Offense: Murder 1st
Date of Offense: 11/03/2001
Sentenced to Death: 08/22/2003
Gary W. Ploof was a U.S. Air Force
Staff Sergeant stationed with his wife, Heidi, at Dover Air Force Base
Beginning that year, Ploof had an affair with
Adrienne Hendricks, a colleague with whom he worked part-time at a
towing service. Ploof learned that effective November 1, 2001, the U.S.
Air Force would provide $100,000 life insurance for military spouses. He
was informed that he would be automatically enrolled unless he took
affirmative action to disenroll.
Ploof told his supervisor of his intent to refuse the
policy coverage, but he took no action to do so. Ploof also told
Hendricks that she should plan to move in with him starting November 5,
2001 because he and Heidi were having marital problems, and Heidi was
preparing to move out.
In truth, Heidi was not planning to move out nor did
Ploof have any intention of rejecting the spousal U.S.A.F. life
insurance coverage. Instead, Ploof intended to murder his wife soon
after the life insurance policy became effective on November 1.
On November 3, 2001, Ploof drove with Heidi to the
parking lotof the Dover Wal-Mart where he shot her in the head with a
.357 magnum revolver. He did that in a way that (he believed) would
suggest that she committed suicide. He also developed a scheme to
mislead the police in the event that a homicide investigation ensued.
Security videotape of the Wal-Mart parking lot on the
day that Heidiís body was found showed Ploof hurriedly walking away from
her vehicle. Ploof also constructed an elaborate alibi by making
numerous franticphone calls feigning his concern for his missing wife.
One of the calls prompted a friend to search for Heidi on the dark
country roads on which she would havedriven home from work.
Ploof even called Heidiís cell phone in an attempt to
deflect suspicion of his involvement. He then hid the murder weapon on
his property and asked friends to hold on to another pistol and a gun
case so that they would not be found by the police.
Finally, he lied to police about his mistress,
Hendricks, (suggesting that she was just a friend), about his weapons (maintaining
that he owned no pistols), and about a life insurance policy in which
Heidi was recently enrolled (insisting that he had no knowledge of the