I’m Never Stepping on a Pile of Leaves Again: The Story of Matthew Hoffman

Welcome back to Murder Monday –

I’d like to send out a huge thank you to all those who have been tuning in and sending me feedback, keep it comin’! I usually have some sort of strange personal input at the start of these, but this week I’m skipping straight to the shit.

I introduce to you, Matthew Hoffman

(If it were the 90s and Tinder existed and he wasn’t a murderer…. would right swipe)

Oddly, I couldn’t find much about this guys upbringing or early life. Probably because what he ended up doing with his adulthood was so absurd that no one cared to know anything else about him. It appears that an event in his life may have shaped him into a sociopath, judging by the statements taken by those who knew him. According to a neighbor – Hoffman would kill squirrels and eat them, and wasn’t ashamed of this behavior at all. He would trap small animals in his yard and set small fires around them, and neighbors said he was often seen sitting in trees watching his own property after doing things of this nature. He also served eight years in prison for theft, burglary, and first degree arson after setting a Condominium in Colorado on fire to cover a robbery in 2001.


On June 6, 2011 Matthew Hoffman was sentenced to life in prison without parole. So it must be bad, right?



November 10, 2010
Mount Vernon, Ohio

Prior arsonist and burglar Matthew Hoffman picked a house to burglarize, and he waited. Just outside of Tina Herrmann’s Knox County home, he bundled up in a sleeping bag in the woods across the way and observed the split level home and slept through the night. He woke in the morning to see Tina Herrmann leaving her home and decided to go take a look in the home after realizing that she had left the over head garage door slightly opened. He claims he was entering the home simply to burglarize, and I wish that was all he had done.

Before this day was over, Hoffman killed Tina Herrmann, her 11 year old son Kody Maynard, their friend and neighbor 41 year old Stephanie Sprang…… and the family’s dog.


He kept a fourth victim alive – Tina Herrmann’s 13 year old daughter, Sarah Maynard. She was found bound and gagged in his basement.


I would like to take this moment to throw out a trigger warning for any of you who may be sensitive to the topic of rape or child abuse.

The following contains excerpts from Hoffman’s confession given to The Columbus Dispatch on November 19th, 2010.

“I looked around the house to make sure no one was there. Even if I did not take anything, there was a certain amount of excitement in being in someone else’s home without them being there. I was looking for anything of value that could be carried out easily, i.e. money, jewelry, etc. I did not find anything of any real value. I was getting ready to leave as I had been there approximately an hour, but someone pulled into the driveway. I was back in the bedrooms when she entered the house and was unable to exit without breaking a window and trying to jump out. I had brought my knife for a certain amount of intimidation in case I ran inot someone and needed to make an escape.

When she made her way back into the bedrooms I confronted her and made her get onto the bed lying face down. I believe that we were in her bedroom. I had a blackjack, I was going to try to knock her out. I hit her a couple of times in the head, but this would not knock her out. It was not doing the job, and I started panicking. The next thing that I knew her friend came into the bedroom. I have no idea when she got there, what she was doing there, and how she gained access. The other woman yelled at me, there were now two to deal with and I did not know what to do.

I grabbed the knife that I had put down on the nightstand and stabbed the woman on the bed, through her back, twice. I chased the other woman down (Stephanie) and stabbed her a couple times in the chest. Instead of running out of the house, she had run into another bedroom. I believe this bedroom was for a girl due to the contents of the room. I then went back to the other bedroom where the first woman was located and stabbed her a couple more times. I could tell that both women were now dead.

At this time I was in a total state of shock. I wandered around the house slowly coming to the realization of what I had done and how bad it was. During this time I killed the dog because it would not stop barking. After a while I came to the conclusion that I was going dispose of the bodies and burn the house down. At first I thought about loading the bodies into the vehicle, driving it into Foundation Park Pond, I would swim away as the vehicles sank, but I felt that it was too cold and I might not be able to make it out of the water. I decided to process the bodies and dispose of them inside of a tree that I knew was hollow. I took the bodies into the bathroom and begin processing the bodies to dispose of them. I used garbage bags from within the house and placed the bodies inside.

Once I had finished processing the bodies, I moved the Jeep into the garage to load up the bodies. I still had a couple of bags to load into the Jeep when I heard the children come into the house. … I confronted the children, and the girl instantly ran to a bedroom. I stabbed the boy in the chest a couple times. I ran into the bedroom after the girl to make sure she was not on the phone for help. … I saw the girl was not on the phone, and I could not bring myself to kill her.”

“I did not plan for any of this to happen”

Christ, man.

After some standard police work following the discovery in the Herrmann home, police said it was not hard to pin him as a suspect.

November 14th, 2010

Police raided Matthew Hoffman’s home, and what they found was unsettling to say the least.


“So much runs through your mind : “What if someone is hiding in that pile? Or in this case, I thought, “is that where he’s hiding the bodies?” – Detective Craig Feeney told the Columbus Dispatch

When the officers entered the home they found Hoffman sleeping on the couch, and Sarah Maynard bound and gagged in the basement. He was arrested and taken into custody and he old the officers he was happy that Sarah had been rescued by authorities. He claimed he made the bed of leaves for Sarah because she found it comforting and liked to sleep on them. Hoffman said he treated her nicely, he let her watch her favorite movies and cooked her hamburgers, he even slept with his arms around her. These statements were later proven wrong by the victims testimony. He raped the 13 year old girl repeatedly during the four days that she was held captive.

Later that day, Hoffman wrote a four page confession leading authorities to the other three victims bodies. He had dismembered them and the dog, and hid them in a tree. He used a harness to lift their body parts into the hollow space. Police identified the remains as those of the missing victims.

Matthew Hoffman was charged with ten counts that included aggravated murder and rape, and avoided the death penalty by revealing where the bodies were located. He may have dodged the death penalty, but he will never see the light of day again. This shit bag will rot in prison as a hated sex offender and senseless murderer for the rest of his pathetic days on this earth.

“If trees gave him comfort at all and were familiar at all, that would explain why he put the bodies in the tree.” – Dr. James Alan Fox of Northeastern University (who has written five books about serial killers)

Hoffman Confession

Forensic psychologists have suggested that the obsession with leaves and trees showed that Hoffman was “unhinged and mentally disturbed” He has also been classified as a sociopath, and has been said that he suffered from delusions. The walls of his bathroom were lined with over 100 neatly packed bags of leaves, and the only items found in his freezer were dead squirrels and popsicles… There are no records of Matthew Hoffman ever being treated for mental illness.

*face palm*

Thanks again for joining me this week for #murdermonday – enjoy the rest of your week, and sleepy easy knowing that there might be a delusional sociopath who kinda looks like Sean Hunter from Boy Meets World sleeping in a tree outside of your house, waiting to murder you and hide your dismembered limbs in a tree.

(Go ahead and smash me for that run on sentence.)

See ya next week, freaks.

sources :




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s