The family was found dead in the bathtub 50 years ago.Now NC cop says they know the murderer


According to newspaper reports, Virginia Durham’s voice was mostly heard by his son-in-law, Troy Hall, when he panicked on a snowy night in 1972 from a family home in Boone, North Carolina. It was not recognized.

Twenty minutes later, Hall reported the murder on the phone with the sheriff’s department — three of them.

Dozens of mysterious killings of Virginia Durham (44 years old), husband Bryce Durham (51 years old), and 18-year-old son Bobby Derham (February 3, 1972) on February 3, 1972. It wasn’t resolved for years.Lack of evidence Leading to a strange theory From the mastermind of car dealership fraud in neighboring counties to the town’s Green Beret for ski demonstrations, the Watauga Democrats have previously reported who the culprit is.

Now, Watauga County investigators say they have resolved the 50-year-old cold case thanks to advice from a sheriff’s department 200 miles away in Georgia.

Four Georgia-based Dixie Mafia men were responsible for the killing of the Durham family, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on February 8. Their death was reportedly a hired hit, but law enforcement agencies do not know who ordered it.

Only one of the four suspects is still alive — 81-year-old Billy Wayne Davis, who is serving life imprisonment for murder in Augusta State Medical Prison, Georgia.

According to the records of the orthodontic department, Davis Has been imprisoned since 1986.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office has identified Billy Sunday Bart, Bobby Jean Gaddis, and Charles David Reid as the remaining suspects.

Everyone is a member of the Dixie Mafia, and the FBI calls it “ Loose coalition of thugs and fraudsters He committed a criminal activity in the southeastern United States. This group had an important relationship with Biloxi, Mississippi, known for its long tolerance. Widely open and illegal gambling And a variety of strip clubs, “Biloxi Sun Herald previously reported.

Killed in a snowstorm

Boon’s weather conditions were dangerous on February 3, 1972. There was 4 inches of snow on the ground and the wind was blowing at 40 mph, the Charlotte Observer reported in 1989.

The Durhams lived on Clyde Townsend Road, a steep dead-end road off the North Carolina 105 Bypass on the west side of Boone. 40th anniversary of murder.. Observers reported that they had moved from Mount Airy to a mountain town in 1971.

Bryce Durham owned a Buick dealer and Virginia Durham kept the books. Bobby Durham was a freshman at Appalachian State University.

The family was diligent, quiet, and mostly sticking to themselves on all accounts.

According to an observer retelling in 1989, Durham had a 19-year-old daughter, Genie Sue Hall, who lived four miles away from her husband, Troy Hall.

On a snowstorm night, both were at home at 10:30 pm when the phone rang suddenly. Virginia Hall was on the other side of the line. She told them that some men had Bobby and Bryce before Rhein died, the observer reported.

“I didn’t really recognize her voice,” Troy Hall told the observer. “I thought it was a prank.”

But Genie Sue Hall was worried. The couple decided to go check out their family, but their car didn’t start. Neighbors, private detective Cecil Small, agreed to drive them, observers reported.

The road to Durham’s house was too dangerous to drive across, so Travis Hall and Cecil Small went alone while Ginny Sue Hall was waiting in the car.

“The house was looted,” the observer reported. “The phone line was torn from the wall. Blood splattered through the burrow. The TV was on. But the sound was muffled by the stable swoosh of running water. The two men chased the noise in the bathroom. I went to and found three of them there. Their heads were hanging in an overflowing bath. “

Autopsy reports later revealed that Bryce and Bobby Durham were drowned, while Virginia Durham was killed by strangulation. All three reportedly had rope burns on their necks.

According to observers, Troy Hall called the sheriff’s office from his neighbor’s apartment at 10:50 pm.

Democrats Watauga reported that a large number of officers had gathered at home. They found half-eaten yakitori on the kitchen table. According to observers, the bag of money packed with hundreds of dollars remained untouched and seemed to be empty.

Investigators were said to have seen green and white SUVs leave Durham’s house after 10:30 pm, Democrat Watauga reported. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, a few hours later, NC Highway Patrol discovered that “lights are on, wipers are hit, doors are closed, and motors are still running” by the side of the road a few miles away. did.

Bryce Durham took a car from his dealer to go home in a snowstorm, investigators said, and the murderers used it as their escape car. I found a silver bag inside.

Case break

The first major breakthrough in the Durham murder took place in 2019 when Bert’s son Shane Bert came to Georgia’s White County Sheriff’s Office to help investigate a book on Georgia crime. ..

White County is about 90 miles northeast of Atlanta and about 12 miles south of the North Carolina border.

Shane Bert was intimate with his father and often visited him in prison, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said. According to the sheriff’s office, Bert told his son, “I killed three people in the mountains of North Carolina during a blizzard, remembering that they were almost caught,” said the visit. It was one.

The White County Sheriff’s Office contacted Watauga County authorities shortly after Schoenbert spoke.

Watauga County Sheriff Ren Hagaman said his office recognizes that this hint “may be very important to the Durham case.”

“We immediately started investigating new leads and conducted face-to-face interviews with Billy Wayne Davis in September 2019, October 2020 and August 2021,” said Hagaman. “These interviews helped us ultimately determine who was responsible through the evidence, and I’m sure we knew who committed these crimes.”

According to the sheriff’s office, Davis said he and three other men were hired for a “hit” in the mountains of North Carolina. As Bert said, Davis told investigators that a terrible snowstorm struck on the night of the murder and they were almost captured.

He said Bart, Gaddis and Reed acted as escape drivers while killing the Durham family.

The mystery was solved

The surviving families spent decades craving for answers.

At the age of 89, resolving the murder was all that Bryce Durham’s mother, Collie Durham, could speak, her daughter Gale Mauldin said in an interview in 1989 with the Charlotte Observer. Told to.

“She just wants to see it settle,” Mauldin said.

Collie Durham died long before law enforcement cracked down on the case, but the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office met with the rest of the Durham family in November and confided the news. Among them was Genie Sue Hall, where Genie Durham is currently attending.

“I want to thank all the people who have worked for decades in my family case,” she said in a news release. “I know they have sacrificed many days and weekends to work on the resolution of this case since 1972.”

Moms and children who disappeared in 2016 were found to be safe in North Carolina, officials say

According to the California DA, the body found in 1986 identified a 45-year-old woman as missing.

According to Virginia police, the worker’s car was still running in the morning after she disappeared from the store.

A body found near the Talladega Racecourse, identified 10 years later, according to Alabama officials.

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