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|Gregory J. Webb|
|Born||July 23, 1950|
Span of crimes
Gregory J. Webb (also known as Greg Webb) is a former police chief of Lyons, Nebraska, who was convicted of killing his disabled neighbor, Anna Anton. After being arrested in Holly Hill, Florida, he entered a plea of no contest to manslaughter and tampering with evidence. He was wanted by the FBI and was captured thanks to the help of a viewer tip after his case aired on the television program Unsolved Mysteries. In 1993, Webb was arrested in Florida on a murder warrant in the December 1986 shooting death of his neighbor, Anna Anton. He was recognized by a friend, John Brereton, who was watching the NBC program Unsolved Mysteries. Webb was going by the name of Jim Webber and worked as a construction worker. When Brenton recognized his colleague on the program, he alerted the authorities. Anton, 34, disappeared December 15, 1986, and her body was found 12 days later 20 miles north of Lyons. She had been shot three times, and had a slash across her throat. The brutal nature of the crime shocked Americans, for Anton who walked with a cane was a vulnerable target for a senseless killing.
In addition to national exposure for years on Unsolved Mysteries, there were also feature articles by the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune, the then Cincinnati Post, and Orlando Sentinel, among others.
Anna Anton, 34, was a small, almost frail woman, with a troubled past. Although she was very secretive about where she came from, it was later determined that she was born and raised in Sulphur, Louisiana. Anton had moved to Lyons in 1984, quickly settling into small town life. She did not tell people why she moved to Lyons. Investigators found out after her murder, that she had married her high school sweetheart, a methamphetamine dealer who was abusive. The couple had a son who was put up for adoption. In 1979, she was gruesomely injured in a car accident. Her left leg had to be amputated below the knee; therefore, for the rest of her life, Anna Anton would walk with the help of a cane. She was also described as having small facial deformities. When her husband was brought up on drug trafficking charges, Anna agreed to testify against him on the state's behalf. Her husband threatened to kill her once he got out of jail, so when his sentence was shortened to six months, Anton went into deep hiding. She moved to Lyons, a far away place that she had no ties to, got a job at an animal shelter, and began attending weekly church services.
Anna Anton lived below Webb's apartment. Several weeks before she disappeared, she gave Shirley Edgecomb, her closest neighbor and church friend in Lyons, an envelope containing the name of a woman friend in Iowa to contact "in case anything happens to me," Edgecomb said Anton told her. Investigators made contact with the woman, and learned that she was Anton's little sister, Susan.
Webb was released from prison on August 22, 2002. The duplex, where Anton lived in the lower apartment and Webb in the upper, was demolished in 2008. In October 2008, SPIKE TV's revived "Unsolved Mysteries," hosted by Dennis Farina, featured Webb's case again and provided an update on his case.
- Ex-police chief convicted of killing his neighbor, Orlando Sentinel, March 4, 1994
- Nebraska police chief hunted in killing, Chicago Tribune, January 19, 1987
- Ex-sheriff's arrest resurrects a town's big mystery, AUTHOR: Associated Press, appeared in the Chicago Tribune, February 28, 1993
- Mystery surrounds fugitive chief, Cincinnati Post, February 27, 1993