by Robert A. Waters
On October 16, John Errol Ferguson is scheduled to take a cocktail of drugs and fall into a peaceful, endless sleep. In the late 1970s, he and two accomplices murdered six people in a Carol City, Florida home invasion. A few months later, Ferguson struck again, gunning down two teenagers near Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah.
Florida Supreme Court documents describe the killings:
The Carol City Murders
“On the evening of 27 July 1977, Ferguson, posing as a Florida Power and Light employee, received permission from Margaret Wooden to enter her home. After checking several rooms, he drew a gun, tied and blindfolded her, and let into the house two men who joined him in looking for drugs and money. About two hours later, six of Wooden’s friends, including the homeowner, Livingston Stocker, came to the house and were searched, tied, and blindfolded by Ferguson and his accomplices. Shortly thereafter, Wooden’s boyfriend, Michael Miller, entered the house and also was bound and searched. Miller and Wooden eventually were placed in the bedroom, and the six other bound friends were in the living room.
“At some point, a mask on one of Ferguson’s friends fell and revealed his face. At the time, Wooden and Miller were kneeling on the floor with their upper bodies sprawled across the bed. Wooden heard shots [coming] from the living room, saw a pillow coming toward her head, and then was shot. She witnessed Miller being fatally shot as well. Wooden did not see the shooter, though she did hear Ferguson run out of the room. She managed to escape and ran to a neighbor’s house to call the police. When the police arrived, they found six dead bodies, all of whom had their hands tied behind their backs and had been shot in the back of the head. Only two of the victims, Wooden and Johnnie Hall, survived. Hall testified at Ferguson’s trial about the methodical execution of the other victims.”
The names of the murdered victims were Henry Clayton, Randolph Holmes, Michael Miller, Charles Stinson, Livingston Stocker, and Gilbert Williams.
Ferguson’s accomplices, Marvin Francois and Beaufort White, were executed in the 1980s.
The Hialeah Murders
“The facts reveal that the two victims were seated in an automobile and while seated therein a gunshot was fired through the window striking Brian Glenfeld in the arm and chest area. A significant amount of bleeding followed and this victim's blood was found throughout many areas of the front of the automobile as well as on the clothing of Belinda Worley. Following the shooting, the female victim ran many hundreds of feet from the car in an attempt to [elude] the defendant and was finally overtaken in some rather dense overgrowth and trees. She was subjected to many physical abuses by this defendant, including but not limited to, sexual penetration of her vagina and anus. The discovery of embedded dirt in her fingers, on her torso both front and back and in many areas within her mouth and the findings of hemorrhaging around her vagina and anal cavity would indicate that she put up a significant struggle and suffered substantially during the perpetration of these indignities upon her body. Expert testimony indicates that she was a virgin at the time of...this crime. The position of her body and the location of the wounds on her head would indicate that she was in a kneeling position at the time she was shot through the top of the head. She was left in a partially nude condition in the area where the crime was committed to be thereafter fed upon by insects and other predators. Physical evidence would substantiate that following the attack upon Belinda Worley the defendant went back to the car and shot Brian Glenfeld through the head.”
The victims were students at Hialeah High School.
Ferguson was convicted of the Carol City murders as well as the Hialeah murders, and received eight death sentences. He had previously been convicted of four felonies, including resisting a police officer with violence, armed robbery, and assault with intent to commit rape. His convictions date back to 1965.
Investigators also linked him to the murder an elderly couple in St. Petersburg, but he was never prosecuted for the crime.
After thirty years of appeals, Ferguson has reached the end of the line.
Hell is waiting.