Triple murder suspects not linked to other Upstate cases, sheriff says

LANDRUM, SC (WSPA) - Spartanburg County deputies say the couple accused of brutally murdering three people in Landrum before another killing in Florida are not considered suspects in other local cases.

Christopher Russell Taylor, 31, and Kristina Lynn Sluss, 36, are each charged with three counts of murder, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Arrest warrants list their address as 655 Landrum Mill Road. 

Deputies say the two confessed to killing Fran Richards, Fred Richards and Nathan Poffenberger in January. 

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a release that Taylor hit the victim, 47-year-old Douglas John Bowling, with a skillet until it broke and used a baseball bat to beat Bowling for an hour and a half before strangling him. 

Deputies say Taylor’s brother, Gary Taylor Jr., helped put Bowling’s body in plastic bags before they had dinner at their father’s home. Bowling’s body was later dumped in a remote location near an orange grove.

Taylor has been charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in Bowling’s killing. Sluss is charged with tampering with evidence in the case. 

While investigating that killing, investigators learned of their connection to the Landrum area where three people were savagely killed.

During a news conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said all four murders were sadistic. He believes the duo may be connected to other murders. 

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office says Taylor and Sluss are not suspects in any current or cold cases being investigated by the agency at this time. 

More Stories

Meet the Team

Video Center