Sheriff: No suicide note or confession in Striker case

A winery owner shot his two teenage children then shot and killed himself at the family's winery in McMinn County on Wednesday afternoon, according to McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.

According to the sheriff, Stanley Striker, owner of Strikers' Premium Winery, had been in court recently with another family member who was seeking custody of the children.

The two teenagers were able to escape to a neighbor who took them to a local hospital. They were then transported to a hospital in Chattanooga where both are in serious condition, but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Striker's death has been ruled a suicide.

Stanley Striker was the widower of Patty Striker, who was killed in the same winery in April of 2000. The husband was questioned in his wife's death, but never named a suspect.

According to a lawsuit filed by one of Patty's children shortly after her death, family members suspected Stanley was involved in her shooting. The lawsuit was later dismissed.

Authorities say Striker did not make any statements regarding his wife's death to his children, or leave a suicide note before killing himself.

Classic footage: Patty Striker cold case

Patty Striker was 35-years-old when co-workers found her shot to death in her family's winery. Investigators said Patty was talking on the phone moments before her killer walked into the winery and shot her. The killer also took the cash register.

The McMinn County Sheriff's Department have worked for years to find the killer, who left little evidence behind. They told 10News in a 2007 report that they'd interviewed more than 200 people in what was then their oldest cold case.

"To me she was an angel, there's no describing her-- she was just perfect," Patty's father, Hugh Thomas, told 10News in an April 2003 interview.

Patty had four children. In 2001, an Athens judge threw out a $5.5 million lawsuit filed against Stanley Striker by Donnie Morrow, Patty's son from a previous marriage. In the suit, Morrow claimed his step-father was involved in Patty's death, but the judge found there were no facts to support those claims.

Stanley Striker was questioned about the murder, but was never named a suspect.


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