Man who allegedly died of snake bites was actually shot eight times in Missouri

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Ben Renick, a snake breeder, was found dead, so investigators thought the victim may have died from the attack of several of the reptiles..

On June 8, 2017, Lynlee Renick called the emergency number to report that her husband was face down in a pool of blood. She told authorities she found it in her snake facility, which housed at least 3,000 reptiles, some costing thousands of dollars.

鈥淪omeone being killed by a snake is not something that happens every day, especially in Missouri,鈥 Coroner Dave Colbert told 鈥48 Hours.鈥

However, At the beginning of the investigations, the agents were able to realize that the snakes did not kill their owner, but that Renick was shot several times.

Suddenly, the coroner, David Colbert, was holding shotguns in his hand, and there were more guns outside.

Officials did not know if anyone might be hiding or if a killer was lurking.

However, they continued with their work, but while checking the man鈥檚 body, the coroner discovered something surprising. The corpse that was face down, hid the true cause of death of the man, Ben had been shot eight times at close range.

The researchers theorized that Ben鈥檚 murder may have been a robbery gone wrong, but it was immediately ruled out, as none of the reptiles were missing..

Officer Colbert said he didn鈥檛 want to exclude anyone from being a possible suspect, but they did know if Ben鈥檚 brother Sam was involved. He also didn鈥檛 know the Lynlee of his was related.

Ben鈥檚 friends and family had reason to distrust and question everything they believed about Lynlee Renick.

Sam Renick claimed that they knew her brother鈥檚 partner, who at the time was sweet and kind, but there were other sides to her that she didn鈥檛 know about.

In one of the interrogations for Ben鈥檚 death, Lynlee made a claim that left detectives shocked, claiming her brother might have had a motive to kill Ben..

He revealed that between them there was a problem to sell the property where they all lived, something that bothered Sam.

Ben had inherited the property after a tragedy on the farm five years ago, their father, Frank Renick, had committed suicide in 2012, after being involved in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that linked fraudulent stock certificates.

鈥淭here were a lot of people who lost a lot of money, and you know, because of my father,鈥 Sam Renick said.

Unaware that the deceased man鈥檚 wife was implicating him, Sam asked if Ben had been killed in an act of revenge against his father.

However, this theory did not come to fruition. Sam had tested negative for gunpowder residue on his hands, and was discharged after fully cooperating with detectives.

As officials continued their investigation, the reptile community reached out to help Ben鈥檚 wife and children, holding an online auction of the snakes, raising $40,000.

Authorities had no suspects until January 2020, when they received a call from Lynlee鈥檚 ex-husband and father of her first child, Brandon Blackwell.

The man revealed details about Ben鈥檚 wife to murder him three years ago.

Following Ben鈥檚 death, Lynlee and her ex-boyfriend, Michael Humphrey, were both charged with first-degree murder and armed felonies.

In Facebook messages used by prosecutors between Lynlee and her husband Ben, they revealed that he had confronted her because her business was having difficulties.

The messages from both revealed that he was expecting a large sum of money from his business, so his Lynlee confronted Renick about sexually abusing her, but she did not make a complaint about it.

At trial, another person in the conspiracy in Ben鈥檚 murder, spa manager Ashleu Shaw, testified against Lynlee.

The woman told the court that the owner of the spa once tried to kill her husband by poisoning his drink with a large amount of painkillers.

So in December 2021, Lynlee was found guilty of second degree murder and armed criminal action. She was given 13 years in prison for second-degree murder and three more for armed criminal action.

While Michael Humphrey was found guilty of first degree murder, however his sentence was reduced to second degree.

Lynlee Renick will be eligible for parole by 2035.

The prosecution described Lynlee as cold-blooded, just like her husband鈥檚 snakes. An assassin who shot Ben and then went about her daily routine as if nothing had happened.

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