Inside Investigations: The Dennis Scoles Case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – So many families in Kentuckiana are part of an unfortunate fraternity: loved ones left waiting years -- often with no immediate answer -- to find out who killed a member of their family. Law enforcement agencies answered the call by the WHAS 11 News i-Team to re-examine cold case homicide investigations in the hopes of sparking someone's memory or their conscience to break their silence about what they know.
For the family of Dennis Scoles, he was the heartbeat of the people who knew him best: brother Bob, sister Sarah, and Mother Dianne.
"I've thought more than once that, in this situation, I'm blessed that I was Dennis's mother; as hard as his death was, because I don't have to be his murderer's mother and I can't imagine what that must be like," Dianne Scoles said from her southern Indiana living room.
It's been three years since the questions started. Who killed Dennis Scoles? Why?
It's been 3 years and still no answers.
"We want whoever did this to pay for what they did,” Scoles’s sister, Sarah Logsdon said, "Not just because he's my brother, but who do you think you are that you can just take someone's life and get away with it?"
In April 2014, a roommate found Dennis's body on the doorstep of their Highlands home in the 700 block of Rubel Avenue.
Next to Dennis's lifeless body was the groceries he had just gone to pick up.
"This was an area where we haven't had a ton of violent crime," Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Nick Owen told the i-Team. Owen had been Detective Owen at the time, and was the lead investigator on the Scoles case. He knew two things: Scoles died of a single gunshot wound and he died at his front door.
"He was on his front porch and it appears that he was getting ready to enter his home and unfortunately never made it inside," Owen said.
The detective tried to find the killer by learning more about his victim. But Owen could not find anyone who wanted to do Scoles harm.
"A lot of really, really close friends, a lot of people were touched by this and a lot of them kind of reached out to me to tell me that." Owen added, "I haven't found anybody to say anything bad about him and I've talked to a lot of people."
"Dennis is just the best person I've ever met ever; in every way, in every capacity, he just exemplified what everyone would want to be if they could," Logsdon said.
To Dennis, his family was everything.
"When we were together as siblings, brothers and sister, we would just cut up, goof off, tell jokes," Scoles's brother Bob said.
Dennis was great at making people laugh, even if it meant causing a minor scare.
"The most scared I've ever been in my life is the time when he jumped out from behind the bed and freaked me out," Bob said.
"I remember the scream!" Logsdon jumped in, laughing.
"It was unbelievable."
Standing tall at 6-foot-4-inches tall, to the children Dennis was a big man with an even bigger heart.
"When it got to the point when I had kids, he was an awesome amazing uncle; he would just come over and let the kids just climb all over him," Bob recalled, "He would just wrestle with them, play with them, take them out for ice cream." he paused, "I could have never imagined a better brother than what I had in Dennis."
Dennis's mother keeps a bookshelf honoring her son. At the top is a pencil drawing done by one of his co-workers which was presented to the family at the funeral.
"He was good looking too wasn't he?" Dianne Scoles said with a mother's love.
Dennis was an art major at the University of Louisville. His love of fashion included several stylish hats which his mother keeps on the wall of a room in her home.
"As I come across photos of him wearing the different hats, I put the photos on the wall too."
The growing memories for his family are paralleled by the unanswered questions surrounding his murder.
From the beginning, police had very little physical evidence. They are hoping by featuring Dennis's story publicly as one of many cold case investigations on the books, someone will come forward and give them information.
Louisville Metro Police homicide detectives classify an open investigation as a cold case if there has been no clearance, or arrest, in the case after 2 years.
"You're just waiting on that one interview that breaks it open, and that just hasn't happened yet," Owen said of the case he still thinks about to this day.
Dianne Scoles told the i-Team she imagined what she would say to her son's killer if that time ever came.
"There were a lot of questions that I had like, 'What were my son's last words? Did he see you before you shot him to death?'"
Dennis's brother is hoping the person can see the pain left behind.
"I want them to just face up to what they've done and see me looking them in the eyes and my family looking them in the eyes and all of Dennis's friends looking them in the eyes and just saying, 'How could you have done that to such a kind and loving person,' and just to have to come to that moment, I think it'll be worth it."
Logsdon wants the killer to feel every heartache.
"I hope they can't sleep at night, I hope they can't eat. I hope their life is literally tortured because of what they did to him," she said.
In the meantime, the Scoles family said it will depend on its faith and wait for the wheels of justice to turn in its favor.
If you have information on the Dennis Scoles murder or any murder case being investigated by Louisville Metro Police, you can contact the department anonymously by calling the tip line at 502-574-LMPD (5673)
Have a tip or story idea for the WHAS 11 news i-Team or a cold case that should be featured? i-Team Investigator Derrick Rose can be reached at 502-582-7232 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @WHAS11DRose.