He Built a Mansion to Protect His Family. It Didn't Work

C. Wesley Morgan's daughter was murdered in the home in February
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2022 9:00 AM CDT
He Built a Mansion to Protect His Family. It Didn't Work
The home was built on 200 acres in Kentucky's countryside. (Stock photo)   (Getty Images / Jacqueline Nix)

For years, C. Wesley Morgan lived in a $6.5 million Kentucky estate, a 14,300-square-foot home complete with three kitchens and a saltwater pool. But for the last few months, he has lived with his wife and teen daughter in an RV. "My wife and my daughter haven't spent one night at that house since this happened because they're traumatized, they can't," he told WTVQ in May. He's referring to the night of Feb. 22, when police say Shannon V. Gilday broke into the home via a second-floor balcony and shot Morgan's 32-year-old daughter, Jordan, dead in her bed. As the New York Times reports, the home had been designed to do the very opposite: protect them via its 2,000-square-foot bunker.

Morgan—who made his fortune through a liquor store chain and served a term as a Republican member of Kentucky's House of Representatives—tells the Times why he built the home and bunker in 2009. "My feelings were that we were going to have civil unrest because there was so much going on with Obama." He emerged from his term bitter about Kentucky politics and wanting to move, so he listed his home on Zillow—not thinking its "Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Fallout Shelter" would go viral, causing a slew of articles and prodding strangers to drive by.

In February, Jordan told Morgan she no longer felt safe there and planned to get her own place in Lexington. Soon after, she was dead. Gilday's mother claims her 23-year-old son had increasingly been growing paranoid; court documents state he researched a number of Kentucky homes before allegedly entering Morgan's—all had a bunker. (Read the Times story in full here.)

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