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Who Killed a Former FBI Agent Found Dead Outside His Home? The Disturbing Case, Explained
Did a bitter feud over the Maryland house Scott Horn had loved lead to his death?
As a former FBI agent, Scott Horn spent his career taking down criminals, but did he lose his life to a cunning killer much closer to home?
Scott’s badly beaten body was discovered outside his house by his son Riley the night of March 16, 2017. The former FBI agent had been shot in the neck then beaten to death with a piece of firewood that investigators believe was tossed into a nearby wood-burning stove, destroying the makeshift weapon, according to Dateline: Unforgettable.
The stove was connected to a boiler that heated the family’s impressive four-bedroom home in Laurel, Maryland and was just one of the distinctive features Scott had installed himself over the years as he lovingly cared for the house.
But the investigation into Scott’s death would reveal that the dynamic inside the home was not nearly as picturesque.
“Tolstoy wrote the famous line, 'Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,' which sums up this story perfectly,” Dateline reporter Josh Mankiewicz noted about what made the case so unforgettable. “The family I’ll be telling you about was unhappy in a way and to a degree that I’d never seen. There was also an abundance of love in this household because families can be complicated.”
Who was victim Scott Horn?
According to those who knew him, Scott was the quintessential “good cop” during his 23 years in the FBI.
“He just liked to laugh and make people smile,” his supervisor and friend Monique Winkis recalled. “He’d say, ‘Just be honest with us, work with us, and I’ll talk to the prosecutors, I’ll talk to my boss and see what we can do for you.’”
Scott handled drug cases, kidnappings, and bank robberies but as he settled into family life, the dad of two asked for an assignment with less pressure and more traditional hours. He moved over to a unit that did background checks on people seeking government jobs.
“It’s not something that everyone shoots for but it really had consistent hours,” Winkis said.
As a nurse, Scott’s wife, Anne Reed Allen, often worked long shifts and Scott was happy to play the role of doting dad to his children.
“He made sure we ate a well-balanced meal every night and he made sure we went to bed on time and all of our homework got done, that our clothes were clean,” Kelly recalled. “My dad was my best friend. He took me everywhere with him and taught me so much.”
Even in retirement, Scott remained a creature of habit.
“If he did something, he normally did that same thing every single day at the same time,” his daughter Kelly recalled. “He never slept in, either. He was up every morning at 7:30 a.m.”
The 62-year-old even made a habit of calling his daughter every morning to wake her up, but on March 16, 2007, Kelly never got a wake up call.
How was Scott Horn killed?
When she couldn’t reach her father on the phone, her concern only grew and she called Laurel Police to request a welfare check.Together with police, Kelly walked through the home.
While there was no sign of her father, she noticed his beloved dogs had not been let outside in some time.
“There was pee all over the floor,” she said.
Later that night, Kelly’s older brother Riley decided to head over to the house with a friend. He wore a GoPro camera on his head to capture anything he might find. It didn’t take long for Riley to stumble upon his father’s body in the side of the yard near the home’s boiler.
After making the disturbing discovery, he ran to a neighbor’s house, where Kelly was waiting.
“Just call 911,” he frantically shouted.
Scott had been shot in the neck. Although the wound disabled him, it was not fatal. He died after being beaten by a wood log.
Who was the prime suspect in Scott Horn’s death?
As police and sirens descended on the property, police were surprised to discover there had been another person inside the house all day: Scott’s estranged wife, Anne.
Anne told Detective Kezzi Henderson she hadn’t seen Scott since early that morning.
“He doesn’t talk to me. I mean, he won’t tell me anything,” she said. “I hardly ever see him. He’s gone most of the day, every day.”
She claimed her husband gambled “all the time,” and investigators found surveillance footage that showed Scott at the casino the night before he died. His daughter insisted, however, that he wasn’t a big gambler and investigators concluded no one had been following him at the casino. He was seen leaving on his own just after midnight, ruling out anyone at the casino.
In retirement, Scott found a new career as a landlord after buying real estate properties in his neighborhood. Shortly before his death, Scott had evicted some people from one of the homes, but the possible lead led nowhere.
Investigators began to take a closer look at Scott’s volatile home life. Kelly described her mother as erratic and sometimes violent. On one occasion after borrowing her mother’s heels and keeping a secret Facebook account, Kelly claimed her mom made her sleep in the hallway for months. When her father tried to object, Kelly alleged her mom pulled out a handgun (a claim Anne has denied).
“She said, uh, you know, ‘We made an agreement, you said I’m taking care of the kids and if you get in my way there’s going to be a problem,’” Kelly said. “His whole demeanor changed. It was more like, ‘OK, we’re just going to take a step back.’”
Scott got his daughter out of the house and told her if she ever saw the gun again to call 911, she claimed.
It was the last time Kelly said she saw the weapon, but police were called to the home at least 15 times between 2012 and 2017 for disputes among the family members.
“It got to the point where there were locks on everyone’s doors, on the outside and on the inside,” Kelly alleged.
When the marriage fell apart, neighbors claimed Anne and Scott had been in a bitter fight over the house he loved so much at the time of his death.
The day of his death, Anne claimed she had only been outside to put more wood in the stove, but authorities alleged she would have seen Scott’s body and had to step over it to get to the stove.
They also found wood chips in the washing machine in the house with Scott’s DNA on them, suggesting someone may have tried to clean up.
Prosecutors alleged Anne, who continued to maintain her innocence, had waited for Scott to come home and then killed him when he went to put another log on the stove, putting a final end to their contentious divorce battle.
Anne was arrested and charged with murder. Jason Allen Byrd, a man Anne had been having an affair with, was also arrested after investigators believed he may have helped dispose of Scott’s cellphone, wallet, and the gun used to shoot him.
But the charges against Byrd were later dropped due to a lack of evidence against him.
Was Anne Reed Allen convicted in her husband’s death?
Although Anne’s daughter Kelly was convinced her mom killed her father, Anne’s friends described her as a compassionate nurse, who had always been kind-hearted.
At trial, her defense attorneys highlighted the lack of physical evidence to place her at the murder scene. While Scott’s DNA was found on the wood chips in the washing machine, Anne’s DNA was not found. It also wasn’t found anywhere on the body.
They also argued that Anne, who walked with a cane, was not physically capable of the brutal beating. Anne, they said, also had no financial motive to want her husband dead as she had already been taken off his life insurance policy and would be responsible for his $220,000 in debt since the couple had still been married.
Just two days after the jury began deliberations, Anne was acquitted. She later moved out of the state to live her life away from public scrutiny.
The Laurel Police have closed Scott’s murder case unless other evidence is discovered. Under the double jeopardy rules, Anne can never be tried for the murder again.
Scott’s children are now trying to move on with their lives, but they still honor their father’s legacy.
“Riley and I determine how we do things by how would dad do it? So, just doing it the Scott Horn way,” Kelly said.