Fairmont, W.Va. - "Start with drive to trailhead and how you arrived at this decision.
"The decision to make a trek is not made, it is given. I guess that does not make it a decision because you have no choice. It is an order that you just have to execute. Execution is a proper term to use for the trek for it seems they invariably end in death. Death of a body or a 'soul' or both. My end has yet to be determined."
- Letter written by Roy Plummer and found by Kathy Plummer after his suicide
On Jan. 16, 2008, six days before Roy Plummer died, he and Kathy Plummer got into a huge argument because he didn't show up when he was supposed to. Roy left the house and moved into a motel in Clarksburg.
At 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, Kathy called Roy and asked if he was coming home.
Roy said he wasn't.
"Guys, I know that I told you before that I would never abandon you again," Roy said over a speakerphone to Kathy's two children. "It's not your mom's fault. I lied to her so many times, I can't remember."
Two hours later Roy Plummer robbed his last bank.
'Ladies, give me all your money'
Plummer walked into the Dollar Bank on Oak Springs Road in South Strabane, Pa., at about 7 p.m. He approached teller Theresa Killinger with a scarf covering the bottom half of his face, according to the police report. He held a gun in his hand.
"Ladies, give me all your money. Hurry up, give me all your money," he said, according to the police report. "Don't give me your bait. Don't pull it. Turn around if you are not going to help."
Plummer turned to another teller and said, "I don't want your change, and lay down."
He left the store with about $7,000. A bank employee ran to lock the front door and caught a last glimpse of Plummer next to his silver Nissan Altima.
When South Strabane police arrived, they called the force's only full-time detective, John Bruner.
The bank tellers told Bruner the robber had "Mountaineer" written on his tan hat, "Quest" stitched on his jacket, and that there was a dent in the front right fender of his car.
Generally when South Strabane police do media releases, they send the information out to just the Pittsburgh and Washington County, Pa., area, Bruner said.
"I spoke with the FBI, and they thought this gentleman was well-versed in robbing banks, that he might have some experience with this," Bruner said. "It was based on his demeanor during the robbery and his ability to rob multiple tellers. ... This one had a different flavor to it."
Bruner decided to send images of the robbery to television stations in Wheeling, Morgantown and Bridgeport, W.Va.
'I just figured it out'
At WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, Sarah Kapis, a native of Washington County, took an interest in the bank robbery story. She decided to run the story on Monday, Bruner said.
When Kathy Plummer turned on her television at noon on Monday, Jan. 21, the footage had been playing all weekend.
"They showed a picture of [Roy] wearing a jacket I gave him for Christmas. It was a hiking jacket. And I noticed the hat he was wearing," Kathy said.
She hit record on her DVR. "I kept watching it over and over, putting it on pause," she said. "I called him and said, 'Roy you need to come home. There has been a family emergency.'"
When Roy got there, Kathy confronted him.
"You know you lied to me so many times before. But I just figured it out," she said to him. "Where were you Friday at 7?"
Unable to lie his way out, he looked like a deer caught in headlights, Kathy said. He started to reach into his coat for a gun but didn't pull it out.
"I didn't see him as a friend or lover anymore," she said. "I saw him as a criminal."
They went into the house. Roy methodically closed the door and locked it, then asked where the boys were.
Kathy said they were asleep.
"Are there FBI agents?" he asked.
"Nope, just me, you, the boys and the dogs," she said.
Kathy showed him the robbery video from the DVR.
"Is this you?" she asked.
Roy dropped to his knees and crawled to Kathy's chair.
"That's me, Kathy Lee," Roy said, clutching her legs.
"Were there more?" she asked.
"A lot more, a lot more," he said.
Both of them started to cry.
'I'm going to be
the one to call'
Roy left the house and apparently drove straight to his Morgantown therapist.
One of Kathy's sons came downstairs and saw the frozen image of Roy robbing a bank on the television. Kathy said he quickly realized who it was and picked up the phone to call police.
She grabbed the phone away from him.
"I'm going to be the one to call, not you," she said.
The reality of what had just transpired began to sink in.
"It was like being at the beach and being hit by a wave," she said.
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