Sniper Kills Joggers On Trail For Fun

Thomas Dillon liked to imagine himself as a special forces soldier.

The Mystique
5 min readApr 16, 2022


Thomas Dillon | Photo Credits: The Columbus Dispatch

Thomas Lee Dillon shot five people in Southeastern Ohio in April 1992. Shockingly, he did it without any motive whatsoever. The killings were casual, done in the spur of the moment, and that’s why ever so much more dangerous.

Murdering Strangers As A Hobby

Thomas’s day job was as a draftsman at a municipal water department. His hobby was to cruise the back roads of southeastern Ohio, imagining himself to be far grander than a simple government officer. Soon enough, these delusions passed over to reality, resulting in the murder of five people in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

35-year-old Donald Welling was the first unsuspecting victim. Out jogging near New Philadelphia on April 1, 1989, Donald was stopped by Thomas. Thinking it to be nothing but a friendly chat, David asked him, “what’s up” right before he was shot several times by Thomas. Thomas later revealed that the killing was entirely made on impulse. A voice inside him suggested the murder, and Thomas was more than happy to oblige. He later recalled the murder, saying:

“This guy was just trying to be friendly, and he blew, you know, I killed him. It wasn’t premeditated, I told you guys that. Just, I was just driving along and came upon him, and that’s it, Welling…And just, I heard, a voice in my head said, ‘Open fire on him.’ And I did. And in 10 seconds, from the time I heard that voice ’til I shot him and killed him.”

The police was shocked. However, they would soon be rudely awakened to this being more than just an isolated case. The next victim was twenty-one-year-old Jamie Paxton. He was shot while hunting outside St. Clairsville, an Ohio community near the state border with West Virginia. Kevin Loring, too, was murdered while out hunting in Muskingum County on November 28, 1990.

Murders Pile Up To Everyone’s Shock

The police set up a special task force to catch the killer- the attacks were completely random, and the murderer left no clue behind. They were far from over. The fourth murder took place on March 14, 1992. 49-year-old Claude Hawkins, a hardworking father



The Mystique

A passionate writer of true crime and unsolved mysteries. I am all about learning and making a positive impact on world.