The bludgeoning death of Betty Sue Short is slated to premiere on ID's Murder in My House on Tuesday (Image via The Cinemaholic)

5 chilling details about Betty Sue Short's murder

The chilling crime scene at Betty Sue Short's Kingsport, Tennessee house, which was discovered by her son Scott on October 16, 2011, triggered an investigation that helped authorities solve another similar killing that occurred about a year ago. Short was reportedly found beaten to death, seated on the couch with her face covered in a sheet.

The family's long-time friend Jonathan Slemp was simulatneously placed at the crime scene on the night of the murder by multiple witnesses and was later convicted of murder. Investigators believed that a drug-related arrangement between Slemp and Short played a part in the former's motive to murder the 65-year-old woman.


ID's Murder in My House premieres this Tuesday, March 28, with Betty Sue Short's case. The upcoming episode, No Remorse, will air on the channel at 9:00 pm ET, whose synopsis reads:

"Police discover Betty Sue Short murdered in her own home; the killer has turned the air conditioning down low to preserve the body, and there's no trace of a murder weapon; the scene shares similarities with a recent killing in the community."

Betty Sue Short's murder: Five quick facts to know about the bludgeoning death in Kingsport, Tennessee


1) Short's son was the first to find the disturbing crime scene

Trial testimony in Blountville: Kingsport man calls 911. He found his mother, Betty Sue Short, and someone had “beaten her brains out.”

Betty Sue Short, 65, resided with her son Scott in her Barnett Drive apartment at the time of the incident. The latter had recently been released from prison and was living with his mother, but was spending the night of October 15, 2011, with his girlfriend. The next morning, he returned home and first found the gruesome crime scene at their house.

2) Betty Sue Short died of blunt force trauma to the right side of her head

Betty Sue Short was a divorced mother-of-two, who was bludgeoned to death in October 2011 (Image via SpikyTV)

On October 15, Short was brutally bludgeoned to death in her apartment. The next day, her body was discovered seated on the couch with a sheet covering her terribly battered face and head. The cause of her death was determined to be from blunt force trauma to the right side of her head.

Detectives at the time came to the conclusion that Short knew her killer because there was no indication of a forced entry. Moreover, everything else seemed to be in its place, except for a toolbox containing three guns that were reported missing from Scott's bedroom. The killer had also lowered the thermostat settings to delay the body's decomposition.

3) Authorities placed Jonathan Slemp at Short's house on the night she was killed

MORE: Slemp was arrested by Kingsport police last Feburary for the 2011 murder of Betty Sue Short, 65.

Using witness statements, authorities were able to place Jonathan Slemp, a long-time friend of the Short family, at the crime scene on the night of the murder. Witnesses also stated that he would visit the 65-year-old frequently. When confronted with this information, Slemp told authorities that he had an arrangement with the victim.

The arrangement between Jonathan Slemp and Betty Sue Short was a drug-related deal - the former would supply the 65-year-old with powerful painkillers called Percocets, and she would, in exchange, give him Valium.

4) Slemp admitted to being present Betty Sue Short's house that night

Jonathan Slemp died while serving time in prison and his cause of death remains unknown to date (Image via Tennessee Department of Corrections)

Jonathan Slemp admitted to being present at Short's house in exchange for drugs on the night she was murdered. However, he claimed that he left her apartment after 15 minutes and returned to his house, which he shared with his ex-wife, by 9:15 pm that night. But a witness from his house alleged that he only returned home after 10:30 that night.


Reports state that Slemp also had a gun in his possession that matched the description of one of those missing from the crime scene. He also carried a plastic bag similar to the ones Short used.

5) Jonathan Slemp was convicted in Short's murder and pleaded guilty to another killing

MORE: Jonathan Lynn Slemp, 43, booked for first-degree murder for the stabbing death of Gary Jones in Nov. 2013.

44-year-old Jonathan Slemp was convicted in September 2015 of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and particularly aggravated theft for fatally beating Betty Sue Short and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Slemp later pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the stabbing killing of Gary Jones in 2010.

Edited by
Abhipsa Choudhury
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