JOPLIN, Mo. – Six years after a Joplin woman’s murder, Investigation Discovery’s “Murder in the Heartland” examined the circumstances that led to Willana “Anita” Dunn’s slaying and the fate of her killer.
Dunn was reported missing on May 31, 2016, by her landlord – Todd Greathouse. The day prior, police came calling at Greathouse’s home in Webb City that day after somebody turned in a missing wallet belonging to Dunn. Her wallet listed Greathouse’s address.
Greathouse and his wife rented a small apartment to Dunn that was located behind their own home. However, Todd Greathouse failed to tell police that Dunn now resided in Joplin, living in a home rented to her by the Greathouses.
Greathouse and his wife went to the police to file a missing person report. He let authorities into Dunn’s home and pointed to damage on an outer doorway, suggesting it might be a sign of a possible break-in.
During the investigation, Greathouse told police he last saw Dunn on May 15 when he went to collect money for doing yard work.
Police eventually tracked Dunn’s cellphone to a rural property just west of Joplin. They found her purse near an abandoned mineshaft and feared she was left there.
Dunn’s body was discovered deep in the mineshaft, submerged in water. She’d been tied to a concrete slab. While authorities worked to recover the body, Greathouse told his wife and sister that he’d killed Dunn during an argument. His sister informed police of her brother’s confession.
According to Greathouse, he and Dunn had been having an affair for some time. He told police that he went to Dunn’s residence in the early morning hours of May 29 in order to have sex with her. He claimed that he couldn’t perform at the time, so the two just talked. It was during this conversation that Dunn threatened to tell Dunn’s wife about the affair. He also claimed Dunn had taken out a handgun and put it on a nearby table.
Greathouse said he attacked Dunn in a panic and began choking her with his hands to shut her up. He said he tried using a towel and, finally, a lamp cord to strangle Dunn. Greathouse admitted to loading Dunn’s body into his car and driving her to the abandoned mineshaft.
Police found Dunn’s handgun at Greathouse’s place of employment.
The Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Greathouse with first-degree murder on June 6, 2016. In Missouri, that charge carries a mandatory life sentence or the death penalty.
The jury, made up of six men and six women, deliberated for less than a half-hour before returning a guilty verdict on Sept. 27, 2017. A judge sentenced Greathouse on November 6 to life imprisonment.
Although the Missouri Department of Corrections does not identify Greathouse’s whereabouts, the online court record database Case.net says he is being held at Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron.