CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Roy Plummer committed at least 14 armed robberies before being caught by the FBI. He spent more than eight years in prison for his crimes.
When Kathy married Roy in October 2000, she believed he had been wrongly imprisoned and this was her chance at happiness. Little did she know her husband would resume his life of crime and continue on a path that would lead to his violent end ...
"Always trying to look good financially. Working hard. - appointments."
"Be honest. Don't always try to look good to everyone."
"Have no regrets. Be sorry for nothing you may have done. To change the past endangers the future, in fact or in thought. It's life. Wake up and smell the thorns.
"Never worry about me. Fifty years went by in the blink of an eye. It was wasted so much, but there are a few fond memories to take with me. Have no regrets and cherish your life."
- Notes found by police in Roy Plummer's car after his suicide.
On a sunny July day in 2006, Kathy Plummer was on a road to hell.
Roy Plummer, drunk and enraged, was driving his ex-wife through Wetzel County.
They had planned to go hiking that day. As she got ready, Kathy asked Roy if there was any way she could be included on his dental plan.
He told her he didn't have a dental plan anymore because he no longer worked at InfoCision, a call center in Clarksburg. He said he was fired over a month ago.
"I really became angry. Things went haywire," Kathy said. "It was all the lies again."
At the start of their marriage, Kathy said she wanted to make every moment special for her husband because of the time he spent in prison.
"I grieved for him," she said. "Think about someone you love dearly being in a prison cell for something they didn't commit."
But soon, he was disappearing for 10 or 12 hours at a time. Kathy suspected he was having an affair. The couple got a divorce in 2005, though still lived together as husband and wife. Roy told her the divorce was for financial reasons.
Roy was very difficult when it came to money. When they were first married, he didn't contribute financially, though he was working. Later, he insisted that Kathy give him a portion of her paycheck.
"I didn't want another failed marriage," she said. "I didn't want another abandonment.... I loved him, but I hated him for his lies."
Immoral but not illegal
When Roy admitted he no longer worked at InfoCision, Kathy ran out to search his car to find out where he had been going for hours each day. Inside she found a bag containing a sweatshirt, bandana, gloves and sunglasses.
"I didn't have a chance to go through the rest of the car. I was a little bit scared, thinking, 'What the hell is this,'" she said.
Kathy said it didn't occur to her that her husband might be robbing banks. She still believed that he had been wrongly imprisoned for robbing banks in the 1980s.
"I could see him doing something maybe immoral because he was good looking, but not illegal," Kathy said.
Kathy brought the bag into the house, where Roy was waiting for a confrontation.
He said he used the gear for hiking, and then threw the bag down the steps.
"Are you ready to go for the goddamn drive or not?" he said.
With Roy behind the wheel and drinking, they headed west.
"He's telling me about how it was so humiliating for him to tell me he lost his job," she said. "He was enraged by it."
Roy drove along a small country road in Wetzel County, looking for cell phone reception. When he found a spot, he told Kathy to call her boys. Kathy tried to grab the keys to the car. Roy hit her in the face.
"He told me to tell them goodbye," Kathy said. "He snapped. He was a totally different man. He was grabbing the steering wheel, grabbing his head, screaming, 'The pain, the pain.' He kept beating himself in the head."
Kathy called her two kids and assured them they had just gone for a ride and that everything would be OK. When she hung up the phone, Roy led her to the back of the car.
"There was a rifle in the trunk," she said. "It was my son's. I bought it for hunting."
Kathy told Roy if he killed her police could trace it back to him, either through the cell phone or because of receipts she had thrown out the car window.
"Then he started stomping around," she said. "He was losing his mind."
Roy told Kathy to get back in the car. He put the rifle away and starting driving back to Bridgeport.
"I just sat there very quiet. He's driving like a maniac," she said.
Later that evening, Roy left and stayed away for months. He showed up on Oct. 13 - six years to the day since they were married.
'It's easy to fool people'
Roy Plummer loved his job at InfoCision. Losing it crushed him, said his friend Mike Davis, a fellow supervisor at the center.
"I always thought [he] was much better at the job than I was," Davis said. "As far as the numbers went, I was the people motivator type. He was the number cruncher."
After he lost his job, he occasionally stopped at Davis' house to talk.
"It was just like night and day, the way he changed. He just had no self respect anymore," Davis said. "You could just hear in his voice that he was messed up over it all."
Plummer told Davis he started working for a company that sold cleaning supplies to schools all over West Virginia.
One day Plummer took Davis to a burger joint in Fairmont.
"He looked right at me," Davis recalled. "He said, 'Let me tell you something Mike, you're a good friend of mine. A lot of people are not who you think they are. It's easy to fool people.' "
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