When Edward Campbell's wife came home from work the night of September 19, 2014, her house was a wreck and Campbell was fuming. According to an affidavit she filed in a Brazoria County court in October, Campbell had spent the entire day emptying out the cupboards, closets and drawers inside their Alvin, Texas, home instead of shuttling their three young kids to and from school. When Campbell's wife started to grab her things to leave, he shoved her to the couch, choked her and dragged her to the bedroom.
With their three children -- ages five, seven and nine -- still in the house, Campbell held a gun to his wife's head and told her to say good-bye to her kids, according to the affidavit, threatening to kill her in front of the children. After striking her with a piece of wood, Campbell asked her: Would you rather be shot or beaten to death?
When Campbell eventually dozed off, his wife escaped, drove to the parking lot of a nearby elementary school and called the police, according to court records. Campbell, 54, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but he bonded out December 8, weeks before he embarked on what authorities have called a multi-state crime spree that left an elderly North Carolina couple dead and ended with a New Year's Day shootout that put two West Virginia police officers in the hospital.
Police allege that last Thursday morning, Campbell and his 21-year-old son, Eric Campbell, broke into the Oxford, North Carolina, home of Jerome Faulkner, a 73-year-old retired firefighter, and his wife, Dora Faulkner, a 62-year-old nurse. Authorities claim Campbell and his son kidnapped the couple, set their house ablaze and stole a Chevy Suburban. The house ultimately burned to the ground.
Later that day, local police tagged the stolen SUV as Eric Campbell drove through Lewisburg, West Virginia, on Interstate 64. When police pulled him over, Edward Campbell, driving a stolen Chevy pickup truck, pulled up ahead of the Suburban on the side of the road, according to a criminal complaint filed in a Greenbriar County magistrate court. "When the officers were speaking with Eric Campbell, Edward Campbell walked up along the opposite side of the Suburban and began firing a 38 caliber revolver at the officers," the complaint states. Bullets hit one officer in the chest and neck. A bullet grazed the other officer's head, while another round struck him in the back. Edward Campbell was shot in the leg during the shootout while Eric ran to the pickup truck and took off down the highway.
About a half-mile down the road, Eric Campbell pulled the truck into a steep wooded median and attempted to flee on foot but was captured by police. Officers eventually found two dead bodies under a mattress in the bed of the pickup truck, "apparent homicide victims," according to court records. Brindell B. Wilkins Jr., the sheriff in Granville County, North Carolina, told reporters the bodies were those of Jerome and Dora Faulkner, although it's still unclear why the two were targeted and when and how they were killed.
Eric Campbell is currently being held in a West Virginia jail, charged with attempted murder and malicious assault on a public servant. His father, who was taken to a hospital after the shootout with officers, had yet to appear before a magistrate as of early Tuesday morning.
Court, police and state nursing board records for Edward Campbell paint the picture of an addict with a violent past. One of Campbell's ex-wives, Chrystal Daugherty, says she was married to Campbell for just one year in the mid 1980s. She told North Carolina TV station WRAL that Campbell changed after he became a registered nurse and started stealing morphine and valium from work. "His behavior got really bizarre, and he was naked on the couch with a little rubber band thingy around his leg, and he had a syringe sticking out of his leg," she told the station. Daugherty says that one day in 1985, she told Campbell she was going to call the cops because of his drug use. He was gone the next day, and they never spoke after that, eventually finalizing their divorce through a mediator.
In 2001, Campbell was charged and convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend in Katy, Texas. According to police records, the girlfriend told officers that Campbell called her numerous times while she was at work on April 15, 2001, insisting she was cheating on him and calling her "a bitch, a slut and a cunt." When the girlfriend told Campbell she was at work and couldn't talk, he insisted "the reason that she did not want to talk to him was because she was fucking someone at work," according to a police report.
When the girlfriend returned home, Campbell exploded, grabbing her by the hair and throwing her onto the bed. Campbell punched her and slammed her head against a bedrail before prying her legs open to punch her in the groin. The woman's daughter claimed Campbell then called her, threatening to blow up her house.
The Harris County DA's office would only accept charges of misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor terroristic threat, according to police and court records. Five months after the attack, Campbell pleaded no contest to the assault charge, the terroristic threat charge was dropped, and a judge sentenced him to six months probation and a $200 fine.
One incident in the summer of 2006 shows how serious Campbell's penchant for narcotic pain meds had become. On August 1, 2006, a Manvel, Texas police officer was dispatched to a local Burger King a half-hour after midnight when an employee closing up shop called to say there was a strange man sitting out in his car in the parking lot with the lights on.
An officer found Campbell slumped forward in the driver's seat of his blue Toyota Camry, with the car still running, according to court records. Campbell, still wearing his medical scrubs, told the officer he'd pulled over on his way home from work at the Kelsey Seybold Clinic because he was too tired to drive. Suspecting Campbell was high on something, the officer asked him to step out of the car. When the door opened, the officer spotted a syringe with what appeared to be blood on it. The cop asked why Campbell had an open syringe in the car; Campbell insisted it was from a blood draw on a patient earlier that day.
"I asked if he always carried used syringes home and he said that he did not usually," the officer wrote in an offense report. While searching the car, the officer picked up a blue lab coat and heard glass clanking in the pockets. Police ultimately seized 70 empty vials of Demerol, 16 vials of Midazolam and two syringes -- Campbell insisted he made collages out of the vials, and that other nurses at work saved vials for him to take home.
The following spring, Campbell pleaded guilty to third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance in a Brazoria County court and was sentenced to five years probation. Around this time, the Texas Board of Nursing opened an investigation into Campbell as hydrocodone, morphine and ativan (among other drugs) continued to disappear from hospitals at which Campbell worked. Nursing board records detail how, in December 2006, coworkers of Campbell's at Cypress Fairbanks Hospital would see him, while on shift, walk out of the restroom after a long stretch of time "looking pale and diaphoretic" with "slurred speech." When Campbell failed to show to a nursing board hearing on August 18, 2009, the board revoked his license.
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According to Brazoria County divorce court records, Campbell married his most recent wife months before he was arrested outside the Manvel Burger King in the summer of 2006. Soon after the two married, the relationship began to deteriorate due to Campbell's addiction to prescription meds, according to an affidavit the wife filed in October seeking a restraining order against Campbell. "At one time he was a licensed nurse and had a good job, but due to the addiction problem, he lost his license and has not worked since that time," she states.
In the months leading up to him beating, choking and threatening to kill his wife in front of their kids on September 19, 2014, Campbell had grown increasingly paranoid and hostile, his wife says in the affidavit. "He stays angry all of the time and constantly blames me for all of his problems and has accused me of having an affair when it is not true," she states.
After beating his wife "all night long," Campbell decided he wanted to go to his wife's office at M.D. Anderson to look through her work computer for evidence of an affair. So he dragged her to a shed behind the house, tied her to a chair and slung a noose around her neck. Campbell tossed the other end of the rope over a rafter and tied it to a weight, rigging it so that if she moved the weight would fall and she would be strangled to death, according to court records. When Campbell got back home, he beat her until he fell asleep. "He had the gun pointed at me most of the time," Campbell's wife states in her affidavit.
The wife escaped, and soon thereafter filed for divorce in Brazoria County. In her affidavit, she says, "I am extremely frightened of my husband and do not want him coming around me or the children."