Fourth woman in eight years dies at East Knox home

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Family and friends of Penny Lynn Welch were at a funeral home on Thursday night, paying respects to Penny.

This week, she became the fourth woman in the last 8 years to die at the same East Tennessee house.

The Knox County Sheriff's Department is investigating, but family members want to know how four women could die in the same home and no charges be filed.

The house belongs to Rick Clark and is located at 2105 Campbell Road.

Clark's wife, Theresa Bozeman died there in 2000, followed by Kara Kirby in 2004 and Penny Bright in 2005.

All those deaths were ruled accidental drug overdoses.

On Monday, Penny Welch, 40, passed away.

"Four women died there and it's not a coincidence," said Dustin Watson, Welch’s nephew who is angry because charges have never been filed against Clark. “I'd like to see the law come in here and arrest this man"

As of yes, police have not confirmed or denied that Rick Clark is a suspect.

"Even if he didn't kill them, he helped them," said Watson.

Amanda Cass is Clark's daughter and neighbor.

She said she didn’t like what has been going on in the East Knox County neighborhood.

“It’s a very dangerous place to live," said Cass.

She also said her father was crippled in a construction accident and uses pain medication, but she did not deny his drug usage.

"I thought he was dead, I thought his lifestyle finally caught up with him," Amanda said, admitting she had seen the four women come over time and time again. “They want a place to get high and want relationship."

But she said they all killed themselves.

"When you live the lifestyle they lived and put things into your body, it can only take so much before it gives up,” Cass said.

She stopped short of condemning her father as a killer.

“He just contributed to give them a place to do what they wanted to do," she said.

Watson doesn't agree and said he will never forget how his aunt's life was cut short.

"She was a loving person to everybody,” he said. “I just hated to see her die like this, that wasn't her time."

As autopsy has been preformed to determine how Penny Welch died.

There was a receiving of friends and family for her on Thursday night between 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Rose Mortuary in Knoxville.

Penny Welch’s funeral is on Friday at 11:00 AM at the Old Stoney Point Church.

She will be laid to rest in the Church Cemetery.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by kyle Location: polk county florida on Aug 26, 2008 at 02:41 PM
    My mom Kim and my sister Ashley and I used to live with Rick Clark and I remember his ways. He stabbed my mom in front of me and my sister on Valentines day and said "happy Valentines day". He also hung me upside down with handcuffs around my ankles and tickled me until I started bleeding and beat me and my sister everyday for bitting our fingernails and if he sees this I would like him to know that hes a very sick man because I was only 5 and my sister was 7. He also tried to run us over with a car. This is still shocking but not suprising and if you ever lived with him you would understand. Also to Amanda Cass you remember us too and you know your dad is very sick.
  • by Bob on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:43 PM
    Has there been a trial yet? How did it go? what was the evidence? I thought there was supposed to be court by now.
  • by Susan Location: Knoxville on Mar 26, 2008 at 03:52 PM
    Kara, as a friend posted, yes, I am a relative of his, so I have known him going on 26 years now. Please do not think I have no idea what the situation is or where he is coming from. I have much sympathy for all of the families involved; I, and the rest of my family know how they feel to have a close relative with a drug problem; it is heart-breaking. What I don't have sympathy for is their need to blame someone else just because maybe they feel regret that they didn't, or even couldn't, help their loved one while they were living.
  • by Kara Location: Knoxville on Mar 23, 2008 at 08:32 AM
    I regret looking at these comments, but i will leave a final thought.I never expected to hear of Rick again after my mom died.I believe he was a decent man years ago, but like my mom, he is a drug addict and needs help.I'm not looking to blame him, but after four women have died in his home the same way, it should be looked into for the other women.I think most people would want an investigation if these were their family members because it keeps happening.Maybe this will help him to get clean whether through jail, rehab, or fear.I know people will think I'm full of it by saying I think it may help him or saying I wish good things for him.I don't wish anything for him. I just want the deaths to stop and him out of my life and everytime this has happened, it has brought him back.
  • by A Friend Of Ricks Location: Knoxville TN on Mar 15, 2008 at 09:35 PM
    To Kara Lori and Susan are close relations to Rick and have lived next door to him all of there lives. Rick was married to your mother for 2 years and I think it is U who dose not know Rick. To Donna you are so right the only reason Rick was arrested for an adults overdose was because of the pressure from the families haven't you seen the election signs out guys? Laura T made the comment about her aunt only being in that life style for 2 years. I do not think that it is fact because think about how many adults hide the fact that they smoke tobacco because they are ashamed of what they do ! I seriously do not think it was Thanksgiving Dinner conversation. I am sad for the families who are hurt by their family members actions but there reaches a point that they need to give credit where credit is due and accept the fact that if it did not happen there it would have happened somewhere else. I think in the end it is only going to hurt the families of the girls.
  • by LeAnne Location: Knoxville on Mar 11, 2008 at 07:45 PM
    He is not incapacitated, but he;s not a physical threat to anyone. He hasn't walked on leg braces for at least 18 mos. He has no upper body strength. The last few years of his life DO NOT define the person he use to be either. We all have things we don't like to see and we like to look back and remember only the good things of loved ones who are no longer with us. The facts are still just what they are and these women chose to be with him and they chose to take whatever drugs were in their systems. I'm sorry that they chose that for themselves and I'm sorry for their families. But to say that he is a murderer and not to look at the fact that these women chose to take these drugs and to try and put all the blame on him isn't realistic or practical. These women weren't afraid of him they were looking for someone to talk to about their problems and someone who would listen & not criticize them for their decisions/actions. They needed your help, concern & commitment then - not now.
  • by Laura Touton Location: Knoxville on Mar 9, 2008 at 08:02 PM
    Just because Rick Clark is in a wheelchair, doesn't mean he's incapacitated. When he was married to my aunt, Theresa Bozeman, he was verbally AND physically abusive. At that time, he was able to walk with braces and also used a wheelchair. He also threatened Theresa's youngest daughter, in my presence, and that is fact. There was a police report filed because I called the police. Just because he's in a wheelchair doesn't mean he deserves any sympathy. My aunt was in that lifestyle for LESS than 2 years. The last 2 years of her life DO NOT define the person I knew since the day I was born. Don't be fooled by a man that comes across as helpless just because he's on two wheels instead of two legs.
  • by Donna Location: Knoxville on Mar 8, 2008 at 07:27 PM
    If four dogs died from one home there would be a public outcry and investigation. Then the DA's office appears on TV saying that they "caught up with Rick Clark" come on folks, how hard can it be to catch a guy in wheelchair who has lived at the same address for years. The only reason the police are doing anything now is pressure from the families and publicity.
  • by Bob on Mar 8, 2008 at 02:58 PM
    The facts that appear to be true and public: He has a drug problem and others that do have stayed there. He is in a wheelchair and there's not evidence he forced anyone to be there or could have. The police can't charge someone without evidence, and now they have in one case due to a "witness". Who is this witness? If it is a drug addict that was in the house, is this a deal with the police to keep out of jail themselves? How credible? None of us know what really happened in the house at those times, but no matter what we may believe, convictions take believable evidence for a jury to convict. It is a shame anyone died, or may have had a drug problem. But if people accuse Mr Clark of murder, the lifestyle of the women has to be fair to examine, as well as why they were there. At least for the last woman, it sounds like a lot of information will come out in court instead of rumors. Her family will be under oath as well as Mr Clark.
  • by Kara Bozeman Location: Knoxville on Mar 8, 2008 at 01:59 PM
    To Susan and Lori, you don't know Rick Clark. I have stories upon stories of what a horrible coward he is. Dragging his name through the mud? How dare you all say these things! You did not know him! I did! So please just stop with your clueless comments. My family would appreciate it.


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 13877262 -
Gray Television, Inc.