Kirk Richard Barrett

29 years Old
March 8, 1965 to September 25, 1994

Kirk Barrett was born in Detroit, MI, and grew up in Baltimore County, (Timonium) Maryland, where he attended public school, graduating from Dulaney High School in 1983. He excelled in baseball, skiing, and after age 16—GOLF! He was an ardent Oriole fan, a Boy Scout—attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, and coached a Little League team in post college years. Above all, he was a loving & wonderful son, brother, uncle and loyal friend, who placed a high value on family and home.

After graduating from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, in 1987 with a double major in biology & economics he was employed by The Prudential Co, in marketing for the Group Benefits Operations. He worked in Baltimore, Washington DC, and ultimately, Columbus, (Dublin), OH, where he bought his first home. He made many friends, and relished the numerous golf courses and opportunities to play golf. He remained loyal to his college friends (LXA Nat’l), eventually marrying a Bucknell graduate in December, Unfortunately, his wife, Michelle (McDermott) Barrett will be the major subject of the following page and circumstances of his murder.

Kirk was the son of Richard & Priscilla Barrett, brother of Martha Barrett Stevens, and uncle of Allison Claire & Andrew Kirk Stevens; all of Timonium, MD. (Richard Barrett, deceased February 6, 2005) … His murder has deeply affected all of our lives. There is an endowed scholarship in his name at Bucknell, created by his family and friends and which grows each year with contributions and participation in a NCAA Basketball Tournament. It renews Kirk’s spirit of enthusiasm and love of sports each March, and brings joy & smiles to all who play in his memory, as well as having contributed to the education of nine Bucknell graduates, as of this writing.

Peace & Love, Kirk.


Kirk Barrett was poisoned with potassium cyanide by his wife of nine months, “Shellie” Barrett, on September 25, 1994 early on a Sunday morning. His marriage in trouble, he had asked for divorce, but had sought help for her after she threatened sucide on several occasions. After staging the scene, she notified authorities several hours later, stating that KIRK had committed suicide, and proceeded to attempt to “get away with murder”. Fortunately, a Columbus homicide detective saw holes in her performance, listened to us –his family, as well as his employer and co-workers, who knew too much regarding their current circumstances. She was arrested 5 weeks later, confessed and was found to have 2 bottles of potassium cyanide –one stolen from OSU, which she used, and the other purchased illegally from a Columbus chemical company.

A plea bargain was accepted when key evidence was dismissed after pretrial hearings. She was sentenced on July 31, 1995 to 8 to 25 years @ Ohio Reformatory for Women… POMC was invaluable to us when we applied for their help in a petition for her first parole hearing in 2000. Over 5,000 signatures and numerous letters were submitted, and she was given a projected date of 8/10/2010: (15 yrs.)… A class action suit against the Ohio Parole Board in 2005 entitled her to a subsequent hearing. Kirk’s family was then able to obtain the following statement from the judge in her case:

“The above defendant received a significant reduction of the charge, not withstanding the heinous nature of the offense, i.e. poisoning her husband, To my knowledge she has never expressed genuine remorse for her conduct. I believe these factors weigh against the granting of parole."

Submitted by Priscilla F. Barrett, August, 2006
(Kirk’s parents attended the 1999 POMC Conference, Tulsa, OK)

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Kirk Richard Barrett