Blood Echoes: The Infamous Alday Mass Murder and Its Aftermath
Thomas H. Cook
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Edgar Award nominee: A true-crime account of a vicious massacre and the legal battles that followed
It was not a clever killing. On May 5, 1973, three men escaped from a Maryland prison and disappeared. Joined by a fifteen-year-old brother, they surfaced in Georgia, where they were spotted joyriding in a stolen car. Within a week, the four young men were arrested on suspicion of committing one of the most horrific murders in American history.
Jerry Alday and his family were eating Sunday dinner when death burst through the door of their cozy little trailer. Their six bodies are only the beginning of Thomas H. Cook’s retelling of this gruesome story; the horrors continued in the courtroom. Based on court documents, police records, and interviews with the surviving family members, this is a chilling look at the evil that can lurk just around the corner.
of jacket worn in rural areas throughout the United States, but as he turned it around, Angel saw that this jacket had come from a particular place, its town of origin written in large block letters across the back of the jacket: McCONNELLSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA It could hardly be doubted that this was Richard Wayne Miller’s jacket, and since he had last been seen pursuing the Maryland escapees, its presence in a field near Mary Alday’s abandoned car indisputably linked the Isaacs brothers and
prints everywhere for Dr. Larry Howard to find and tell the world about. Then they returned to the Impala. “What, if anything, did you see?” Geer asked. “Mary Alday was fully undressed,” Billy Isaacs said. She was nude, and leaning against the hood of the car. Carl was standing beside her until he saw the two other men approach. Then he suddenly stepped away and grabbed her by her wrist and threw her on the ground. “What happened then?” “Carl asked me and Wayne if we wanted any,” Billy
Hill contended. There was another matter at stake as well, one whose profundity could hardly be overestimated. “This whole case is about human life,” Hill told the jury. “The people in that trailer who fired those guns obviously thought very little about human life. It is obvious that the guilty and the weak and the bitter think very little of human life.” The cheapening of human life had been going on relentlessly for years, Hill continued, a process that the Vietnam War and television violence
would leave in the prison parking lot. It was at this time, according to Isaacs, that the ulterior motive he had always suspected in Postell surfaced for the first time when, during a prison visit, Postell advised him that after the escape, Carl should “lay low” until he, Postell, could get a “small cassette recorder and give it to Minnie.” There would be plenty of tapes, Postell told him, and “I want you to turn it on as soon as you get in the car.” When the tapes were full, they were to be
fantasies. In addition, the girls were getting cranky. Something had to give. For Carl, crime had always served as a quick relief from boredom, as well as a way of reasserting his authority. He decided to pump things up a bit by stealing a car. He found one in a parking lot in Hillendale, hot-wired it, then waved the girls over. He could tell that the strategy had worked by the way the girls tumbled in delightedly, thankful for even this limited change in their surroundings. After that, the