The Murder of Karen Swift – Investigative Report

Victim Name: Swift, Karen

DOD: 10/30/2011


On November 13, 2018, I received a copy of the victim’s autopsy and was asked for my opinion regarding the details of that report, which is as follows (I am not a medical expert and do not hold a license, certificate or degree that qualifies me as such. My opinion is founded solely upon probability):

The cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head, particularly the frontal and temporal lobes, which indicates that the victim was facing her attacker when she was struck (possibly slightly to the left). The attack was not premeditated but, rather, an act of extreme rage. The attacker approached the victim quickly, as indicated by the lack of defense wounds (e.g. fractures to hands and/or arms), and struck her with an item that was readily available (tire iron, ball bat, golf club). The victim fell, landing on her left side, causing her to have a remote fractured rib.


Specific details, pertaining to David Swift, are limited but are as follows:

  • He had just had surgery and was on crutches at the time of the victim’s death.
  • He was at home with their other daughter on the night in question.
  • The victim was at a Halloween party on the night in question but that she left early to pick up their daughter, who was not feeling well, and returned home with their daughter sometime between 1:30 and 1:45 AM and laid down with their daughter.
  • He called friends and neighbors the next morning when he and the children realized that the victim was not at home.
  • He called police to report his wife missing in the afternoon of October 30, 2018.


  • The last call/text from the victim’s phone was to a friend stating that she was not having fun and felt like a third wheel.
  • The victim was at the party with (omitted) and (omitted), who are husband and wife and whom the victim was reportedly involved with sexually (swingers).
  • The victim was, reportedly, wearing jeans and a jacket upon returning home from the party.
  • The victim’s Halloween costume was found inside the vehicle.
  • Prominent man was reportedly seen by three separate witnesses, with a metal detector, at the location where the body was found before the victim’s body was found there.



I confirmed the break in at The Farms Golf Club.


I obtained a statement from the young man who claimed to have overheard his friend “drunk talkin” about hitting the victim with his truck.  This lead was disregarded due to its improbability and unreliability.


I spoke with a close friend of the victim’s who states that the victim “confided” in her that she was involved in something she wasn’t proud of (for money).  This witness also confirms much of the rumors about the couple that the victim went to the party with.


I spoke with another close friend of the victim’s who, among other things, states that the victim told her that she’d had “risky pictures” taken with other girls.  This witness also notes several issues within the victim’s marriage and her uncertainty of the victim’s husband’s guilt or innocence.


I spoke with two witnesses who saw the “prominent man” with a metal detector at the location where the victim’s body was found (prior to the body being found).


I spoke with another witness who stated that he saw an “old man” walking around near the crime scene prior to the body being found and that he did not realize who it was until later when he saw a picture of him.   The witness claims that he tried to report it to the detectives but was dismissed and told he was dreaming (audio provided).


Employees of the Farms Country Club have given statements confirming the altercation between the prominent man’s daughter and the victim on the night in question.  However, they were told to deny it if anyone asked.

The victim had been in at least two altercations with other two women.


Though I will admit that none of this information “clears” the victim’s husband, I have to consider the fact that there are several factors that point to the “swinger couple” as well as the woman whom the victim got into the altercation with at the Halloween party. My conclusion is based on the following:


  • The altercation at the Farms with (omitted).
  • The fact that employees who witnessed the fight were told to deny it if asked.
  • The Farms being broken into two days after the Halloween party.
  • The fact that the security system was damaged and surveillance videos from the night of the Halloween party were stolen.
  • The fact that the victim was receiving money (and a pre-paid phone) from the couple.
  • The fact that the victim was at the Halloween party on the night she was murdered with the “swinger couple.”
  • The fact that the victim had admitted to a close friend that she had “gotten herself involved in something (for money) that she was not proud of”… and that the “swinger” couple were at the center of it.
  • The fact that three separate witnesses reported seeing the prominent man, with a metal detector, at the crime scene prior to the victim’s body being found.
  • The fact that the prominent man claimed to have lost a “watch” while jogging on Harness Road (when asked what he was doing) but that he lives on the other side of town.

The information that I have received from witnesses is circumstantial. However, it paints a very plausible picture of the events of October 29, 2011 and into the early morning hours of October 30, 2011. I believe the victim was propositioned by the “swinger couple” and that she was involved with them sexually (for money). It is also my belief that the victim received a burner phone from the them for the purpose of receiving phone calls if/when the victim has a job to do (an interested john). I believe that the purpose of the risky pictures was to send to potential johns and that, when the victim was “sneaking out” of the house she would park her car at various places (such as wal-mart) and the couple would pick her up and take her to meet the “john.” On the night of the Halloween party, where the victim had gone with the couple, I believe that they had found a john for the victim to meet that night. I believe that, before the victim left the party to pick up her sick daughter and take her home, she got into a confrontation with (omitted) regarding the victim’s relationship with her husband. It is unknown whether her husband was at the Halloween party (I have heard that he was not), but I believe that he could have been a customer of the victim’s and that is who she left the house to meet with that night. I believe that (omitted) may have somehow learned of this arrangement (possibly a tracker on his vehicle or followed him???) and showed up there. I believe that the confrontation that occurred between the victim and (omitted) continued and that (omitted) grabbed the closest object (a tire iron or golf club), ran up on the victim and swung it on her. The victim fell, landing on her left side, breaking her left rib. I believe that this is when the cover-up began. The prominent man was called in to help with that. Whether the prominent man was involved in dumping her body or the actual act of killing her is unknown. At some point, however, someone lost something at the location where the victim’s body was dumped. My guess is a piece of jewelry. Perhaps (omitted) threw her wedding ring? This lost item is what the prominent man was seen looking for with a metal detector. Furthermore, the perpetrators knew they would have to destroy the surveillance video from the night of the party so as to be certain that the murder would not lead back to them (the confrontation in the front of the building which would have been on those tapes).

Is it possible that David Swift snapped and killed his wife. Yes. It is. In considering this, I have to think about the fact that both the victim and Mr. Swift had done wrong in their marriage. However, in speaking to friends of the victim, it has been stated that the victim herself claimed to never have been physically harmed by Mr. Swift in nearly two decades despite that the victim had been behaving this way since moving to Dyersburg with her family. Despite Mr. Swift’s desperation to keep his marriage in tact, and his failed attempts to control her out of that desperation, I find it hard to believe that someone who had never put a hand on his wife suddenly snapped and bashed in her skull. While I am certain that jealousy was the motive for this brutal attack, I do not believe it was the jealousy of David Swift. Rather, I believe it was an enraged wife of a john who found out about his relationship with the victim (and that was most likely under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs on the night of the party).


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