Signal Mountain Murder suspect dies in prison

NASHVILLE (WDEF) – The man convicted for one of the most infamous murders in the Tennessee Valley over the last 40 years, has died in prison.

Frank Casteel was 71 years old, and just five years from qualifying for probation.

It took more than ten years for investigators and prosecutors to put him in jail.

Casteel was convicted in 1997 for the Signal Mountain Murders.

In the summer of 1988, Richard Mason, Earl Smock and Kennith Griffith were shot while riding ATVs on his property.

And though he was suspected from the beginning, investigators could not get enough evidence to charge him.

The unsolved case became a campaign issue in Sheriff races and landed a spot on the national broadcast, Unsolved Mysteries.

Finally, investigators recorded a prison conversation implicating Casteel, plus his then-mistress produced anonymous letters she received that implicated him in the murders.

However, that evidence was overturned and a second jury convicted him again.

Here is a story from our Archives from 1989. 





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