by Chuck Colbert
A former Dallas Voice photographer, Christian (alias Christopher) Colbert, wanted in the murder of his former next-door neighbor Ronald Shumway, has been indicted by a Dallas County grand jury.
Having fled to Los Angeles, Colbert confessed to the murder in March. An extradition hearing was set for May 18.
“Shumway’s torso was found in the yard of his former home last September when a new owner was clearing the backyard. The body was identified through DNA tests,” according to Dallas Voice reporter David Taffet in news story. “After Shumway resigned by email from his position as a DART [Dallas Area Rapid Transit] bus driver, his house was put up for sale. Colbert has been identified as the person who appeared at the closing. When asked for ID, he said he left his driver’s license home and would fax it later. He faxed Shumway’s license with Colbert’s picture replacing Shumway’s.”
“Colbert was a Dallas Voice Scene photographer around 2003-2006. He also was a hair stylist. In 2008, he created a product to prevent bleach and hair from ruining a person’s makeup,” according to Dallas Voice reporting.
Over the telephone, Taffet provided additional information. “The local Advocate [newspaper in Oak Cliff], where the crime took place, broke the story about finding a body in this yard and the sale was not done by this guy, Shumway,” he said.
Dallas Voice was interested in the story because Shumway was gay, Taffet said.
Taffet worked with Dallas police. Initially, the police thought Shumway had killed somebody and then disappeared. Oddly enough, no one had reported Shumway missing, Taffet explained.
“Where we helped break the case — when the police decided it was Colbert who had done it — was when someone had heard from him in December and even sent pictures of where he was living,” Taffet said. “We got the phone number to police. They were able to determine the call had come from Los Angeles. We also sent the pictures to the L.A. Police Department. They picked up Colbert in a few days.”
Oddly enough, “Dallas Police went out to interview Colbert, and he admitted to killing Shumway,” although, “he is claiming self-defense” Taffet said.
The Dallas Morning News filled in some other details from a crime blog, dated March 14:
“On September 24, 2015, Dallas Police responded to 725 N. Winnetka regarding the unidentified remains in the backyard of a vacant home under renovation. During the course of the investigation, DNA comparisons revealed that the remains belonged to the registered homeowner Ronald David Shumway, W/M 57. The investigation also revealed that Christopher Brian Colbert W/M 08-21-1972 assumed Shumway’s identity and committed several deceptive acts. Colbert is currently wanted for Tampering with Governmental Record, Securing Execution of Document by Deception and Money Laundering, each carrying a $100,000.00 bond.…
“Shumway was last seen on April 23, 2016. Facebook posts that police believe were made by Colbert indicated he was going to Austin. Several posts were made to indicate he was living in Austin with someone he met online. In May, Shumway’s house was put up for sale and it sold in June. During the summer it was flipped. The current owner found the torso in his yard in September.”
(Editor's note: Christian Colbert is no relation to writer Chuck Colbert.)
IN THE NEWS