Murder In The Heartland on ID: Why did Edward Reitan kill Robin Enockson?

Edward Reitan
Edward Reitan turned himself into the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department in May 2004 (Image via

A murder in 1990 found justice in May 2004, when Washington resident Edward Reitan turned himself into the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department. Reitan was charged with the first-degree murder of Driscoll farmer Robin Enockson.

Enockson and Reitan had a fallout after the former argued with his wife, and the brewing bad blood served as the primary motive behind the murder. According to The Bismarck Tribune, the two men were drunk when Reitan confronted Enockson and shot him.

The upcoming Murder In The Heartland episode titled Marriage into Mayhem airs on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at 9 p.m. EST on Investigation Discovery. The official synopsis reads:

"After a cattle rancher turns up dead in his trailer home, the minuscule town of Driscoll, North Dakota, points fingers at everyone in the small population. Left with little evidence, it takes over a decade to hone in on his executioner."

Why did Edward Reitan kill Robin Enockson?

Edward Reitan lived in the basement of the house owned by Robin Enockson's mother-in-law. According to The Bismarck Tribune, he learned of an ugly argument Enockson had with his wife and confronted him on the same. Reitan had approached Enockson in his trailer home when both men were in a drunken state.

Robin Enockson had gone back to bed after having argued with Reitan. However, Reitan grabbed his gun and shot him multiple times in the head, enraged by the altercation. The State Attorney, Richard Riha, spoke to The Spokesman-Review about the circumstances of the murder, saying:

“It appears that there had been, obviously, a dispute between Mr. Reitan and Mr. Enockson, and it appears that it might have involved Mr. Enockson’s wife.”

Edward had been residing in the North Dakota area at the time of the murder. However, he relocated to the Tri-Cities area of Washington in the following years. In May 2004, he had made his confession over a 911 call from a gas station in Bismarck, opposite the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department.

In the afternoon, Reitan, 51, was accompanied by police officers to the station, where he turned himself in. He was arrested on the charges of murder around 4:15 a.m. local time and held at the Burleigh County jail without a bond amount.

How did Robin Enockson die?

According to The Spokesman-Review, Robin Enockson was found dead in his trailer home in Driscoll by his father, Cliff Gibson, who lived across the street from him. The officers from the Driscoll Police Department confirmed that Enockson had been dead for a day or two before he was found.

The cause of death was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds made with a .22-caliber rifle. While the murder weapon remained missing for years to come, much of the other evidence had been erased due to a blizzard in the area.

Robin Enockson's murder case turned cold for 14 years until Edward Reitan came forward in May 2004 to confess his crimes. The Driscoll Police Department lacked enough evidence to charge any of the suspects in the murder, of whom Edward Reitan was one.

The murder weapons remained missing until they were found by the construction workers in 2010. The Jamestown Sun reported that the four guns were buried and wrapped up in tarpaulin until they were discovered in October 2010.

Catch season 6, episode 13 of Murder In The Heartland on Investigation Discovery on April 24, 2024.

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