THE BOURBON TRAIL KILLINGS (Bardstown Kentucky’s Unsolved Murders)

BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY (population <12,000)


Jason Ellis was the Bardstown Police Department’s K9 officer and had been on the force for nearly seven years. On May 25, 2013, Ellis was driving on the Bluegrass Parkway in his cruiser when he noticed some brush in the road. When he pulled the vehicle over to clear it, he was ambushed. The murderer(s) shot Ellis several times in what some might describe as “sniper” fashion.


Kathy Netherland was a teacher at Bardstown elementary, where she taught special education; and her daughter, Samantha Netherland, was a sophomore at Bardstown High School. On April 22, 2014, Kentucky State Police entered the home to discover that Kathy had been shot multiple times, Samantha had been beat to death and both of their throats had been slashed.

Cyrstal Rogers disappeared on July 3, 2015. Her car was discovered on the Bluegrass Parkway. Crystal’s boyfriend and father of her youngest child, Brooks Houck, claimed that she was “playing video games” that night when he went to bed. It had been reported that the two of them had visited Houck’s mother’s farm with their son. Many believe she was killed on the farm. Her body has never been found.

Tommy Ballard was Crystal Rogers’ father and he had dedicated every day of his life to finding his daughter… until November 19, 2016 when he was shot and killed. Like Ellis… the shooting was done in a “sniper” styled fashion. Ballard, who was hunting with his son and grandsons that day, lived long enough to say “they shot me in the back” before taking his last breath (the bullet entered through his chest and exited through his back but he had only felt the exit). His killers, like the others, are still at large.