Bardstown Unsolved Murders

Jason Ellis

Jason Ellis and his wife Amy settled in Bardstown, Kentucky and started a family after his career as a minor league baseball player with the Cincinnati Reds. In 2006, Jason joined the Bardstown Police Department where he later became a K9 handler and won officer of the year in 2008. Jason was very active in his community to include coaching his son’s baseball team. Jason Ellis was well-respected and loved as a father, husband, brother, son and police officer.  On May 25, 2013, Officer Jason Ellis was driving home after his shift and could be heard signing off over the radio.  As Officer Ellis approached exit 34 of the Bluegrass Parkway, he noticed branches blocking the roadway.  Even off duty, Officer Ellis wanted to ensure the safety of the public and got out of his vehicle to clear the branches. As Officer Ellis began to remove the debris, he was shot several times and died shortly after.  The senseless death of Officer Ellis devasted the community, however his legacy as an accomplished officer and dedicated father, serves as a reminder of how the life he lived was shaped by the oath he took. As his wife Amy said, “I don’t want people to forget how amazing he was as a person and a husband, brother, son and officer.

Kathy and Samantha Netherland

Kathy Netherland, a dedicated special education teacher at Bardstown Elementary School, and her daughter, Samantha Netherland, a vibrant 16-year-old with a passion for school, were beloved by those who knew them best. Stacey Hibbard, Kathy’s sister, describes Kathy as a selfless person: “I don’t ever remember a time in her life where her life was focused just on her.” Samantha, she says, was “bright,” “motivated,” “engaged,” and “would have made real contributions to society.”  On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, neither Kathy nor Samantha showed up for school. When a relative went to check on the two of them at their home in Botland, he discovered a shocking and tragic scene: both Kathy and Samantha had been tied up, tortured, and brutally murdered. Kathy had suffered both knife and bullet wounds; Samantha had been stabbed, and her throat was cut.  Surveillance footage near the Netherland home captured a black Chevy Impala that may be linked to the murders 

Tommy Ballard

“Tommy was a devoted family person. Loved his wife, loved his kids. Hard working. Would do anything for anybody.” These are the words Mike Ballard used to describe his brother, Tommy Ballard, father of Crystal Rogers.

After Crystal’s disappearance in July 2015, Tommy relentlessly pursued every lead to try and locate his daughter. He was the driving force behind Team Crystal, a group comprised of Bardstown community members dedicated to finding Crystal and bringing her home. “I love my kids and grandkids more than anything, and I will give everything I have in me ‘til Crystal is brought home to my family and we have closure,” Tommy said.  In the early morning hours of November 19, 2016, sixteen months after Crystal’s disappearance, Tommy was preparing for a hunting trip with his 12-year-old grandson on family property in Bardstown, next to the Bluegrass Parkway. Under cover of darkness, an unknown subject fired one shot that hit Tommy in the chest and instantly killed him. Tommy was only 54 years old.