Ronald Gene Simmons was a truly evil man. Around 1980, he fathered a child with his own 17-year old daughter, whom he had been abusing for most of her life. Fearing arrest, he fled with his family in 1981 to a farm located at 250 Broomfield Road, outside of the small town of Dover, Arkansas. Ronald Simmons successfully avoided arrest for his horrendous abuse of his own daughter.
Just before Christmas in 1987, Ronald Simmons decided that he would murder his entire family. While 4 of his children were out of the house on December 22, he shot and killed his wife, Rebecca. He then shot and killed his eldest son Gene, before strangling his 3 month old granddaughter, Barbara. Ronald moved the three bodies into a pit that had been dug in the back of the house and waited for his 4 other children to return to the house. Upon their return, he told the children he had Christmas presents for them, but wanted to give them to them one at a time. Starting with his 17 year old daughter Loretta, one by one he strangled his children and held their heads under the water of a rain barrel.
Several days later, on December 26, the rest of the Simmons family arrived at the home oblivious to the murders that had happened. Ronald Simmons continued with his killing spree, first shooting and killing his son Billy and Billy’s wife Renata. He then suffocated and drowned their 1 year old son, Trae. He then moved on to his eldest daughter, Sheila, with whom he had previously abused and had a child with. He shot Sheila and her husband, Dennis, then strangled Sylvia Gail, the daughter that Ronald had fathered with Sheila. He ended the family killing spree by strangling his 21 year old grandson.
In total, Ronald Simmons murdered 14 members of his own family at the house. After the murders, he lined the bodies up in the lounge of the home and covered them with sheets and tablecloths. He took the bodies of his 2 grandsons and placed them in abandoned cars on the property. For the next 24 hours, he drank beer and watched TV with the bodies of his murdered family surrounding him.
Ronald Simmons went on to murder several more people in the nearby towns of Dover and Russelville. He ultimately gave himself up to police and was convicted of 16 counts of murder and sentanced to death. The penalty was carried out on June 25, 1990 at the Cummins Unit in Arkansas.