Closings and delays

Florida ‘Blue Moon Killer’ arrested in murders of mother, brothers

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Donald Wayne Hartung

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Authorities have arrested the man dubbed the “Blue Moon Killer” in connection with the murders of three people in July.

Donald Wayne Hartung, 58, was arrested on Tuesday morning on a charge of homicide, the Pensacola News Journal reports.

Hartung’s mother, 77-year-old Voncile Smith, and two younger brothers, 49-year-old John William Smith and 47-year-old Richard Thomas Smith, were found dead in their Pensacola home on July 31.

Investigators believe the killings may have been linked to the appearance of the blue moon, leading to Hartung being labeled the “Blue Moon Killer.”

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said the family was killed in the previous two to three days prior to their discovery. They were reportedly beaten with hammers and had their throats slit. Richard Smith also had a gunshot wound.

The family was reportedly very reclusive and allowed few people into their home, the News Journal reports.

The delay between the murders and Hartung’s arrest was attributed to vast amounts of DNA evidence that had to be processed.