead (above) and kids marvel at the hot springs that steam up through the street (left), the locals still talk about Beacher Hackney, wonder if he is still alive and, if so, where he might be.
"I tell you, he’s still hiding out in West Virginia," says an old man at the deli on the town’s primary street. "He’s from there and there’s a lot of places to hide."
Andrea Wilson, who spends summers in Hot Springs, thinks Hackney went up into those hills and killed himself back in March after he took a gun to work at his job in the kitchen at the hotel and gunned down his two supervisors, Dwight Kerr and Ronnie Stinnett.
Stinnett died while distracting Hackney long enough for the 20-30 other employees to escape from the kitchen.
Homestead employees who worked with Hackney call him a loner who didn’t talk much about himself, his family or his life. No one knows why he want on a killing spree.
A wanted poster hangs in store windows around Hot Springs and the manhunt for Hackney is nationwide with a $25,000 reward offered. The Hometead put up $20,000 of that with the U.S. Marshall’s service adding $5,000.
Hackney, 59, had worked at the Homestead since 2003. He did not have a criminal record before the shooting.
The Homestead opened in 1766 and remains a popular resort in Bath County in the Allegheny highlands.