Bayou Billionaires Reality Star Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide

Photo: Courtesy of CMT.
Valerie Dowden Wells was killed in an apparent murder-suicide in Shreveport, L.A. on Monday. Police say she was shot by Robert Gaddy multiple times in her car before he turned the gun on himself. Both people were rushed to the hospital where Wells was immediately pronounced dead. Gaddy died later in the day.

Wells was known as an ambitious divorcée and daughter of newly-rich parents, Kitty and Gerald Dowden on CMT’s Bayou Billionaires. The reality series ran for two seasons in 2012. The working class, down-home, Southern family struck it rich when they discovered that their home sat on a huge deposit of natural gas and made them unlikely candidates for such a tax bracket. Wells and her three children lived in a trailer on her parents' property.

The rest of the Dowden family are reportedly “in total shock” about the murder. Her sister-in-law, Peggy Dowden, told People Magazine “She was the most loving person, she was so friendly, she was always smiling. She was down-to-earth. She loved everybody so much.”

New details suggest that Wells was the victim of domestic violence. Her 15-year-old daughter Nikki confirmed that she and Gaddy were dating and that he was jealous that Wells still kept in touch with Nikki’s father. While the motive might never be confirmed given that Gaddy took his own life, those close to Wells seem to support the theory.

She was 47 years old.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.

you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.

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