West Danville and the surrounding towns are a series of small, tight-knit communities. Rodney Hill, 37, grew up here. Hill graduated from Danville High School and at one point owned a welding shop in town. It's a place where everyone knows each other.
"I don't think I would say I felt threatened by him at any point, no. But I did feel that you didn't want to do anything to arouse him," said Jeff Downs of Joe's Pond Country Store.
Today, Hill sits in a jail cell accused of second-degree murder. Police say he repeatedly stabbed a hotel guest Monday night in Littleton, N.H. Both Hill and the victim, Kitty Houghton, 70, of California, were staying at the hotel.
Hill was a frequent customer at Joe's Pond Country Store. Those who knew him said he was friendly. He has no prior criminal history. But acquaintances said he did have a nasty temper and a short fuse.
"Rodney could overreact to regular events of life, but to go randomly, apparently randomly murder some poor woman is a shock," Downs said.
The tragedy has had a devastating impact at the White Mountains school in Bethlehem, N.H. Houghton's connection to the school goes back more than five decades. No one was in the position to speak on camera Wednesday. However, friends of Houghton did tell me that she was a loving and active member of this community.
Houghton was in the area for a board meeting. She was a trustee at the school. We still don't know why Hill was renting a room, given that the hotel is just over half an hour from his home. Prosecutors say the deadly encounter, which took place in the hotel lobby, appears to be random act. Downs says that has frightened one of his employees.
"She said she had been crying since yesterday, since she had heard about this. And I said, 'What are you so upset about?' And she said, 'It could have been any of us,'" Downs said.
Hill is due in court next week for a probable cause hearing. At that time more details, including a motive, may be revealed and shed more light on a crime that's rocked this small town.
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:09 AM EST2014-03-08 15:09:01 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:58 AM EST2014-03-08 14:58:38 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:40 AM EST2014-03-08 13:40:47 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:36 AM EST2014-03-08 13:36:58 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>