Two younger ladies who had been buddies and actual property coworkers had been shot to demise in broad daylight in a peaceable Atlanta suburb. Who pulled the set off – and why?
Officers confronted that pressing query on November 3, 2003, when the our bodies of Cynthia “Cyndi” Williams, 33, and Lori Brown, 21, had been present in a house building’s gross sales workplace in Powder Springs, an Atlanta suburb.
Williams, who was nude apart from stockings, had been strangled together with her underwear and shot within the head. Brown had additionally been shot within the head.
“It was a brutal scene … nearly inhumane,” Sgt. Eddie Herman, now retired from the Cobb County Police Division, advised “The Actual Murders of Atlanta,” airing Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.
The CSI combed by the crime scene. The victims’ wallets and financial institution playing cards had been lacking. The workforce discovered no shell casings, however recovered paper with indentations of numbers on it.
Detectives interviewed people closest to the victims. Brown, whose buddies described her as outgoing and caring, was engaged to a police officer. Williams, who’d taken Brown below her wing, was married.
Detectives checked the alibis of Williams’ husband and Lori’s fiance. Each checked out. “I had all however eradicated any home angle or a employed hit,” mentioned Herman.
On the day of the homicide, Brown and her mom, Linda, who labored for a similar actual property firm, attended a gathering after which grabbed lunch at Wendy’s drive-thru. They left one another about 1:10 p.m. In the meantime, Williams had lunch at house and returned to her workplace round 12:30 p.m.
With a timeline for the homicide in hand, investigators checked cellphone data within the workplace between the hours of 1:10 p.m. and 1:45 p.m.
There have been two calls from the workplace cellphone to 800 numbers, which turned out to be banks. Investigators theorized that the killer was acquiring financial institution data from the 2 victims.
Detectives realized the indentations discovered on the paper had been PIN numbers. Investigators monitored exercise on the accounts. Each had been accessed at ATMs. Surveillance footage revealed solely that the person who accessed the accounts was a big white man who was driving a black truck.
Investigators canvassed the crime scene space to see if any witnesses had seen a white man in a black truck across the time of the homicide. A lady reported seeing a white man driving a black Dodge Durango.
A BOLO was issued for the car, which was a preferred mannequin. Within the meantime, post-mortem outcomes got here again. Ballistics proof revealed that the homicide weapon was a 9mm gun. However no DNA proof was discovered.
“When the victims had been discovered, they had been each nude and … there was some suggestion of a sexual assault,” mentioned Eleanor Odom, former Sr. Asst. D.A., Cobb County, GA. “However we did not discover any proof of seminal fluid.”
Investigators recanvassed the Powders Springs space. Det. Herman spoke with an actual property agent whose workplace was throughout the road from the homicide scene.
She advised him a person driving a black Durango had come into her workplace and requested the place the opposite two actual property brokers had been. He then went exterior and waited for his or her arrival.
Based mostly on the witness’s account, it was clear to detectives that Brown and Williams had been focused. The true property agent labored with legislation enforcement on a composite sketch.
He was massive, white, bald, over 6 ft tall, in his early 30s and drove a black Durango. When the victims’ households couldn’t determine the person within the drawing it was launched to the media. Ideas poured in.
One got here in from a supervisor on a building website whose worker match the sketch. He suspected that the person had stolen a coworker’s 9mm Ruger pistol. The employee drove a black Dodge Durango.
His identify was Stacey Ian Humphries, a 30-year-old parolee. He had lived together with his sister, whose house was a few mile from the Powder Springs crime scene, in accordance with Mae Gentry, former journalist with the Atlanta Structure Journal.
Along with having shut proximity to and information of the crime scene, Humphries had beforehand finished work on the subdivision, investigators realized.
A hiccup within the case got here when the actual property agent who’d labored with police on the composite sketch was unable to determine Humphries in a photograph array. He was unable to make an instantaneous arrest.
Herman knew Humphries was now residing together with his grandmother. He reached out to Humphries’ parole officer and requested him to have him are available for a gathering the following day. Within the meantime, presents covertly staked out Humphries.
However Humphries noticed the unmarked automobile and fled on foot. “That was a intestine punch,” mentioned Herman.
Detectives stored tabs on Humphries and his whereabouts by his bank card and checking account exercise and cellular phone exercise. They noticed that he’d rented a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Humphries seemed to be driving towards Canada. Investigators believed that he was headed there as a result of he probably confronted the demise penalty.
“Canada is not going to extradite him again to america until the prosecutor waives the demise penalty,” mentioned Eddie Greathouse, retired Supv. Investigator with the Cobb County Judicial Circuit.
About 16 hours after fleeing, Humphries was noticed within the Jeep Cherokee exterior Milwaukee. A half dozen legislation enforcement autos from varied jurisdictions took half in a 35-minute excessive velocity chase.
Humphries blew out two entrance tires on spiked sticks positioned within the highway by legislation enforcement and stored driving on the edges. He lastly stopped and was taken into custody.
A 9mm Ruger handgun with blood on it was recovered from the Jeep. Herman and his workforce headed north to Wisconsin to confront their suspect.
“He advised me ‘I don’t bear in mind something that occurred,’” Herman advised producers. Repeatedly, Humphries claimed to have no reminiscence of what occurred within the mannequin house.
The interrogation ends and not using a confession from Humphries. However his connection to the crime appeared clear to officers.
“This crime was not random. He had been stalking these ladies and selected them for this assault,” mentioned Gentry. “Why he killed them, we’ll most likely by no means know.
Detectives consider that Humphries pressured Williams to disclose her PIN, strangled her together with her underwear and shot her behind the pinnacle. A couple of minutes later, Brown got here into the gross sales workplace. Humphries demanded her PIN after which shot her within the head.
Humphries was transferred again to Cobb County to look in court docket. DNA on the 9mm gun discovered within the Jeep matched Brown’s.
Humphries was charged with two counts of felony homicide, two counts of malice homicide and two counts of armed theft, in accordance with Herman. He pleaded not responsible.
In August 2007, the trial started. In October 2007, Humphries was discovered responsible on all counts. He was sentenced to demise and sits on demise row at the moment.
To study extra in regards to the case, watch “The Actual Murders of Atlanta,” airing Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.