His wife, who had kept the haunting secret hidden for decades, sold him out in a police confession. To defend himself, he stated, “The detectives mentally raped my wife into this,” and called the judge a liar. Later, the murder was dubbed “a murder of incestuous passion.”
A Man Ki*lled His Sister and Her Husband
The murders of Gail Brink and Rick Brink put an end to their new marriage sooner than they expected.
On November 23, 1987, their bodies were discovered. Rick’s body was discovered in his Chevy Blazer with two gunshot wounds to the head. Gail’s body was discovered inside the house, indicating that she, too, had been shot to dea*th.
The couple’s horrific murders had a significant impact on their community. At the funeral, the priest said “This is not the work of the Lord,” but “This is the work of the Devil.”
Rick and Gail’s murder case remained unsolved for over two decades until the Ottawa County Cold Case Team was formed in 2009. In 2011, detectives interviewed over 200 people in the hopes of solving the murder mystery. One of the detectives stated,
“Friendships and loyalties change over time. People who may have been hiding a secret back then may no longer feel the need to or have held that secret for so long they want to vent,” — Venus Ruppert
Family Members Were Not the Only Ones Whose Loyalty Had Changed
Pam, Wyngarden’s wife, who had given the police his alibi at the time, had a lot more to tell them.
Pam told the police that Wyngarden had told her that he had ki*lled his sister and brother-in-law. Wyngarden also took Pam to the scene of the crime before anyone else did.
“I saw Rick when we pulled up to his truck. Then Ryan Wyngarden grabbed my wrists and led me into the bedroom, where I saw Gail. — Wyngarden Pam
Further investigations revealed that Wyngarden had a fight with the couple before they were murdered.
There Was a Much Bigger Motive That Led to the Murders — Jealousy
The last time Wyngarden slept with his sister Gail was before she got married. Wyngarden had told his other sister that he was going to tell Gail he was sorry because he thought he had raped her.
And in an admission to his wife, Wyngarden said he ki*lled the couple because he didn’t like how they were together. Wyngarden had slept with Gail as a teenager, and he didn’t want Gail’s husband to find out about it.
So did the prosecutors. They thought Wyngarden ki*lled Gail and Rick to hide the s*ex acts he had with his sister in the past. When his sister got married, it made him even more envious. The news made Wyngarden want to k*ill the couple even more.
Ryan Wyngarden was found guilty of the murders in court on April 21, 2014, and given two terms of life in prison without the chance of parole.