In January 1984, a shocking crime spree saw the police following a man and his hostage. But the situation ended in tragedy because, in the process, a brave man’s life was lost. Netflix’s ‘I Am a Killer’ explores Harry Shryock’s murder in ‘A Bad Day,’ an episode in season 3. David Cameron Keith was a career criminal who killed Harry after hours of tensions with the police. So, if you’re wondering what led to that tragic conclusion, here’s what we know.
How did Harry Shryock die?
Harry Lee Shryock, 64, was living in Montana with his wife at the time of the incident. He was born in Ohio and enlisted at the age of 20 in the air corps cadet programme. Harry, a member of the military, served in World War II Korea and Vietnam. He retired from the military at 51. However, he flew charters from the Polson Airport occasionally.
Harry became involved in a hostage situation on January 11, 1984 and was eventually held captive by the criminal. Harry offered his services and took the place of a 13 year-old hostage. He also agreed to pilot a getaway aircraft. Harry was fatally shot in the head during negotiations between the killer and the authorities.
Harry Shryock was killed by who?
David Lee Keith was the man behind the kidnappings and attacks. His father was a successful attorney from Spokane. The show revealed that David grew without any supervision. At the age of 11 he was sent to boarding school and he started using drugs and engaging in criminal activities. David was convicted for theft and burglary. By 1984, he was married with three children in Montana.
David was said to have stolen goods from Montana and then sold them in Spokane. The money was used for drugs. On January 11, 1984, David entered a Missoula pharmacy with a firearm. David was then 27 years of age and he stole some prescription drugs. He fled in a car. A few hours later, a cop spotted the vehicle and began following it. David pulled up at a grocery store, and then took William Crose Jr. hostage.
David also shot at the clerk, who was running for cover. He missed her by inches. The police followed him as he drove away from the scene and forced the child to get into the car. David demanded William’s safe return after he was stopped at a roadblock. David demanded a plane, a pilot to fly him out, and a parachutist. David then drove to the Polson airport, where Harry, the pilot, agreed to take William’s place.
After the teenager was returned to safety, David pointed the gun at Keith’s head while the pilot tried to start the engine. There were technical difficulties and the pilot could not start the engine. Authorities deflated tires to ensure that the plane did not leave the airport. David continued to speak to the police and a sniper had an excellent vantage point. He took a shot, with the bullet hitting David’s arm and entering his chest. He shot Harry in his face and killed him shortly after.
David was shot in his head as he climbed out of the plane. However, he survived and was later charged with murder, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. Although he initially stated that Harry had shot him because of reflexes, he changed his mind later. David said in another statement, “Immediately after [being shot], I came to the conclusion that I was going to die, I didn’t want to go alone, so I fired my pistol into the back of the head of Mr. Harry Shryock.”
David Keith is Where Are You Now?
David pleaded guilty in March 1985 to two counts each of aggravated attack and aggravated kidnapping. He also pled guilty to one count of deliberate murder. He was sentenced to two life sentences and another 146 year behind bars. David’s execution was slated to take place in December 1988, and he chose not to fight it. However, the Montana governor at the time commuted David’s death sentence to life without parole. According to the show, David was sorry and went to schools to warn children about drug abuse. He is currently being held at Crossroads Correctional Center, Shelby, Montana.
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