Local murder on NBC
By Linda Franz
January 19, 2006
In the three years since her daughter, Randi Trimble, was murdered, Nancy Chavez has pulled her life back together and is focused on serving the community in her daughter's name.
Chavez will be featured Friday on Dateline, NBC's news magazine program, along with independent filmmakers who made a film about the murder. Dennis Murphy will report on Trimble's death at her East Pennsboro home on Jan. 10, 2003, in a plot masterminded by her husband, Brian Trimble, and carried out by his friend, Blaine Norris. Both are serving life sentences in prison.
Chavez had several discussions with NBC before agreeing to participate.
"They wanted to talk to me to make sure that I had a comfort level of what they intended and what I expected them to do," she says.
Two female producers met with Chavez and told her the story of her daughter's murder touched them because of the young woman's innocence.
"So many things happened behind the scenes she never knew", Chavez says.
Brian Trimble planned this murder for over seven months, Chavez says. He was very diabolical, able to portray the perfect husband that she wanted and that I wanted for her.
"But all the while Trimble was living a double life steeped in Dungeons and Dragons, violent video games, and the murder plot he was hatching", she says.
"What Randi Trimble experienced could be what other women are experiencing", the producers told her mother.
"The hope is that they can touch another person and maybe get the message across", Chavez says.
Film costs led to her death
NBC producers were intrigued when they read local news stories about last July's premiere of the film Rough Cut, written and directed by Todd Klick.
The film ties together an independent horror film being shot by Norris and Trimble on the Appalachian Trail and the plot to murder Randi Trimble.
A speech language pathologist, Randi Trimble worked two jobs at the time of her death to prepare for the day when her husband, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, could no longer work.
She vetoed loaning money to Norris to buy video equipment.
NBC producers asked Klick to see a copy of his film.
"They loved it and almost immediately signed me to a contract to tell my part of things," Klick says.
Dateline will use footage from Klick's film, and he, co-writer Sean Gaston and executive producer Todd Shill will appear.
It's very exciting for the documentary", Klick says. "It's literally going to get the word out to millions of people."
Klick recently began entering the film in festivals in search of a distributor.
"We've already got interest in the film from Court TV," he says.
A distributor called us Tuesday upon finding out about Dateline. Court TV aired its own segment on the murder investigation in January 2004.
Story touched writer
Jim Hollenbaugh, a Big Spring High School and Millersville University graduate, was director of photography for the documentary.
"We filmed in Carlisle quite a bit," Klick says, getting shots of the courthouse, then-Cumberland County District Attorney Merle "Skip" Ebert, county Chief Detective Les Freehling and county Detective Kurt Voggenreiter.
Klick became interested in filming the story when he read about the arrest of Trimble and Norris.
"It started out as a story for me but as I got to know the victim's family, I became emotionally involved in it and really wanted to do right by Randi Trimble and tell her story properly," Klick says.
Norris got deeper into debt as he tried to produce his film, Klick says. "He then conspired with Brian Trimble to murder Brian Trimble's wife to get part of the insurance money to pay for his film. If that film didn't get made, Randi Trimble would probably be alive today."
When people see the film, he hopes they see that murder destroys the lives of everyone involved - the murderer, the victim and families.
Mom helping others
Last year Chavez helped to raise more than $14,000 for Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties. She recently was appointed chairwoman of the Cumberland County Women's Commission.
"With my daughter gone and no other children, I can focus on giving back to the community," Chavez explains. "I hope to get support for Randi's House of Angels, a long-term project that will help young people."
Chavez explains her daughter was trying to have a child from April 2002 until she died and she had been abused as a child by her father. Randi's House of Angels would be a "healing place where children can come for counseling and to talk about domestic violence and how it affects their lives," Chavez says.
She hopes to accomplish her goal within five years from proceeds of a book she is writing.
"If I know I can help one child, it will help in my healing," Chavez says.
Jan. 10, 2003 - Randi Lee Trimble is murdered at her East Pennsboro Township home sometime between 7:25 and 7:45 p.m. Her husband calls 911 at 8:29 p.m., and detectives are at the scene within the hour.
Jan. 11, 2003 - Police seize Brian Trimble's computer and later find evidence Trimble e-mailed his friend, Blaine Norris, a link to a hit man how-to website one week before Randi Trimble's death.
Jan. 27, 2003 - Detectives film Brian Trimble as he re-enacts finding his wife dead.
Feb. 7, 2003 - Pennsylvania State Police profilers interview Brian Trimble again.
March 13, 2003 - Wiretaps are installed in telephones belonging to both Brian Trimble and Norris. Detectives monitor the men's conversations at least 12 hours per day for three months.
May 8, 2003 - Brian Trimble confesses to his part in the murder as detectives question him in Cumberland County Chief Detective Les Freehling's Carlisle office. Trimble is arrested after 4 1/2 hours, providing what turns out to be an 81-page confession.
Sept. 18, 2003 - Norris is arrested.
April 19, 2004 - Norris pleads guilty to first degree murder and is sentenced to life in prison.
May 6, 2004 - Brian Trimble enters the same plea and is sentenced to life in prison.
Dateline airs at 9 p.m. Friday on NBC.
Rough Cut, written and directed by Todd Klick, will be shown at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at Harrisburg Regal Cinema.
Proceeds will go to a charity in Randi Trimble's name,aEU he says.