Who was Edward Edwards?
Well this is going to be a roller coaster. Edward Edwards serial killer was born on June 14, 1933 in Akron, Ohio. As a young child he witnessed the suicide of his mother in 1935, which couldn’t have been of much help in his early development. Some years later, in 1940, Edward ended being an orphan and according to his confessions, he was abused repeatedly while in orphanage in Parma, Ohio.
In 1948 Edward was sent to reform school in Pennsylvania and two years later, in 1950 he joined the U.S. Marines being stationed in Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina . But his staying in the military wasn’t long, and got dishonorably discharged; Soon after, he started engaging in criminal activities. During his 20’s and 30’s he traveled a lot, working all kinds of small jobs such as a ship docker, vacuum retailer, and handyman.
Edwards’ string of offences
On April 1952, Edwards stole a car and attempted to impersonate a Marine, but was arrested and sentenced to a federal reformatory in Chillicothe for two years for impersonating a Marine and interstate transportation of a stolen car.. He was apparently released sometime after.
Edwards couldn’t just stop and lay low, so not long after that he was arrested again and 1955 he escaped from Akron jail while being held on burglary charges and fled to Portland, Oregon. There, he continued his criminal activities such as armed robberies. He was arrested the following year in Montana and sentenced to three years in prison, plus five years of probation in penitentiary in Deer Lodge.
On July 1959, Edwards was released in Montana and was taken to Portland to stand trial for two armed robberies in 1956, getting 5 years probation. However, his need of attention and fame pushed him forward in his activities. So he got arrested again for turning in a false alarm and in 1960, he escaped from prison again. I told you this is going to be a roller coaster. The man was arrested more often than others take a vacation. Then he gets questioned about a double homicide of Larry Peyton and Beverly Allan. His name gets cleared though.
But it doesn’t stop here. In 1961, he ends up on FBI’s 10 Most Wanted fugitives list and a federal warrant charged him with unlawful interstate flight to avoid confinement after a robbery conviction. While on the look out from the FBI, somehow Edwards gets married. Her name is Marlene. We can only guess how he convinced her to marry him. Marriage wasn’t so calm, so in 1962 Edwards gets arrested, again, on January 20, 1962 in Atlanta, Georgia. and this time, together with his wife.
The Metamorphosis of a Criminal
On May 18 1962, Edwards gets sentenced to 16 years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, then in 1967 he is transferred to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. It is here that Edwards said he met a guard who turned his life around and after he was paroled, he actually became a motivational speaker. Holy molly, right? I mean, if this is not a roller coaster, then I don’t know what else is. So he sarted his journey as an inspirational speaker and remarried. Between 1971 and 1972 he toured as a speaker on prison reform, even writing an autobiography titled “The Metamorphosis of a Criminal: The True Life Story of Ed Edwards”, in which he describes his life as a criminal and his recovery process. He and his wife even joined the foster care system.
The motives for his murders were not fully agreed on. Edwards was a very “colorful” person and fled areas when needed, staying in hiding. What we do know is that somewhere around 1977, a young couple by the names William Lavaco (21 years old) and Judy Straub (18 years old) went missing. Their remains were discovered in August the same year, having been shot in the neck at point-blank range. No suspects were apprehended. Then, in 1980, Edwards moved to Jefferson County, Wisconsin working as a handyman. On August the same year, another young couple went missing; they were Timothy Hack and Kelly Drew, both aged 19.
Two months later, on 19 October, Drew’s body was discovered, being strangled to death, while the very next day, followed the discovery of Hack’s stabbed body.
It was discovered that the last place the second missing couple was seen, was actually Edwards working place, therefore he became the prime suspect. But he fled the area and went into hiding for the next 2 years.
Eventually, in 1982, Edwards showed up on the radar in Pennsylvania, where he burned down a house and was sentenced to more than two years in prison for arson in December. He wasn’t though charged for Hack’s and Drew’s murder, and in July 1986 he got released from Pennsylvania prison.
The murder of Danny Boy Edwards
For 10 years, there are no clear information about what exactly he was doing, so we can only speculate; which many people did. But what we do know as a fact is that in 1996, Edwards convinced his foster son, 25 year old Danny Boy Edwards to go AWOL from the army, then took him to a nearby woods and shot him in the face. Twice. The reason? Danny’s 250.000 Dollar insurance. He left the remains in a shallow grave and was discovered later on by a hunter. Law enforcement questioned Edwards about Danny’s death, but no charges were made.
We don’t know what exactly happened after that and there is a gap of again more than a decade between his known activities. Speculations are made and believe me, a lot of speculations surfaced. We don’t know about him until June 30, 2009, when police trace him back to the murders of Hack and Drew; finally at least some kind of closure for the victims. While imprisoned, on June 9, 2010, he agreed to plead guilty to all of the murders except for that of Danny Boy.
After a lengthy trial in Charton, Ohio, Edwards was found guilty of the Lavaco-Straub murders and sentenced to life in prison in 2010. This was followed by a death sentence on March 8, 2011 for the murder of Danny Boy. His execution was scheduled for August 31.
If you think he got the execution, you are wrong. In April 2011, Edwards dies at the age of 77, reason for death being natural causes. He was already suffering from a long string of diseases, such as diabetes, leukemia and heart ailments.
Edward Edwards was only convicted of 5 murders and his victim list officially stops at 5. However suspicions existed about far more crimes. None of the other suspected murders were ever proven, so be careful when you read about all the fan theories.
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