Court Records Detail Domestic Violence Leading Up to Murder-Suicide

Police say Daniel Kiefer shot Brandi Jo Murphy in Oswego before turning the gun on himself.

Updated: 2:51 p.m. Wednesday

The 39-year-old Boulder Hill man who police said fatally shot his girlfriend before killing himself Tuesday night had been accused of hitting and threatening her before, court records show.

Daniel Kiefer, of the first block of Fieldpoint Road, shot his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Brandi Jo Murphy, 38, before taking his own life about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at her home in the 300 block of Fox Chase Drive North in Oswego, police said.

The apparent murder-suicide happened a little more than a year after Murphy received an order of protection against Kiefer after she said she had received threatening messages from him.

Kiefer previously had threatened to come to her workplace with a baseball bat and to kick her father in the knee, Murphy alleged in her request for the restraining order. But on Aug. 11, 2010, she wrote, he left her voicemail messages with sounds of a gun cocking and a text message referencing shotgun ammunition: “Brenneke KO Slug 2 34 inch.”

A few weeks later, Murphy asked the judge to lift the restraining order.

Kiefer then was arrested Nov. 13 for allegedly smacking Murphy in the face several times, grabbing her by the hair and slamming her head to the ground at his home in Boulder Hill, court records show. The misdemeanor domestic battery case was set for trial July 12, but the case was dropped that day when Murphy did not show up in court for the second time.

Tuesday night, Murphy’s neighbor, a woman named Lisa, heard four gunshots and then saw a woman running around the neighborhood, screaming.

“She was yelling, ‘He’s got a gun, call the police,’” said Lisa, who asked her last name be withheld. “She was keeled over in the yard, screaming.”

Lisa’s daughter called the police. So did another neighbor, Heidi Nelson.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Kiefer unresponsive in the attached garage, and Murphy also unresponsive in an adjoining doorway leading to the home.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Police said Kiefer shot Murphy before taking his own life.

Police said three adults and three children were also in the house at the time but no one else was injured. The three children were taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora to be evaluated.

Police said a shotgun was recovered at the scene.

Lisa said Murphy told her about the restraining order and asked her to call police if she ever saw Kiefer’s white truck near the home.

Lisa did just that last summer but Murphy told her the two had made up.

Lisa said her younger daughter and Murphy’s kids were once better friends, but after Kiefer started coming around more regularly, she wasn't as comfortable with her children going over there.

Neighbors told stories of screaming and fighting at Murphy's home and said they feared the relationship would have a violent end.

“[My daughter] understands now why I told her not to go over there,” Lisa said. "I'm just extremely sorry about the whole situation."

Nelson, a neighbor, said she hopes this incident serves as a “wake-up call” for other women in similar relationships.

“She had a lot going for her,” Nelson said. “I hope women learn from this. I’m just glad the kids weren’t hurt.”


Murphy's obituary is available here.

Peace August 18, 2011 at 08:57 PM
A beautiful woman has been taken at such a young age. Leaving behind her beautiful children, family and so many friends that love her. I knew both Brandi, and Dan. No one should dare speak about Brandi and what she did or didn't do to stop this. It doesn't matter now, Danny did a horrible, unforgivable thing. People need to stay quiet about these personal issues and remember what your saying could be hurting someone. So stop blaming her, stop judging this tragic situation. Oh and I'm so very sorry it upset your home? It upset all of us, everyone is affected.
Laura Mauricio August 18, 2011 at 10:29 PM
@ erin Im on your side. I believe we need to take action and the laws need to be changed! I was a victim of abuse can understand. The circle is hard to break but if we had stricter laws when it comes to domestic violence everyone gets a slap on the wrist until tragidy occurs! How many others are going to get away with this? People need to take a stand and help change the laws. We dont need anymore motherless children, or loved family members that go threw these horrific acts of violence. Make a change before it happens again
Julie Hayes August 19, 2011 at 12:33 AM
I work for this woman's dad. Even though I didn't know Brandi very well, what I saw was someone who loved her kids, loved her dad, loved her family and friends. Her dad is an amazing person and I would do anything for him and his family. My daughter had her sister for a teacher at school and my heart and my daughter's goes out to her family. I don't like the comments made. I'm so sorry that this happened to this family.
Elizabeth Wolnski Summers August 19, 2011 at 03:28 AM
I know the Kiefer family, and I know that they are kind people. They have lost all of their children, and this can only be the most horrible life experience imagined. I am not defending Dan at all, but please keep in mind his family's pain, guilt and shame. They do not deserve the vitriol that is being written here today.
nickiemuthafng August 19, 2011 at 03:31 AM
As Brandi's roommate and BFF that is thanking GOD that my daughter was not left MOTHERLESS after lastnight I want people to let her Rest In Peace. Regardless of the past she did not deserve this. Our kids did not desrve this! Two children lost their Mother, a Father lost his Daughter, a Sister lost her only Sister, nieces and nephews lost their Aunt, many friends lost a true and dear friend, and I lost a peace of my HEART!!! Show a little respect and class for the fact that our kids could read these awful things someday!!!!!
Erin August 19, 2011 at 03:35 AM
"She finally testitifed and stated that the abuse never happened and that she had a loving relationship with the man she previously accused" That would be perjury if it's not true. There are some who will abuse the system, that doesnt mean that you just call the whole thing off for the numerous other women who would feel relieved being forced to come and testify under oath. And I am getting tired of being accused of "blaming Brandi." Maybe you should spend a little less time worrying about me - and get on the Mutual Ground website a freind of hers set up based on my posts here today - and raise money for the walk in her honor.
AB August 19, 2011 at 03:48 AM
The problem is the State Attonery office should of filed charges agaisnt him. Comments said she filed a restraining order & lifted it... Then she filed other charges on a different date and they were dropped, from her not showing up to two court dates ....IL. brags about their strict Domestic Violence laws... What happen here? Why didnt the state step in... the state has the right to press charges if the victim decides not to.. Mainly because women or men get into this cycle they can't get out of.. They are called a victim for a reason.. Sometimes you become your own biggest threat ... Its not her friends fault or famlies fault, Brandi was a victim of her own mine & her abuser... I feel sorry for her that she had to go down this road in her life & then for it to end like this... RIP Brandi.. may god watch over you children
Lisa Brown Long August 19, 2011 at 05:00 AM
All this is making me sick. I understand that everyone has an opinion about this but for the love of God, has anyone thought that her family might read this? They are going through enough right now and don't need to be subjected to some of the comments that I have read. My heart goes out to her Dad, Tiffani and especially Brandi's children. Tiffani and I were in the same class at OHS and when I read this I sat on my front porch and cried for over an hour. I would be absolutely devasted if I lost my little sister......no matter how it happened but I am sure that an act of violence makes it much worse. The ones that have commented and made it seem like it was somehow Brandi's fault I would like all of you to remember one thing. You should never judge a person until you have walked a mile in thier shoes. No one has any idea what Brandi was going through and to pass judgement on her is just plain wrong. We should be honoring Brandi's memory.....not speculating as to who's fault it is.
Melanie Ervin August 19, 2011 at 05:47 AM
Amen, Lisa Brown Long. Those who have been judging Brandi so harshly need to take a look in the mirror and realize that everyone makes mistakes. Let this victim RIP. Her family is hurting. They don't need to see the wrongful judgements. Brandi was a wonderful soul. She will be greatly missed.
Allen August 19, 2011 at 07:10 AM
I have to say something that this is surley not the time or the place to have these discussions. There are families in complete turmoil . That right now only need peace. For those of you whom are trying to place blame SHAME ON YOU . It will not change the fact. We knew Brandi for along time and she will be missed. Unless you have been in the shoes of being abused you will NEVER UNDERSTAND. Please just have this family ecspecially the chidren and those who have to pick up the piece's and carry on in your prayers.
Cathy Abraham August 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Nickie, so glad you and the kids are still here and we shouldn't waste time reading this crap. Brandi was an excellent friend and mother and that will never change. She certainly didn't deserve this. As a long time friend my heart is broken as many others are I am sure. I wish this article would have been more family oriented then maybe all of this BS wouldn't have been posted. It all comes down to -We love and miss you Brandi. Our lives are forever changed and you will never be forgotten.
Erin August 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM
"I have to say something that this is surley not the time or the place to have these discussions." Yeah, well I have a lot of emails from her freinds who disagree... Not people who went to HS with her - but freinds who KNOW her, her family and children. This article and terrible tragedy is just one page in a 700 page book of a full life and person who does not resemble anything in this article. If you think that Brandi would disapprove if her freinds coming on here and setting the record straight with personal tributes and for being adament that our "peace" will come with justice being served through future abused women, then I am sorry - but you didn't really know her.
Cathy Abraham August 19, 2011 at 02:02 PM
Brandi Lamphere Murphy was a bright and shining soul who will be greatly missed. This article and comments are not indicative of the kind of warm, loving person she was or of the struggle she went through with the monster that murdered her. We can't change what happened, we can only try to pull ourselves together for her and her family's sake. We still have tomorrow to get through and no amount of arguing will change that. I love you B.
haidee and patty August 19, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Brandi was the best boss we ever had. She was a strong beatiful women who was always there for us, caring and loving mom. When her children came here there were always hugs and kisses =). She will be miss very much so but she will always live in our hearts.
LSJ August 19, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Thank you Erin for making it more clear. I agree that the system is messed up. I suspect this article is so hot because it is too close to home in more than one way.
JaLee Goldsberry Ashbaugh August 19, 2011 at 07:19 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with Brandi's family. May God give Brandi's kids the courage to get past the bad and remember the good.
Andre Salles August 20, 2011 at 12:46 AM
I have deleted a series of comments and their responses from this thread. I know this is an emotional subject, people, but please, no personal attacks. Read the terms of use if you need a guideline. Thank you.
Renee August 20, 2011 at 02:47 AM
I hate to state the obvious but the cycle of abuse needs to be broken esp. when children are involved....
iveneverhitawomanEVER August 20, 2011 at 03:03 AM
his brother died in a hunting accident a few years ago. they were really close. this is a sad ending to these people as i knew them both. she was pretty cool and i remember him growing up and he was always decent to me. they fought ALL the time pretty hardcore and it's sad to see this happen. i know he was going through so depression but no one seemed to care.
Julie Hayes August 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Wow you are right. How about a non-profit org. that deals with kids of extreme circumstances? There pro bably is one but I haven't found it yet.
nunzio August 20, 2011 at 05:39 PM
I just want to say what is going on with humans that we are so weak that we think we can take anothers life, because we once dated that person. How selfish and disgusting we have become. Then this little piece of nothingness take his own life and shatters the lives of many who are still living...im sicken by what we americans value...its so sad it really is
AB August 20, 2011 at 11:13 PM
I was not stating that the disscussion on here about abused women shouldnt take place here this is the perfect place for it and as for Brandi's friends setting the record straight i agree. But in some off the earlier post that have been deleted there where some people putting blame on her for not leaving and that is what i was commenting on. There is no one to blame for this except the coward who commited this horrible tradgey. And just to reply my Wife and i have known Brandi and Jeremy for well over 20yrs. My wife and her where very close when they both worked at Pac financial. sorry for the confusion Erin, I was defending her .
leo August 21, 2011 at 02:35 AM
peace to the family and friends-i understand your fears for your own children-and that bullet could have easily came through the walls of these cookie cutter homes.Thankfully that part of your nightmare is over and all the kids around are safe.
oswegoannie August 21, 2011 at 05:34 PM
"nickiemuthafng?!" ... nice name.
Scott August 21, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Just for the record one of the shots fired did go through a neighbors house. neighbors with two small children of their own. brandi's death was senseless and beyond tragic. were all sick ove rit. but thank god he didn't take more people out. my thoughts are with everyone who was affected by this horrific act. i wish we could turn back the clock and do something to prevent it.
leo August 22, 2011 at 02:27 AM
scott-my thoughts are w the father now-may God help guide him along the way-and again noone else was fatally injured- with school around the corner the community needs to continue to be strong.Laws need to change to protect people living in fear.An order is'nt going to do anything only delay the aftermath.Clearly we are set up a donation website for the Murphy children.
Family August 22, 2011 at 03:39 AM
I am her cousin. She was not shot in front of her children. They were in the basement and taken out through the basement after the event was over. Thank god they never saw any of what happened.
Family August 22, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Rest in Peace
Sheena Saloka August 23, 2011 at 05:15 PM
@ Family (Brandi's cousin), Thank you for informing us about them not seeing anything My heart was just breaking in thought of them seeing their mom like that. Although it doesnt change the fact that they lost their mom to such a tragedy. I am so sorry for your loss.
Kate September 01, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Wow I am not shocked by his actions at all. My heart goes out to Danny's parents for loosing both children and my condolences go out to the Murphy Family also. This should not have happen at all. I dated Danny and I too had these problems and more with him. I tried the restaining order and I was denied by the judge.His actions cost me and my family a lot of money and in the end he walked away. Unfortunately not this time and the worst part is he choose to take an innocent person with him. There is so much more I could say but out of respect for his parents I will keep it to myself.


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