Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 1, 2011

Life without parole and nothing to lose

Many believe Brown’s claims of a killing spree

Kokomo — Pieces of Ginger Gasaway’s body were discarded in three counties.

It was Joseph W. Brown’s way of hiding the evidence of his crime, murdering the woman he formerly called a lover.

The crime still haunts investigators who crossed Brown’s path. One journalist described him as “a force of evil.” Now investigators say that force fell upon Charles Miller. Police say Brown strangled and killed the former Howard County resident in a cell at the Miami Correctional Facility at Bunker Hill.

Ginger Gasaway broke up with Brown 11 summers ago.

The punishment for that, in Brown’s mind, was death.

A cruel, humiliating death.

Brown talked his way into her apartment Aug. 29, 2000.

“Gasaway was sorry for dating her ex-husband and knew she was going to die,” said Maureen Hayden, a newspaper reporter Brown sought out after his murder conviction in 2001.

“Gasaway even cried a little during sex, knowing that her punishment for betrayal was coming.”

After strangling Gasaway with a shoe lace, Brown headed to a nearby Home Depot in Evansville to buy an electric saw. He unsuccessfully tried to dismember his victim’s body, so he returned to the hardware store looking for advice, according to court records from Brown’s murder conviction.

This time, he was covered in blood. He told the clerk he was trying to cut up a deer and the saw he bought wasn’t cutting it. With a new blade in hand, Brown returned to Gasaway’s apartment to finish his work.

The job turned out to be harder than he expected, so Brown made himself bacon, toast and coffee before going about the work of scattering pieces of Gasaway’s body in Posey, Gibson and Warrick counties.

It’s the stuff of Hayden’s nightmares and the novel “Blood Trails” written by Rick Reed, an Evansville Police Department investigator in Gasaway’s murder.

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