It’s been 12 days since 36-year-old Joseph Jesse Aldridge went on a shooting rampage in the tiny unincorporated community of Tyrone, Missouri, killing seven people with a .45-caliber handgun before turning it on himself — but people in this sparsely populated corner of the state would rather not talk about it.
The investigation is technically ongoing, but with Aldridge dead, there’s no one to prosecute. According to the Texas County coroner, the prosecuting attorney decided to forego autopsies on the victims because it’s clear that they died from multiple gunshot wounds. Aldridge drove from house to house on a Thursday night, gunning down two of his cousins, their wives, and three others in their homes. He was found in his truck miles away in a different county, near the ranch of a man who had been his friend but had cut off ties with him because of his involvement with drugs.
Only the remains of Aldridge’s mother, Alice, received an autopsy. The authorities found that she had died of metastatic lung cancer in the house she shared with her son.
She had been dead at least a day by the time police found her — leading some in town to wonder whether Aldridge’s homicidal outburst was set off by the discovery of his mother’s death. Some have whispered that it was caregiver burnout, or that he was angry with one his cousins for refusing him a job.
Others say that he was just crazy.