Insane New Details About The Man Who Held His Wife Hostage For Days And Then Murdered The People Who Helped Her Escape

The wife had just escaped and ran to a neighbor's home.

Christopher Synder, Maryland Facebook

Four people are dead after a Maryland man shot and killed three people and then turned the gun on himself after his wife escaped the captivity he was holding her in for days. 

Christopher Snyder, 41, went to a neighbor's home looking for his wife. The 33-year-old had reportedly fled their home after he had been holding her hostage. 

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A resident of the home, a guest and a person there doing housework were home when Snyder arrived. He shot and killed them and his wife reportedly escaped unharmed with two other people in the home.  

The victims have been identified as Mary Olson, 66, Danny Lee Murphy, 70; and Craig Harold Shotwell, 54. 

After the murders, Synder barricaded himself inside the home for six hours. 


“Our tactical team breached the front door and when they breached the front door the suspect was on the phone with negotiators,” Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said. 

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“He asked the negotiator, ‘Did they just break in the front door?’ and then hung up the phone. At that point, officers outside the home heard a single gunshot.”

Synder's wife told police that he had held her captive for the weekend prior. She saw an opportunity to escape on Monday and took it. A search of the home they shared found multiple guns and there was a concern of possible explosives. 


Synder was reportedly known to local police. He was arrested in June 2017 for carrying a concealed dangerous weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, though details remain unclear. 

Early that same year, he filed for divorce from his ex-wife — who is not the same woman who was held captive — and claimed the records should be sealed because he was an Armed Forces veteran who served on classified operations. 


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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter or on her website at