Criminal logo

Murderer caught out by NASA scientist

Greatest Investigation in History

By SatzPublished 4 months ago 24 min read

Jennifer Myers Murder: Where Is Kevin Dowling Now?

The generally peaceful town of Spring Grove in Pennsylvania witnessed a horrific crime when 44-year-old Jennifer Myers was murdered inside her art gallery on October 20, 1997. During the investigation, the police realized that she was about to testify against someone accused of raping her in August 1996. Investigation Discovery’s ‘American Monster: The Wrong Man’ chronicles the shocking murder and follows the investigation that tried its best to get to the bottom of the matter. Let’s delve into the details surrounding the incident and find out more, shall we?

How Did Jennifer Myers Die?

A Spring Grove, Pennsylvania resident, Jennifer Myers, was just 44 at the time of her murder. People who knew her described her as a generous and kindhearted individual who never hesitated to extend a helping hand and loved to make new friends. Besides. Jennifer was quite popular in the community and earned a living as the Spring Grove-based art gallery owner. Incidentally, in August 1996, a little more than a year before her murder reports state that Jennifer went through the terrifying experience of being sexually assaulted and robbed.

However, instead of keeping it to herself, Jennifer decided to fight her abuser in court and was ready to testify against him. Yet, she passed away just two days before the scheduled testimony date. On October 20, 1997, people passing by Jennifer’s art gallery became concerned after hearing three loud bangs quickly. However, by the time witnesses reached the scene, she had already collapsed on the floor in a pool of her blood.

The police were immediately informed, and first responders declared the art gallery owner dead after reaching the spot. An initial medical examination did indicate bullet wounds, and an autopsy later determined that Jennifer was shot once in her chest, once in her left eye, and once in her left shoulder. The bullet wounds eventually led to her death; while the brutality of the crime shocked officers, the crime scene did not provide a lot of leads, to begin with.

Who Killed Jennifer Myers?

Since the crime scene did not reveal a lot of clues, the police found the initial investigation into Jennifer’s murder to be pretty challenging. They canvassed the area around her art gallery and even went door to door, hoping to find a witness, but to no avail. On the other hand, when officers interviewed Jennifer’s acquaintances, most mentioned that the art gallery owner was pretty amicable. Since no immediate suspects came to mind, they wondered why anyone would target her in such a shocking manner. Hence, with little to no progress on the case, detectives found themselves at square one.

Eventually, further investigation revealed that a man named Kevin Dowling was accused of robbing and sexually assaulting Jennifer. The police also learned that she was supposed to testify against him just two days after her murder. This made Kevin a person of interest in the homicide; authorities got further suspicious when a witness came forward and shared that she had seen him in the parking lot of the shopping complex where the art studio was located on the day of the murder.

The witness even stated that Kevin was in a hurry to leave and almost hit her with his car while exiting the parking area. Unfortunately, the woman who claimed to have seen him wasn’t sure of the exact time. Nevertheless, she provided a receipt from a nearby shop which put him right outside the timeframe of the crime. However, an officer soon reviewed the shop where the receipt came from and concluded that their billing machine was around 10 minutes slow.

When the police faced Kevin with the evidence, he denied his involvement in the murder and claimed to be away on a fishing trip. He even showed authorities a video of him fishing at the Muddy Run Lake, but officers soon realized that the timestamp on the video was fabricated. Meanwhile, another witness stated that she had seen an empty boat tied up on the side of the Muddy Run Lake, which wasn’t used when Jennifer was killed.

Moreover, the prosecution had other witnesses claim they had seen a man wearing a dark wig near the art studio on the day of Jennifer’s murder. Incidentally, Kevin had allegedly told a fellow prisoner that he was carrying one of his daughter’s wigs that day, making the case against him even more substantial. Finally, the police decided they had enough evidence and charged him with Jennifer’s murder.

Shadow of a Doubt” Forensic Files Program

This program was based on the murder case of Jennifer Lynn Myers, who was murdered in Spring Grove, York County, Pennsylvania on 20 October 1997.

I am Kevin Brian Dowling. I was the man falsely accused, convicted, and sentenced to death for this murder, and the related robbery case.

There was no defense presented at either the robbery trial in April 1998, or the murder trial in October / November 1998. I had corrupt and unethical York County Public Defenders, and then a court-appointed attorney who was previously a prosecutor in York County.

It is not surprising that the producers of this program never consulted me, anyone from my defense, or anyone else to hear the other side of the case.

What is surprising is the fact that they took the word of the prosecutors and police as to what was testified to at trial, rather than consult the trial transcripts, court filings, or police reports.

There were many false allegations in this program that are contradicted by official records. I will point out the major falsehoods.

The following is a list of the primary falsehoods stated on this program:

Allegation #1:

Kevin Dowling gave the police the videotape depicting himself at Muddy Run Lake while fishing, and said it was his alibi for the murder.


Allegation #2:

Kevin Dowling confessed to police that he left the lake, after they determined that portions of the videotape had altered timestamps.


Allegation #3:

They stated that it took 45 minutes to drive from Muddy Run Lake in Lancaster County to the murder scene in Spring Grove, York County.


Allegation #4:

They stated that several witnesses saw the murder suspect wearing a wig, running from the murder scene, wearing the flannel shirt and bluejeans that Dowling was wearing that day while fishing.


Allegation #5:

They used actors to depict a suspect wearing a flannel shirt and long black wig, firing a gun left-handed and stated that Kevin Dowling is left-handed. They showed an old photograph of Kevin Dowling holding a telephone in his left hand, to support this claim.


Allegation #6:

They detailed that the victim was shot to death with a .357 caliber revolver. They reported that police seized that exact weapon from the victim’s husband, Steve Myers, but ruled it out as the murder weapon.


Allegation #7:

They claimed that Steve Myers was verified to be at work, while the murder was being committed.


Allegation #8:

They claimed the “911” recording of Steve Myers was part of the evidence in the murder trial, and played some of it on this program.


Allegation #9:

They focused on the Muddy Run Fishing Video as the key evidence of guilt, and that Professor Boyle’s testimony was necessary to discredit its use by Kevin Dowling as an alibi for the murder.


Responses in the First Person

Allegation #1:

I did not give the police the “Muddy Run Fishing Video” nor did I or my defense counsel ever offer it as an alibi.

It is well documented in the State Police Reports and pre-trial as well as trial transcripts, that the police took the videotape and clothing from my house. I was at work from 10:00 P.M. until 6:30 A.M., on 21 October 1997, the day after the murder. Trial testimony verifies that State Police visited my home at 5:15 A.M. while I was at work. They used a cell phone to awake and startle my wife Joanne. They gained entrance to my home because my wife feared I had been hurt at work or in an accident.

They did not tell her of the murder investigation or that I was a suspect, until after they interrogated her as to my activities on the day of the murder. They learned of the fishing video, instructed her to play it on the VCR, and then told her they needed to take the video as well as the flannel shirt and ballcap laying on the couch. [4] The police reports and testimony clearly show that I made repeated requests for the return of the fishing videotape, and that the State Police dropped off an alleged copy of the original VHS-C tape, dubbed onto a VHS tape, to me on 28 October 1997, the day before my arrest. I never had occasion to verify what was on that tape. In August 1998, 8 months after my arrest, they manipulated my then 13-year-old daughter Kathleen into believing that she viewed that dubbed copy alone with me and supposedly made incriminating comments about it to her. That never happened, nor was there any time when Kathleen and I were alone in that 30 hours before my arrest.

At no time did I or my defense counsel offer the fishing video as my alibi. I told my attorney of my actual alibi the day after my arrest, 30 October 1997, at the prison. She refused to file my Notice of Alibi to the court, and concealed the witness interviews. After she presented no defense at my April 1998 robbery trial, ensuring my false conviction, she was replaced in June 1998 with Gerald Lord. In August 1998, he filed my Notice of Alibi stating I was at Adultworld in Harrisburg, at the time of the murder. Only my testimony was presented in my defense at the murder trial, but new evidence found supports my alibi and is being filed with my PCRA appeals.

Allegation #2:

I did not confess to police that I had left the lake. After my arrest on 29 October 1997, I never spoke to police again as advised by my attorneys.

I did testify in court that I had falsified 4 or 5 timestamps on the video, to conceal my sidetrip from my wife. I was concerned she might wonder why there was a four hour time gap in the video, since we had argued in the past about my frequenting these places. I did not commit the murder, and certainly would not expect to fool police with such an obvious discrepancy, since I had extensive experience in examining security video footage. This video was never intended for police to view. [5]

Allegation #3:

It does not take only 45 minutes to make that drive. This is not a trivial point, as explained in my response to the next allegation. The State Police report states that they determined the distance from Muddy Run Lake in Lancaster County to the murder scene in Spring Grove to be 40.1 miles, and a 63 minute drive. The route is primarily single lane country roads, and they testified they took the most direct route with their state police car.

Allegation #4:

There were many witnesses who contacted police after the murder was reported, and they posted a bulletin seeking anyone who saw the man with a black wig. After my arrest, they published exact details of clothing the police seized from my home. This prompted previous witnesses to add those details to what and who they claim they saw. Eight witnesses testified at trial to seeing the murder suspect near the scene at various times, either standing outside, walking in or out of the murder scene door, sitting in a parked car, or driving in a car. Only one of those witnesses, Sandra Sue Eller, falsely claimed she saw me there. Eller gave police 8 different statements, that kept adding details reported in the media, and she changed her testimony completely three times. She testified in December 1997, June 1998, and at trial in October 1998.

Scientific evidence proves that I could not be the man that she saw. The police and prosecutors knew that but misled the jury and the court. New evidence will be added to my appeals, that proves beyond any doubt, that Eller falsely identified me as the murder suspect. [6]

At trial, my defense did present the cash register receipt that police obtained, showing Eller made her purchase at Kennies Market at 10:50 A.M. This was about 300 feet from the murder scene. Her initial report stated that a man in a tan car almost hit her, as she was returning her cart to the front of the store. She looked right at him. She eventually added clothing, a black wig, and a dark car to her tale. She soon decided it was me. She soon reported seeing me again exiting the murder scene, from her vantage point near Rite Aid. She gave police that receipt as well. She had returned to the strip mall about 2 hours later after Kennies Market. She also reported seeing the suspect BEFORE she entered Kennies sitting in his car (10:00-10:35 A.M. ??)

The police and prosecutor knew this was a problem. I testified that I left Muddy Run Lake at 11:05 A.M. and drove to Harrisburg, arriving there at about 12:20 P.M. The prosecution witnesses verified I was still at Muddy Run Lake at about 11:00 A.M. In an effort to change the timeline, the prosecutor argued I left the lake at 10:45 A.M., since the last accurate timestamp was 10:44 A.M. instead of my time of leaving at 11:05 A.M.

Trooper Mowrey claimed his watch showed the Kennies Market receipt to be “20 minutes slow,” no evidence to support this. In closing, Assistant D.A. Kelley told the jury to ignore that receipt, because Eller was telling the truth. He suggested the Kennies Market register clocks were over 1 hour slow. Why? I did not drive to Spring Grove to commit the murder, but if you believed him, I could not have arrived there until about 11:50 A.M. or 12:05 P.M. with a 63 minute drive. [7] All evidence indicated the murder occurred at 12:57 P.M., when the shots were heard, and witnesses reported most of the suspect sightings.

Pre-trial testimony by Eller proved she saw the suspect at three times: (1) around 10:20 A.M. sitting in his car outside Kennies Market; (2) seconds after her 10:50 A.M. purchase at Kennies, when he almost hit her with his car, stopped, and she looked right at him; and, (3) at about 1:00 P.M. after she exited Rite Aid claiming she heard shots, and saw him exiting the murder scene. She testified she was “certain” it was the same man each time, and that it was me.

At trial, she had reduced her sightings to only one, when she exited Kennies Market and he almost hit her with his car.

At pre-trial, she testified to all the specifics of my clothing being worn by the suspect. At trial, she testified she could not remember clothing. This witness was coached and manipulated to commit perjury.

She saw the suspect at about 10:20 A.M. in his parked car (the police admitted I was just renting my boat then over 40 miles away). She saw the suspect again at 10:50 A.M. as he almost ran her over (the police admit I was just leaving the lake at that time, and I testified I left at 11:05 A.M.). She saw the suspect from a distance at 1:00 P.M. (I testified I was at Adultworld in Harrisburg from 12:20 to 1:35 P.M.). Even without proof of my alibi, though proof is available now, I could not have been the murder suspect based on Eller’s original testimony that she saw him twice at times that the police proved I was 40 miles away. [8] In summation, no witness testified to seeing the suspect running from the murder scene as alleged and depicted by the actor in this program. The following witnesses testified at trial to the suspect:

7:50 A.M. to 8:20 A.M.

Two school bus drivers, Karen Wood and Kim Able, were waiting in Kennies parking lot when they observed a man with long dark hair, driving a tan / brown car in circles until he parked on an angle in the last row facing the direction of the murder scene. They had told police and the defense investigator, that they believed this man was Howard Poteet. Poteet had committed numerous armed robberies in the area, fit the suspect description given by several other witnesses, and wore disguises. At trial, the prosecutor and judge prevented these witnesses from telling the jury about Poteet, as noted in a sidebar transcript. The jury thought these witnesses were prevented from identifying me, when it was Poteet.

10:00 A.M. to 10:35 A.M.

Sandra Sue Eller testified to seeing the suspect sitting in a tan car outside Kennies Market when she arrived to shop, but eliminated this from her trial testimony.

10:50 A.M.

Eller’s receipt shows her purchase at 10:50 A.M., and she testified at trial that the suspect almost hit her with his car, and she was sure it was me. [9]

12:50 P.M.

Cory Meckley exited his car and walked into Allstate Insurance office. This office was adjacent to Greyfox Gallery, where the murder occurred. Meckley said he saw a brown car parked on the side lot, the driver had long dark hair.

12:56 P.M.

Cindy Freet said she was driving by Greyfox Gallery on the service road, about 20 or 30 feet away. She saw a person with a long dark wig walking from the side lot, past the Allstate window, then stop and peer inside the gallery window. She drove away at that point.

12:57 P.M.

Based on the time he took an insurance payment from Cory Meckley on his computer, Robert Curlen said that he heard three loud bangs coming from the gallery. He was facing the window, and saw a head of long dark hair go by his window going from the direction of the gallery to the side lot. Meckley also heard the bangs, but was facing away from the window.

1:00 P.M.

Eller originally testified that she heard the shots after she exited Rite Aid at this time, and saw the suspect exiting the gallery, whom she claimed was me. At trial, she totally eliminated this third sighting. [10]

1:05 P.M.

Cory Meckley left the Allstate office, and said the brown car in the side lot was gone.

1:00 P.M. to 1:05 P.M.

Tammy Stremmel testified that she was waiting at the red light in front of that strip mall, and saw a small silver blue car pulling out of the strip mall with a male driver wearing a black wig and eyeglasses. This was the only witness whom the police had create a computer composite of the suspect. It was given to the jury by my attorney. It resembles Howard Poteet, and Poteet drove a small silver blue Ford Escort when he robbed local stores and and banks.

1:15 P.M.

Katherine Jones was delivering product to Kennies Market. She saw a man with long dark hair standing near the Greyfox Gallery.

As I said, only Eller falsely claimed I was the suspect. Eller claimed the suspect car was tan / brown at first but changed it to dark blue or black. She was guessing, it was one detail not reported in the media. At trial, she claimed not to remember clothing or car color. The jury was given photos of my car. It was a 1986 FORD LTD, 4 door, light powder blue, with a white vinyl roof.

The police had also verified that I was dropping my wife at work at 8:00 A.M. in Lancaster, when Wood and Able saw the suspect over 45 miles away.

Eller had originally created a computer composite of the suspect too, but the police destroyed it before trial. [11]

Allegation #5:

There was no known witnesses to the actual murder, so this program re-enacted what the theory was. The police and prosecutor NEVER alleged that I was left-handed, and admitted I am right-handed at trial. It is documented on my arrest report, and my permits to carry a handgun. I had no criminal record and I was a respected manager and investigator for 20 years.

The victim in this murder, Jennifer Myers, had been robbed on 5 August 1996 at gunpoint. She reported the suspect held his gun in his LEFT hand, dropped the gun, and picked it up in his LEFT hand again. He also told her he just got out of prison and did not want to go back. When I was arrested on 4 December 1996 and falsely accused of this robbery, they learned that I am RIGHT handed.

On 20 October 1997, Jennifer Myers was murdered. They called Detective Art Smith to the scene, and he gave them the victim’s summary, listing a LEFT handed robber.

On 21 October 1997, when the State Police took my clothing from my house, I believe they intentionally planted GUNSHOT RESIDUE (GSR) on the left side of my clothing, believing I am LEFT handed. This would explain the very few particles found as well. Trooper Mowrey did admit at pre-trial that he was not wearing gloves when he took my ballcap and flannel shirt from my wife at 5:30 A.M. but claimed falsely that he was wearing gloves when he took my bluejeans and sneakers from me at around 10:00 A.M.

Almost a year after my arrest in this murder, the prosecutor hired the R.J. Lee Group lab to come up with an excuse to explain the absence of GSR on my RIGHT side. This botched issue is explained in another report. [12]

This television program was made in 2003, nearly 5 years after the murder trial. Obviously, prosecutor Kelley (now a county judge) did not want them to know these facts, so he told the producer I was LEFT handed, to tie in with the GSR on the left side of my clothing, and supplied them with an old photo of me, that my estranged ex-wife gave them. It depicts me holding a phone in my LEFT hand, as proof I am LEFT handed. Of course, everyone knows that you hold a phone in the opposite hand, so you can write. This was beyond idiotic.

Allegation #6:

Trial testimony by Corporal James Rottmund reported that the victim was shot 3 times with a .357 caliber revolver, Smith & Wesson model. He testified that one of the bullets recovered from the scene (unmutilated) showed 5 lands and grooves, with a right twist, the known signature of that model. He also testified that the victim’s husband, owned that exact model, that they recovered it from his brother Lonnie Myers 17 days after the murder, and that he test fired it. Bullets from his gun were matched to the murder bullet. On defense cross-examination, he admitted “he could not rule it out as the murder weapon.” On prosecution re-direct, he contradicted his own testimony and lab reports, and said “he does not believe it is the murder weapon.” Objections by my attorney were overruled by Judge Dorney. The jury just ignored this evidence.

Allegation #7:

Steve Myers was not verified at work during the time of the murder. By his own testimony, he worked at a local defense contractor, located less than 10 minutes from the scene. The police spoke to his supervisor, but never obtained any proof. Steve Myers could have easily slipped out of work, committed the murder, and returned in less than 20 minutes. Even his time card showing his shift from 5:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. is not proof he was there. They had over 1,000 employees even in 1997. [13]

Steve Myers testified that he left work at 3:00 P.M., and arrived at the gallery less than 10 minutes later. He found his wife, and called “911.” When police arrived, they directed him outside. The police noted that his truck and his wife’s car were in back, and unlocked. Yet, they never searched them, nor did they examine them forensically. They never searched Steve Myers’ person, never tested his hands for gunshot residue, and let him leave the scene.

They found a pair of NASCAR sunglasses next to the victim, and it took several days for Steve Myers to admit they were his, claiming he layed them down when he arrived. The police never tested these sunglasses for presence of GSR or other evidence.

Allegation #8:

The “911” recording was never played for the jury, nor did I ever hear them. There were actually 2 calls, first by Steve Myers at 3:08 P.M. and then by the Ambulance Crew at 3:13 P.M., reporting the victim deceased.

Only a small part was played on this TV program, but the tape might have important evidentiary value. Based on the crime scene diagram, and the photos and video created by the State Police--the victim’s body would have been visible on the floor to the side of the counter, by anyone walking in the front door.

Steve Myers initially told police that he walked in the front door, saw his wife on the floor, and called “911.” He reported his wife was shot to death. By trial, he had changed his story. He said he had walked in the front door, did not see his wife, looked for her in the back room, returned to the front room, glanced to his left, and saw his wife on the floor. He also claimed he told “911,” to please help his wife, please save her. Either he was coached by police to change his story since I was on trial, or Myers decided this himself. Those recordings might impeach his testimony. [14]

What the prosecutor and police did not tell FORENSIC FILES, is that there were two “911” calls reporting the robbery on 5 August 1996. They were never used at that trial either. My corrupt public defender did subpoena them, but never presented them or let me hear them, because no defense was presented. In 2001, the police told Attorney Arcuri that they destroyed these recordings, despite their duty to preserve. That same year, I obtained two boxes of Discovery hidden in the courthouse. One page was the receipt of those two “911” calls. Gary Altland had the Animal Hospital call at 11:08 A.M. and the victim Jennifer Myers called at 11:15 A.M. The receipt noted a robbery but no attempted sexual assault, that “she might know the suspect” and did not want police or her husband called.

Allegation #9:

There was no reason for the testimony of Professor Boyle. The prosecution knew that I was going to testify that I left the lake at 11:05 A.M, went to Harrisburg, and arrived back at the lake around 3:00 P.M.

They wanted the jury to believe that I created this video as a falsified alibi for murder, and hope they believed I did not go to Harrisburg. I never offered the video as my alibi, nor did my attorneys file it as my alibi. The jury was awed by Professor Boyles credentials and his work for NASA.

I even testified that the 4 or 5 clips between 10:44 and 3:05 had wrong time stamps, and were actually filmed when I returned from Harrisburg at 3:00 P.M. Even so, Professor Boyle placed me at the lake at 10:44 A.M., when Eller was getting nearly hit by the suspect at 10:50 A.M., 40.1 miles and 63 minute drive away.

Where Is Kevin Dowling Now?

Before appearing in court for the homicide charge, Kevin was tried for the August 1996 attack and convicted of a count each of criminal attempt to commit rape, indecent assault, and robbery. As a result, he was sentenced to 9 to 18 years in 1997. When Kevin was eventually produced in court on murder charges, he pled not guilty and sought a jury trial. Nevertheless, the jury convicted him of first-degree murder, and the judge sentenced him to death in 1998. Although Kevin remained behind bars since then, he kept insisting on his innocence and was determined to get his conviction overturned.

Eventually, in February 2022, a court accepted Kevin’s petition and ruled that his attorneys did not provide proper assistance during his murder case. The court further ruled that the prosecution failed to point out information that could have allowed him to walk free, and thus, he was offered a new trial. Reports in March claimed that Kevin was being held at the SCI Phoenix in Skippack Township, Pennsylvania, but prison records show that he has since been released and is awaiting his second trial.

juryinvestigationhow tocapital punishment

About the Creator


Tragedic Interesting Stories

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.