by Ivan Foley
Quintin O’Dell, the 22-year-old Casey’s General Store pizzamaker who is accused of killing one Platte County woman with a hatchet and disemboweling another with another razor blade, has turned down The Landmark’s request to do a jailhouse interview.
Meanwhile, O’Dell, of Platte City, was back in the courtroom this week for a docket call. As expected, nothing happened at his appearance on Tuesday and his next docket call is set for March 27 at 9 a.m.
Last week, The Landmark sent a letter to the Platte County Sheriff’s Department requesting an interview with O’Dell. The sheriff’s department passed the letter on to O’Dell, who, likely at the advice of his public defender, turned down the chance to do an exclusive sit-down interview with The Landmark.
O’Dell is charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Alissa Shippert, 22, of Platte City, and with first degree assault and armed criminal action in a razor blade slicing of Brittany Costello, 21, of Ferrelview.
He is being held on $750,000 cash only bond in the Platte County Jail.
Authorities say Shippert was killed May 31 while fishing at the Platte River inside the Platte Falls Conservation area just outside of Platte City. Costello was stabbed in her apartment in the early morning hours of Dec. 26.
O’Dell is represented by public defender Anthony Cardarella.
Authorities have not revealed whether either victim had been sexually assaulted. Zahnd said that in cases of this magnitude it is possible that additional charges could be filed against the suspect.
O’Dell made pizzas at the Casey’s General Store in Platte City, where Shippert was a clerk. He described himself to authorities as a friend to Costello.
Zahnd has said the death penalty is a possibility because, after initially allegedly striking Shippert in the back of the head with a hatchet, the suspect had a cool down period before allegedly deciding to strike her in the face repeatedly with the hatchet, killing her.
Zahnd said it could be months before his office makes a determination on whether to seek the death penalty against O’Dell.
O’Dell told sheriff’s deputies during an interview Jan. 5 and 6 that he came upon Shippert while she was fishing in the Platte River. O’Dell said he had been walking along the river, and along his way had found a hatchet under the bridge that crosses the Platte River along Interstate 29. He carried the hatchet with him the rest of his walk, he told detectives.
After visiting with Shippert while she fished for about two hours, O’Dell told investigators that at one point he got into the water to try to free Shippert’s fishing line, which had become entangled. He says he slipped and lost his balance in the water, coming up downstream from Shippert. O’Dell said Shippert entered the water and was screaming his name, thinking he was drowning or had drowned. After O’Dell eventually was able to regain his footing, he said he walked back toward Shippert. He indicated he yelled back to her, but that she could not hear him. When he reached her, he says she was emotional, thinking he had drowned. He says Shippert slapped him for making her think that he had drowned.
O’Dell says the two then got into a confrontation. O’Dell told authorities they both reached for the hatchet. Authorities allege O’Dell then struck Shippert in the back of the head with the hatchet. Shippert collapsed to the ground crying.
O’Dell told authorities that he could hear Shippert crying and that he wanted to end her suffering. O’Dell allegedly told investigators that he got on his knees beside her and repeatedly struck her in the face with the hatchet until she was no longer breathing or crying. O’Dell allegedly then pulled Shippert’s body into the river.
On Dec. 26, O’Dell allegedly went to the apartment of the 21-year-old woman in Ferrelview. In a Dec. 26 interview with authorities, O’Dell told investigators he left the apartment while she was alive.
During a later interview with deputies, O’Dell allegedly told investigators that, while he was at the woman’s apartment on Dec. 26, he overheard a telephone call in which the woman argued with a recent boyfriend. O’Dell told detectives he became enraged as a result of the argument between the woman and her boyfriend, grabbed a razor blade from the counter of the woman’s kitchen and cut open the woman’s abdomen.
In the early stages of the investigation, the recent boyfriend told authorities that he had spoken with the woman on the phone and that O’Dell was at the apartment at that time.
Court documents indicate O’Dell told deputies he recalled seeing the woman’s intestines fall out of her abdomen on the living room floor. He then says he walked out of the apartment, went home and woke up the next morning to find dried blood on his hands and red shirt. O’Dell allegedly threw away the shirt.
The sheriff said that the woman suffered life-threatening injuries and was unconscious from Dec. 26 until Dec. 30, when she was able to speak with investigators. She told them she remembers passing out after consuming alcohol with O’Dell and then awakening to what she thought were menstrual cramps, only to go into the bathroom and look in the mirror to see her inner organs exposed. She initially collapsed into the bath tub before making her way into the hallway of the apartment complex and knocking on a neighbor’s door across the hall for help.
“She is fortunate to be alive,” Zahnd said.