Edward Edwards (serial killer)
|Born||June 14, 1933
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||April 7, 2011
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Cause of death
Span of killings
Edward Wayne Edwards (June 14, 1933 – April 7, 2011) was a convicted American serial killer. Edwards escaped from jail in Akron, Ohio in 1955 by pushing past a guard and fled across the country, holding up gas stations for money. He never wore a mask because he wanted to be famous. In 1961, he landed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He eventually was captured and arrested in Atlanta, Georgia on January 20, 1962. Between 1977 and 1996 he murdered at least 5 more people and is suspected in many other killings as well. Some investigators have noted that Edwards lived in northern California during each of the Zodiac Killer's murders in the late 1960s and would have, at the time, closely matched the Zodiac's description, although others dispute that claim. Edwards's total number of murder victims will probably never be definitively determined, nor will his involvement — if any — with the Zodiac case.
Edwards was born in Akron, Ohio; he grew up primarily as an orphan after witnessing the suicide of his mother. In his autobiography, Edwards claimed that he was abused, both physically and emotionally in an orphanage, which contributed to his criminal behavior. He joined the U.S. Marines for a brief time, but soon after went back to his criminal lifestyle. He traveled frequently during his 20s and 30s doing odd jobs, such as working as a ship docker, vacuum retailer and handyman. He lived most of his life, when not incarcerated, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Edwards life of crime began around 1955; in that year he escaped from a jail in Akron. His name was placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list in 1961. He was eventually imprisoned in Leavenworth, from which he was paroled in 1967. He claimed that as the result of the influence of a benevolent guard at Leavenworth, he reformed and married, and became a motivational speaker on the subject of his reform.
Edwards appeared on two television shows, "To Tell the Truth" (1972) and "What's My Line?" He also wrote an autobiography titled The Metamorphosis of a Criminal: The True Life Story of Ed Edwards in 1972. However, by 1982 he had returned to crime and was imprisoned in Pennsylvania for two years for arson.
The first murders for which Edwards was convicted, of Billy Lavaco and Judy Straub, a double murder, took place in Ohio in 1977. He received life sentences for these crimes in 2010.
The second pair of murders were of Tim Hack and Kelly Drew, another double homicide, in Wisconsin, in 1980. These were referred to as the "Sweetheart Murders". Edwards had been questioned at the time, but there was no basis to hold him. Almost 29 years later his connection to the crime was established by means of DNA testing. Apparently, Edwards's own child tipped off police about his possible involvement.
Edwards's last murder took place in 1996. His victim was Danny Boy Edwards, who is referred to as an adopted child who had lived with Edwards and his wife for several years. Danny's original name was Danny Law Gloeckner. Edwards murdered Danny Boy in a scheme to collect insurance money. He was sentenced to death for this crime in March 2011, but died in prison of natural causes a month later.
Other possible murders
According to Phil Stanford in his book The Peyton-Allan Files, Edwards may have been responsible for the murders of Beverly Allan and Larry Peyton in Portland, Oregon in 1960. Two men were arrested and imprisoned for these murders, but released from prison early. Authorities maintain that the correct persons were prosecuted.
Great Falls, Montana police sergeant John Cameron wrote a book suggesting that Edwards was possibly invovlved in numerous high profile murders, with an unusually wide range of modus operandi, over a 45 year period. Cameron, known for his work on the Nathaniel Bar-Jonah case, worked in Deer Lodge Prison in 2010 and befriended Edwards. He cites no direct supporting evidence while suggesting Edwards' possible involvement in the deaths of Patricia Kalitzke and Lloyd Duane Bogle in Great Falls on January 2, 1956, the Atlanta child murders, the Colonial Parkway Killer case, the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, the May 1, 2001 killing of Chandra Levy, the November 1, 2001 killing of Editor Kent Heitholt in Columbia, Missouri, and the 2001 anthrax attacks. Cameron further speculates that Edwards could have killed as many as 100 people.
- http://crimecasefiles.com/forum/famous-crime-cases/17310-con-man-edward-w-edwards-admits-he-murdered-4-in-wis-ohio.html Con man Edward W. Edwards admits he murdered 4 in Wis., Ohio
- http://www.newsregister.com/article?articleTitle=did-oregon-miss-chance-to-stop-a-serial-killer--1368558730--7797-- Did Oregon Miss The Chance To Stop A Serial Killer?
- http://www.zodiackiller.com/EWE.html Was Edward Wayne Edwards The Zodiac Killer?
- "Edward Edwards, convicted killer of 5, dies of natural causes in Ohio prison". Wisconsin State Journal. A.P. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "Elderly Conman Confesses He Killed 4 During Career as Motivational Speaker". abc News.
- "US serial killer Edward Edwards, 77, pleads for death". news.com.au (A.P.). 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- English, Lindsay (31 July 2009). "Louisville man arrested in Wisconsin cold case double murder". WAVE-TV.
- Whisner, Ryan (8 April 2011). "UPDATE: Hack-Drew murderer dead of natural causes". (Fort Atkinson, WI) Daily Union. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Redden, Jim (28 October 2010). "After 50 years, murders still a mystery". Portland Tribune.
- Whisner, Ryan (11 April 2011). "Hack-Drew killer dead". Daily Union. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- [It's ME!, Edward Wayne Edwards, The Serial Killer You NEVER Heard Of, Golden Door Press , 2014]
- "Confessed serial killer dies in prison". WAVE-TV. 8 April 2011.
- Brueck, Dana (8 April 2011). "UPDATE: Edward Edwards Dead". nbc15.com. WMTV.
- "Serial killer sentenced to death dies in prison". timesunion.com. (Albany, NY) Times-Union.[dead link]
- Sangiacomo, Michael (8 April 2011). "Convicted serial killer Edward Edwards dies in prison, avoiding execution". cleveland.com. The Plain Dealer.