2 Steak and Shake employees murdered near St. Louis

2 Steak and Shake employees murdered near St. Louis

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Thread: 2 Steak and Shake employees murdered near St. Louis

  1. #1
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    2 Steak and Shake employees murdered near St. Louis

    This is why I carry every day, even to areas that seem safe to some: MyFox St. Louis | 2 Steak and Shake Employees Murdered in South County

    2 Steak and Shake Employees Murdered in South County

    Last Edited: Monday, 10 Nov 2008, 10:35 PM CST
    Created: Monday, 10 Nov 2008, 11:42 AM CST

    By Teresa Woodard,

    (KTVI - myFOXstl.com) -- Two South St. Louis County Steak n Shake employees were shot to death inside the restaurant early Monday morning. Police believe it was a robbery. Late Monday investigators narrowed down the time frame in which they believe the killings happened: between 2:30 and 4:30 A.M.

    The employees were 44 year old Tammy Cantrell, a waitress, and 24 year old Mark Gestner, a cook. They were the only workers on duty.

    "I don't understand why," said Tammy Cantrell's sister Cheryl. "They didn't have any money at that store. Why would you kill two people? For nothing."

    Steak n Shake did have some money, which was taken in the robbery. Police declined to say how much. They also declined to say whether the restaurant has surveillance cameras. Investigators are reviewing video from several nearby businesses.

    The 24 hour restaurant was closed to customers for a short time overnight, for exterminators to come in and do some work. Police say the doors to the restaurant were left unlocked during that time.

    "It's terrible, it's disgusting," said a shaken neighbor of Tammy Cantrell's. Diane Cupp said Tammy and Cheryl lived together. "Why would somebody take someone's life like this? It hurts."

    Cheryl said her sister was taking classes to become a nurse, and was getting A's in those courses.

    Gestner lived in a mobile home park in Arnold. He was the father to a four year old little girl.

    "Now she has no father to come home to and hug," said one of Gestner's neighbors.

    A man delivering food to the restaurant in the 5800 block of Lindbergh, near Tesson Ferry in Green Park, found one body at 4:50 A.M. He called police and when they arrived they discovered the other body. Both had been shot to death in separate locations within the restaurant, not in the dining room.

    "I want them caught," said Cheryl Cantrell. "This is not right. You took away one of the best people. It's not right."

    Police did review register receipts, but declined to say if that is what led them to narrow down the time frame in which they believe the crimes occurred.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Two people shot in separate areas of a restaurant...that's horrible. All I can think about is whoever the second one was, after hearing the shot and thinking 'Oh God'. At that moment they were probably wishing they had a gun, right before they died.

    And yet the story always is "what a tragedy"...it's not a tragedy, some person(s) did this. I hope they get a needle.
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
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    Senior Member Array Rossman's Avatar
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    OH My. Shocking news article.

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    Condolences go out to the family's.
    To the murder/murders, your place in hell is being warmed up for you. Just remember when your sitting on death row, no one wants to here about how "you found your God" while in prison, waiting your turn on the gurney.
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    The more I read events of this nature the more I am certain that the gallows, outside for all to see, need to be brought back and used.
    I am inclined to believe that public executions of convicted murders and the such would become one heck of a crime deterrent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Condolences go out to the family's.
    To the murder/murders, your place in hell is being warmed up for you. Just remember when your sitting on death row, no one wants to here about how "you found your God" while in prison, waiting your turn on the gurney.
    I'm relatively sure that the perps don't read these forums...but I do hope that these BG have a chance to meet God. Hopefully, someone may soon arrange the meeting for him/her/them.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    The more I read events of this nature the more I am certain that the gallows, outside for all to see, need to be brought back and used.
    I am inclined to believe that public executions of convicted murders and the such would become one heck of a crime deterrent.
    A great idea...
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Senior Member Array mi2az's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWRedDragon View Post
    Two people shot in separate areas of a restaurant...that's horrible. All I can think about is whoever the second one was, after hearing the shot and thinking 'Oh God'. At that moment they were probably wishing they had a gun, right before they died.

    And yet the story always is "what a tragedy"...it's not a tragedy, some person(s) did this. I hope they get a needle.
    As we all know, employers will not let their people carry firearms to their workplace. There is not much you can do but not work at palces with those type of hours if you can help it
    "When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty."

    --Thomas Jefferson --

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    I guess I'm lucky to currently be working at a gun shop where I am required to carry and expected to attempt to shoot any robbers. Not sure how I would feel about working some place that made me an easy target.

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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Condolences go out to the family's.
    To the murder/murders, your place in hell is being warmed up for you. Just remember when your sitting on death row, no one wants to here about how "you found your God" while in prison, waiting your turn on the gurney.
    When they get the needle, God will know if they are being honest, right? Not our problem.
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

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    Senior Member Array mi2az's Avatar
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    We really don't need public executions, what we really need to do is follow through with our executions and not have people waiting on death row for 15-20 years...
    "When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty."

    --Thomas Jefferson --

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    Quote Originally Posted by mi2az View Post
    As we all know, employers will not let their people carry firearms to their workplace. There is not much you can do but not work at palces with those type of hours if you can help it
    yeah I currently work for Starbucks and that's one thing that gets me. My store doesn't even have a back door... or second door for that matter. We have double doors up front and that is considered "two exits" I've thought about getting a pocket carry anyways... but probably won't.
    Protection is a responsibility not just a right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mi2az View Post
    We really don't need public executions, what we really need to do is follow through with our executions and not have people waiting on death row for 15-20 years...
    Our country is losing its grip on being able to enforce the death penalty laws we have in place because of all the that are being put into political offices everywhere. More and more states are once again having their death penalties being over turned. I wonder how many starving families in the United States we could feed every year with the money that is spent in keeping the murders on death row alive.
    The first time you aren't armed and prepared may be the last time you wished you were.

  14. #14
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    Update: two brothers who were both former employees, one who had been fired and one who quit, are now in custody. Police say they have confessed.

    STLtoday - 2 Cahokia brothers charged in Steak 'n Shake killings

    2 Cahokia brothers charged in Steak 'n Shake killings

    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/13/2008

    UPDATED AT 5:30 p.m.

    CLAYTON -- Two brothers who had worked at Steak 'n Shake until about six months ago were charged today in connection with the murders on Monday of a cook and waitress at the south St. Louis County restaurant, police said today.

    Waitress Tammy L. Cantrell, 44, and cook Mark L. Gerstner, 24, were found slain inside the eatery. The restaurant is at 5828 South Lindbergh Boulevard, in a small municipality of Green Park, in south St. Louis County.

    The brothers -- Anthony D. Akins, 20, and Oundr'e T. Akins, 19 -- are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action and one count of first-degree robbery. They were charged today by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch. They are being held without bond.

    Investigators said they began examining records of employees who had been fired or who used to work at the restaurant, and that in part helped lead to Anthony Akins, who was arrested and questioned by police Wednesday night. The employee records, combined with evidence gathered at the scene, interviews with current workers and people who were in the vicinity of the eatery early Monday, helped the case fall in to place, police and McCulloch said

    St. Louis County police Major Ted Hylla said detectives "strongly believed" robbery was the motivation behind the killings. Hylla declined to provide additional details, but police investigators said they did not believe the killings were in retaliation for one of the brothers being fired as a worker for the restaurant.

    Neither McCulloch nor police investigators would say whether the victims struggled with their killers. They also would not say how many times the victims were shot, or where in their bodies they had been shot.

    Less than $200 was taken during the robbery, McCulloch said. The brothers used a swipe card key from one of the victims to access the cash register. McCulloch did not say if the key was taken before or after the workers were killed.

    "Whether $200 or $2 billion, it's still a murder," McCulloch said.

    Anthony Akins was arrested Wednesday night; he is being held at the St. Louis County jail. Oundr'e Akins was arrested at his parents' Cahokia home Thursday morning and is being held at the St. Clair County jail as authorities attempt to work out extradition to Missouri.

    On Wednesday, the Steak 'n Shake company offered a $50,000 reward for the arrest and successful prosecution of whoever killed the employees. But McCulloch said that the reward did not help break the case.

    The company has also provided money for the victims' families.

    Officials at Steak 'n Shake's headquarters in Indianapolis said this afternoon that the company is encouraged that arrests have been made in the case.

    Sardar Biglari, the Company’s Chairman and CEO, thanked the police for its hard work on the case. Biglari said that the killings had brought employees together, not pushed them apart.

    “Nothing can bring back Mark and Tammy, but this horrible event has shown what wonderful associates we have at Steak n Shake," Biglari said. "We have come together in this difficult time to help each other."

    The case broke open early Thursday morning when the Illinois State Police tactical response team swarmed a house where both men lived with their parents in the 1600 block of Armand Drive in Cahokia, said Capt. Mark Bramlett, the local investigative commander of the Illinois State Police. The area is near Camp Jackson Road, not far from Cahokia Park.

    About 6:30 a.m. today, police burst into the home in Cahokia.

    Tony Akins Sr., the father of the two men, told the Post-Dispatch this morning that he, his wife and four of his six sons were sleeping in the home when police broke down his front and back doors. Police made them wait on the front lawn while they searched the home, he said.

    Police carted off evidence taken from the home. Tony Akins Sr. said his two sons had worked at the Steak 'n Shake until about six months ago. The older one was fired; the other one quit, upset because he thought he was being passed over for promotions, Akins Sr. said.

    "If they done this .... I just don't understand why, because they had everything going for themselves," Akins Sr. said.

    The Akins' small, frame home is well-kept with flowers in front, but family members were sweeping up the broken glass and cleaning up other debris in the wake of the police search.

    Akins Sr. said he tried to raise his sons right and traffic tickets were their only runs-ins with the law before. After they were fired from Steak 'n Shake, one of the brothers got another job at a steel plant but was laid off last Friday -- three days before the murders, Akins Sr. said.

    Akins Sr. said a police officer told him his sons had confessed, but said he doubted that was accurate and won't know what to think until he talks with them. He said he found it difficult to believe his sons could commit such acts.

    "I did everything in my power to raise my boys right," he said. "It's really sad, All the people over there (at the restaurant) were nice to me and my boys. I don't know how to explain it. I believe in my heart there's got to be someone else involved in this. I don't see them pulling the trigger."

    Akins Sr. said he thought his sons were home when the crimes occurred.

    Akins Sr.' brother -- the suspects' uncle -- still works at the Steak 'n Shake where the killings happened. That uncle attended Cantrell's wake on Wednesday. Officials said they have no information to suggest the relative was involved in the crimes

    Akins Sr. says he knew Cantrell and had met her a couple of times when having coffee and breakfast at the restaurant. Neither of his sons knew Gerstner, he said.

    Akins Sr. said neither son was acting suspicious the last few days. "They did their usual things every day," he said.

    Akins Sr. said his sons had it good -- they didn't pay bills but were allowed to live with him as long as they kept a job. The 20-year-old son liked the job he had at the steel plant, making $700 a week. The 19-year-old was still looking for a job.

    Akins Sr. said he believes his sons are innocent.

    "I can't understand what is going on," Akins Sr. said. "If they had any involvement, God's going to have to deal with them. Look at their records. They don't have any criminal records."

    A criminal records check showed that both of the sons had a handful of traffic and misdemeanor charges. One of the two brothers is facing a misdemeanor charge of resisting a police officer, and is awaiting trial on that charge. The incident allegedly happened on Aug. 7 in Centreville.

    Later today, St. Louis County police plan to hold a joint news conference with prosecutors to talk about the developments.

    Cantrell's father, Robert Cantrell, was elated that arrests had come.

    "I am so happy," said the father, who lives in unincorporated Jefferson County. "I hope it is the right ones."

    Robert Cantrell said he thought all along that it had to be an "inside job," committed by disgruntled former employees. He figured that only someone familiar with the restaurant would have known that the front door was unlocked, even though a sign posted on the door said the business was closed. The restaurant was temporarily closed so an exterminator could spray for bugs before the breakfast rush.

    The back door couldn't be used because a key had been broken off in the lock for some time and the company hadn't fixed it, he said.

    Robert Cantrell said Tammy Cantrell worked at the restaurant for five years. She got to work Sunday night about 11 p.m. About 4 a.m., a bread deliveryman found Tammy Cantrell on the floor and called police.

    "Tammy was type of girl if she had a job she'd go to it. She didn't have enemies," her father said.

    Through tears, Robert Cantrell added: "I'm happy that they caught someone."

    What the family saw at the funeral home convinced them that Tammy Cantrell knew her killer.

    "She had kind of a smile on her face, and that told us that she knew whoever it was," he said. "That's what it showed us."

    The funeral for Tammy Cantrell was Wednesday.

  15. #15
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    Oundre and Anthony both deserve a quick and 'painful' painful from this world.
    Two dirty rotten dirtbags...no mercy! Like in Thailand, bind them and toss them to the crocs.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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