Courthouse Steps Mavens / Parents Murdered By Children / Archives / 11-03-2009 / Barbara Loesch & Gary Loesch{desc: Tina Loesch, Skye Hanson & Bradley Steckman}

Topie: Barbara Loesch & Gary Loesch{desc: Tina Loesch, Skye Hanson & Bradley Steckman}
November 19th, 2008 12:16 PM
yardsale America's Most Wanted

Tina Rose Loesch and Skye Hanson

Tina Rose Loesch

Skye Hanson

Cops: Lesbian Couple Plotted Parents' Murders

Post Falls, Idaho cops say that when Tina Loesch met Skye Hanson in prison, a shared love for a life of crime may have brought them together as a couple. Loesch was doing time for theft, forgery and stealing a car; Hanson was in for dealing drugs.

Upon their release, they moved in together and Loesch’s young son, Kristopher, lived with them part-time. However, Loesch’s parents, particularly her father, Gary Loesch, hated the idea of his daughter living life as a gay woman and didn’t hide his feelings about the subject, writing her out of his will.

The family’s turmoil boiled over when Gary was murdered while working his morning paper route in November 1995 -- cops say he was shot in the head, and despite a few clues, the case went unsolved.

After Gary’s murder, his wife, Barbara, sought to close the rift with Loesch. In the months that followed, they became closer, but police say that may have just been part of the plan.

On January 8, 1998, authorities say Loesch showed up on her mother's doorstep. Loesch also had a friend in tow, a man named Bradley Steckman.

Cops say what happened next was truly diabolical: as Barbara was resting in an outdoor hot tub, Steckman “tripped” and dropped a TV set that had been tweaked to deliver the maximum amperage into the water.

But to make sure that Barbara was truly dead, Steckman told cops that he and Loesch held Barbara’s head underwater for two minutes.

Steckman later confessed that when they fled the scene, Loesch was hysterical -- crying and vomiting.

Hours later, police say, Loesch's partner Skye Hanson went back to Barbara Loesch’s home to make sure the job had been done right. Steckman said he was to be paid $10,000 for his role in the murder plot, small change when cops discovered that the payout was a $525,000 life insurance policy that Tina had taken out on her mom and made herself the beneficiary.

The insurance company initially called Barbara Loesch’s death an accident, and paid the hefty sum to Tina Loesch. Loesch and Hanson lived in the area until 2001, when they were last seen loading up an RV in Seattle. They then disappeared along with Loesch’s son, Kristopher.

A Shocking Jailhouse Admission

In 2001, Brad Steckman was convicted of murdering Dorothy Martin, an 89-year-old woman he killed while robbing her in her home.

Authorities later discovered evidence from the Martin murder case at the Clarkston, Wash. home that Hanson and Loesch once shared. Furthermore, cops discovered another interesting clue: Skye Hanson had once done home repair work for Dorothy Martin.

To further cement cops' suspicions, Steckman ultimately spilled the beans on his role in the Barbara Loesch case from behind bars, admitting to engineering the TV to deliver the near-fatal jolt, dropping the set into the hot tub, and drowning Barbara Loesch.

More importantly, he told cops that Loesch and Hanson hired him to help them execute their plan. However, one new development was Steckman’s account of another murder: that of Bill Loesch’s unsolved shooting.

Steckman claims that he helped Loesch and Hanson plan the deadly scheme -- even scoping out Bill’s daily paper route with Hanson -- but swears he didn’t fire the fatal shot.

Steckman is serving 18 years in prison for the murders of Dorothy Martin and Barbara Loesch.

He will be eligible for parole in 2016.

For ten years, cops sought Loesch and Hanson as persons-of-interest, but now, first-degree murder warrants have been issued for the couple.

Police believe that Hanson and Loesch may have fled to the Cayman Islands or Belize, but could also be in Hawaii.

Skye Hanson is a race car enthusiast and loves Corvettes; her dark green Corvette with the license plate SKYE1 is still unaccounted for.

Hanson may have gained a significant amount of weight and also collects tropical fish. Prior to her life on the lam, she flipped houses and had a home repair business.

Tina Loesch would be 36 years old today, and her missing son, Kristopher, would be 18. Loesch has red hair but may dye it blonde, and sometimes uses the alias Tina Kessler.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Tina Loesch or Skye Hanson, please call our hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

Tina Loesch's son, Kristopher, before their disappearance in 2001.
November 19th, 2008 12:19 PM
yardsale Missing women remain the key

Jody Lawrence-Turner
Staff writer

January 6, 2008

A man delivering newspapers is shot in the head in Post Falls.

Two years later, his wife is electrocuted and drowned – an unplugged television in the hot tub leading police to believe she'd been murdered, too.

As of this month, a decade has passed since the death of Barbara Loesch and more than 12 years since the slaying of her husband, Gary Loesch.

Yet, while one man is serving time for his part in Gary Loesch's death, neither case has been closed.

The couple's missing daughter and her partner are considered "persons of interest" in the crimes and have been connected by evidence to a third homicide, in Pullman. Their suspected motives in the Post Falls killings: a $500,000 insurance policy and a father-daughter relationship severed by his anger over learning she was a lesbian.

"The key to this case are these two here," said Kootenai County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Maskell, tapping on years-old mug shots of Tina Loesch and Skye Hanson, who would now be 36 and 43 years old.

They were last seen loading an RV in Seattle in October 1999.

Always on time

Gary Loesch moved to Post Falls in 1986, according to previous news reports. He had married Barbara Stultz in 1969.

In addition to their daughter, they had a son, Charles, who was a young man living with his parents in the mid-1990s.

Gary Loesch worked for an amusement ride company in Post Falls for 10 years and took on the paper route for extra money. One of his customers was Maskell.

"I used to brag about what a good paper carrier he was," the detective said. "He'd put the paper between my door and screen door" and was always on time.

Before dawn on Nov. 13, 1995, Loesch was on his route in a sparsely populated neighborhood outside Post Falls city limits. After 3 1/2 years, residents were familiar with the sound of his Toyota Camry and seeing the headlights as he brought them The Spokesman-Review.

When a resident was awakened by a loud noise and saw Loesch's car, it was no surprise. But when that same man looked out his window hours later and the car was still there with its headlights beginning to dim, he called 911.

A sheriff's deputy found Gary Loesch slumped over in a pool of blood, having been shot in the head.

"We had very few homicides and it was big news," Maskell said. "It rocked the town."

Because the 56-year-old Loesch followed an unvarying route and schedule, "this case was likely premeditated," Maskell said. "Someone was very familiar with his routine and had the opportunity to pick the right area."

Very little evidence was found, said Maskell, the latest detective to take on the case. But there were tire treads and footprints.

Police collected DNA evidence, Maskell said, "so we are familiar with at least the gender of the person" – information the detective won't disclose.

The peacemaker

Shortly before Gary Loesch's death, Barbara struggled over the rift between her husband and their daughter, authorities said.

Tina Loesch had told her father she was homosexual and in a relationship with Hanson. Gary Loesch rejected Tina and wrote her out of his will, said Post Falls police Lt. Greg McLean.

After Loesch's murder, mother and daughter became closer, though Tina lived in Clarkston. In 1996, Tina Loesch took out a $525,000 life insurance policy on Barbara Loesch, naming herself as the beneficiary, McLean said.

On the night 52-year-old Barbara Loesch was killed, Tina Loesch went to her mother's home with a Clarkston friend named Bradley Steckman. She told her mother their car had broken down and they needed to stay with her, Steckman later told authorities.

Convicted in 2001 of murdering an 89-year-old Pullman woman during a robbery, Steckman told police from behind bars that he played a role in Barbara Loesch's murder as well. Tina Loesch and Hanson offered him $10,000 to do it – money Steckman never received, McLean said.

Barbara Loesch used the hot tub because of a medical problem, Steckman said. So they planned a murder in which Steckman would trip and push the television – which had been tweaked to deliver maximum amps – into the water.

Once that plan had been carried out, Steckman said, he held Loesch under water about two minutes.

Tina Loesch "fell apart on the way back home, crying and vomiting," Steckman told police.

Hanson then drove to Post Falls to make sure things had been done right, Steckman said.

Barbara Loesch's death initially was ruled accidental by a coroner, so the life insurance benefit was paid to her daughter, McLean said. When Tina Loesch received payment with the help of Spokane attorney Julie Twyford, she signed it over to Hanson, according to past news accounts.

Not only did Steckman implicate the women in Barbara Loesch's death, he also admitted that two years earlier he had scoped out Gary Loesch's paper route for Hanson.

"But he swears he didn't fire the fatal shot," McLean said.

Authorities who searched the Clarkston house shared by Tina Loesch and Hanson say they found evidence from the Pullman murder of Dorothy Martin – the woman Steckman was convicted of killing. Hanson had done housekeeping work for Martin, The Spokesman-Review has previously reported.

Steckman is serving concurrent prison sentences for the murders of Barbara Loesch and Dorothy Martin, and is eligible for parole in 2016.

He did not respond to a written request for an interview at Airway Heights Corrections Center, and no one from the Loesch family could be located for comment.

Tina and Skye

Tina Loesch and Hanson met in the Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise.

Hanson was there for manufacturing drugs. Loesch was doing a stint for theft, forgery and stealing a car.

After they were released, the two lived together in Clarkston and Pullman. Tina Loesch's son, Kristopher Loesch, lived with them at least part of the time.

McLean says Hanson dominated the relationship. She liked tropical fish. She owned a 1977 Firebird and a 1995 Corvette.

Hanson owned five houses in Whitman County. She bought fixer-uppers and rented them out when they were repaired.

In 2006, a Spokane Valley man, Steve Cassell, was indicted for illegal money transactions while selling those houses. The indictment was dismissed in March 2007, but police still suspect Cassell was sending money to the missing women.

Cassell is married to Twyford, the attorney who had helped settle Barbara Loesch's insurance policy – and the same attorney who represented South Hill rapist Kevin Coe.

In 2000, police learned that Kristopher Loesch was living with Twyford and Cassell. The boy was enrolled at Spokane's Shiloh Hills Elementary School under the name Christopher Robinson, authorities said.

But when police went to Shiloh Hills, the boy had stopped showing up. No one had requested that his transcripts be forwarded to another school.

Authorities say Twyford and Cassell denied knowing anything about the boy's or women's whereabouts. But Hanson's Corvette had been seen in the couple's garage, police said.

Kristopher Loesch, who would now be about 17, has not been accounted for since he left school.
November 19th, 2008 12:21 PM
yardsale Murder suspects carry out suicide pact

November 18, 2008

TUCSON - Two murder suspects, who once lived in Asotin County were found dead in Arizona. Police say 37-year-old Tina Loesch and 41-year-old Skye Hanson died of gunshot wounds to the head.

They were persons of interest in a 1998 killing in Post Falls as well as a murder in Pullman in 1996. The case was aired on America's Most Wanted hours before the apparent suicide pact was carried out.

Asotin County Prosecutor Ben Nichols said Tuesday that Hanson's history in the county goes back to a DWI in 1986 and Loesch back to 1996. Nichols said an arrest warrant was issued in May 2000 for welfare fraud for Tina Loesch, after the two had disappeared from the area in 1999.

Nichols says he heard rumors over the years about where they were and even that they may be dead.

Police in Tucson identified the two via fingerprints.

The Post Falls Police Department released the following statement Tuesday concerning the deaths of Loesch and Hanson:

On January 12th, 1998, the Post Falls Police Department received a request to check the welfare of Barbara Loesch at her residence on Ponderosa Dr. It was reported that family members had been unable to make contact with Barbara for approximately two days. When officers arrived at the Loesch home, they discovered the body of Barbara Loesch in the hot tub. This discovery would mark the beginning of a 10-year investigation into the facts surrounding the death of Barbara Loesch.

In 1999, the Post Falls Police Department received the first of many breaks in this case with the arrest of Bradley Steckman. Mr. Steckman was arrested for the murder of an elderly lady in Whitman County, Washington. During the course of his trial, Mr. Steckman revealed information regarding his involvement in Barbara Loesch’s death. Mr. Steckman told Post Falls Investigators of a detailed plan, developed by Skye Hanson and her partner Tina Loesch, the daughter of Barbara. Mr. Steckman revealed that a part of the plan was to have Tina talk her mother into securing a half of a million dollar life insurance policy on herself. The intent was for Tina Loesch and Mr. Steckman to kill Barbara Loesch shortly after the policy was in place and for Tina to collect the money. When investigators tried to locate Tina and Skye, they had fled the Pullman, Washington area with Tina’s 8-year-old son Kristopher. Investigators would continue, over the next 9 years, to investigate and attempt to locate them with little to no clues to follow.

In 2003, Mr. Steckman pled guilty to his involvement in the death of Barbara Loesch. Post Falls Investigators used significant resources to locate Tina, Skye, and Kristopher. As part of this investigation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was contacted and the U.S. Marshals Office in Spokane, Washington was assigned the task of helping to find Kristopher.

Over the next several years, investigators would continue to follow up on leads, without success. The department has expended hundreds of hours working this case. In 2008, with all leads exhausted, and tips leading investigators to believe that the women had fled the country, it was decided to seek the assistance of America’s Most Wanted. The show aired on November 15th and, within two hours after the west coast airing, the Post Falls Police Department received a call from Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Tucson, Arizona. They believed that they had discovered the bodies of Tina and Skye, in a vehicle, in what was thought to be a suicide. An expired Washington driver’s license belonging to Tina Loesch was found near one of the bodies. A note was also found, signed by Tina.

Yesterday afternoon both the bodies were positively identified as Tina Rose Loesch and Skye Marie Hanson ending the 8-year search.

The Post Falls Police Department would like to thank America’s Most Wanted, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the United States Marshals Office for their commitment in helping to resolve this case.

The Post Falls Police Department has been unable to locate Kristopher.

Locating this child continues to be a priority for the Department. We are seeking assistance from the community in locating Kristopher. It is possible he is located in the Spokane Washington area. If you have information about Kristopher, or his location please contact the Post Falls Police Department (208) 773-3517.
November 19th, 2008 12:25 PM
yardsale Suspects in 1998 Hot Tub Murder Found Dead After TV Profile on Case

Associated Press

November 19, 2008

POST FALLS, Idaho — Two women recently charged in a decade-old north Idaho murder have been found dead in Arizona with a suicide note expressing remorse over the 1998 killing.

The bodies of Tina Loesch, 37, and Skye Hanson, 44, were found Saturday in a sport utility vehicle near Tucson, Ariz., hours after the case was aired on national television in an episode of "America's Most Wanted."

"It appears both entered into a suicide pact to have Tina kill Skye and then Tina kill herself," Post Falls police Capt. Scot Haug told the Coeur d'Alene Press.

Police found a 9mm semiautomatic pistol in the vehicle and the women had gunshot wounds to the head, Haug said.

A letter signed by Tina Loesch was left in the vehicle, along with a will from Hanson.

Authorities are now looking for Loesch's 18-year-old son, Kristopher.

In October, the Kootenai County prosecutor issued first-degree murder warrants for Tina Loesch and Hanson in the death of Loesch's mother, Barbara Loesch, a Post Falls woman who was electrocuted in a hot tub in her backyard.

Tina Loesch had purchased a $500,000 life insurance policy in her mother's name and listed herself as the beneficiary. She was awarded the money after police, initially, ruled the death of Barbara Loesch an accident.

Police previously suspected Tina Loesch in the 1995 murder of her father, Gary Loesch, who was shot to death while delivering newspapers in Kootenai County. Police say the woman had motive to kill her father because of a rift between the two.

That case remains unsolved.

In her suicide note, Loesch wrote of her sorrow over the death of her father, "but said she didn't have anything to do with it," Haug said. In the letter, Loesch also wrote that she had watched Bradley Steckman kill her mother.

Steckman has confessed to the murder, telling police in 2004 that Loesch and Hanson promised him $10,000 to do it.

Steckman is serving a life sentence in a Washington state prison after his conviction in the 1996 murder of an 89-year-old woman from Pullman, Wash.,2933,454345,00.html
November 19th, 2008 12:25 PM
A composite photograph of Kristopher Loesch, now 18, who has been missing since 2000.