Murder in Little Washington

Could a Vicious Attack and the Murder of a North Carolina Businessman Lead Back to Dungeons & Dragons?

Lori Johnston
42 min readOct 7, 2021
Lieth Von Stein around the time of his murder (photo source)

The Crime

It was 4:24 a.m. on Monday, July 25, 1988 when the call came in to North Carolina’s Beaufort County Law Enforcement Center. It had been a slow night, with dispatcher Michelle Sparrow reading a Stephen King novel throughout much of her 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. The woman on the other end of the emergency call was speaking so softly that Michelle couldn’t fully understand her. The woman asked for police and an ambulance and when Michelle asked her to speak up, she demurred. She claimed that the intruder could still be in the house. The dispatcher at first wondered if the caller was one of their “regulars,” those few mentally disturbed people who would call emergency services to report terrible, yet false, acts. She asked the woman her name and upon learning it — Bonnie Von Stein — and that the woman, Bonnie, said that she, as well as her husband, might be dying, Michelle Sparrow knew this was no crank call. She advised the officers on duty, as well as rescue, to respond immediately to 110 Lawson Road for the possible beating and stabbing of two people. “Please hurry,” Bonnie Von Stein begged Michelle Sparrow.

--

--

Lori Johnston

Writer, reader, margarita drinker. Currently looking for a “dare to be great” situation.