Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Unsolved Georgia Murders

Levi's Call, Georgia's equivalent of the Amber Alert, was named for eleven-year-old Levi Frady after he was abducted and murdered

Still in the Shadows
by Robert A. Waters

Two shadows slipped into the upscale East Point, Georgia home after Joe Wood turned off his burglar alarm. It was about seven o’clock on the morning of November 29, 2001 and Joe had gone outside to feed his cats. When he returned, he was met with a burst of pepper-spray. Wood, 71, fought back hard, but was overpowered by two intruders. He was pistol-whipped until he passed out, then the hapless victim was hogtied. As he lay on the floor, drifting in and out of consciousness, he heard his wife Lourine being attacked in the bedroom. The invaders demanded to know where the safe was located. But when informed that there was no safe, they tortured Joe some more. Finally, they left. Joe lay on the floor for two days before cops arrived. He survived the attack, but Lourine was dead. She’d been beaten with antique statues that the couple had in their home. In a bizarre twist, her body was found in the trunk of their car inside the garage. For all the violence and murder, the final take for the home assailants was $ 400 and a ring. Joe died two years later, but police and family members remember him as a man devoted to his disabled wife and to hard work. The case has never been solved, and the killers are still shadows, with no discernible shapes or features.

It’s been 24 years since Chuckie Mauk, 13, was shot to death in the parking lot of Giant Food Store in Warner Robins. He and a friend had ridden their bicycles to the store to buy bubble gum. He was seen talking to a man through a car window. Then there was loud bang and Chuckie slumped to the asphalt. According to cops, he’d been shot in the head and was dead before he hit the pavement. Investigators found the gum he’d bought still clutched in his hand. The shooter sped off and got away with murder. There was never any physical evidence, not even a motive. Some in the community speculated that Chuckie witnessed a drug deal going down, but no one really knows. “I need to know what happened,” said Cathy Miller, the murdered boy’s mother. “He’s the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and he’s the last thing I think of every night before I go to bed.”

On the evening of October 22, 1997, eleven-year-old Levi Frady left a friend’s house to ride his bicycle home. He was last seen on Little Mill Road in Forsyth County. The following morning, his bike was discovered by the side of the road. Later that day, Levi’s remains were located by hunters in neighboring Dawson County. He’d been shot in the head. The place where his remains were found was soon to become something of a body dump. It was called the Dawson Forest, and Patrice Endres, a beauty shop owner, was found dead there in 2005. In 2008, Meredith Emerson was abducted and found murdered about a mile from where Levi’s body was discovered. Gary Michael Hilton, 61, was arrested and charged with the murder of Meredith Emerson. Investigators think there is a chance that Hilton kidnapped and murdered both Levi Frady and Patrice Endres. However, there is little evidence in either case and both killings remain unsolved.

Shadow people--killers who walk among us, who have dark secrets and murderous pasts. How long will their bloody deeds go unexposed?

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