Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
Man Convicted In 'Hell In The Heartland' Murders Says Teen BFFs Were Shot Up With Meth Before Being Killed
Ronnie Busick said in a jail interview Danny and Kathy Freeman, as well as their daughter, Ashley Freeman, and her friend Lauria Bible, were all killed "over a piece of cheap dope."
The man convicted in connection with the 1999 disappearance and presumed murder of two Oklahoma teens as well as the murder of one of their parents has divulged disturbing details about the crimes.
Ronnie Busick, 68, took a plea deal in July and admitted to being an accessory to murder in connection with the disappearance of best friends Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman. The two 16-year-olds vanished on Dec. 30, 1999 in the town of Welch after the Freeman family home went up in flames with parents Danny and Kathy Freeman inside. The parents had been shot to death before their trailer was torched.
Investigators have believed for awhile now that Busick, along with Phillip Welch II and David Pennington, killed Danny and Kathy before setting their home ablaze and kidnapping the girls. Investigators claimed the trio tied the girls up in Welch's mobile home, where the three men raped them before killing them a few days later, MiamiOk.com reported in 2018, citing a probable cause affidavit.
However, Welch died in 2007 and Pennington died in 2015. Only Busick is left of the accused men. He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in August, and is now giving gruesome insight into the killings. He told Tulsa World in a phone call from jail that the killings at the Freeman trailer were triggered over methamphetamine and not more than two ounces worth of the drug.
“It sure wasn’t enough to kill someone over,” Busick said. “It should have never happened over a piece of cheap dope. It should have never happened over anything.”
He claimed that Welch — whom he referred to as “evil” and the ringleader — didn’t want to leave any witnesses behind after killing the Freemans. Busick claimed that the teenage friends were hiding in an open field nearby during the shooting of the couple but when the mobile home was set on fire, the teens stood up and the trio located them. He said Pennington and Welch grabbed them.
Busick claimed that the girls were then tied up and gagged with socks and put into Pennington’s truck. Then, they were driven to Welch’s mobile home in Pitcher. It was there, Busick said, the girls were beat up and injected with drugs.
“He [Welch] shot the girls up with meth,” Busick said.
Jax Miller, author of “Hell in the Heartland: Murder, Meth, and the Case of Two Missing Girls,” which dives into the case, told Oxygen.com that while these details are new to the public, the families have known about them for some time.
While Busick is serving a 10-year sentence, he could have received a lighter sentence if he had led investigators to the girls’ bodies. They have yet to be found. Meanwhile, Bible’s mother, Lorene Bible, is battling dire health issues and wants nothing more than to bring her daughter’s remains home, according to the family.
"It's our hope that these emerging details jog someone's memory because I strongly believe that there are people out there who do know where the girls' bodies can be found," Miller told Oxygen.com. "These girls suffered unimaginably at the hands of those three men, perhaps even more. I just don't want to see the families suffer any longer. They need answers, and they need them now, and I mean now."