Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Murder of Edith McElroy

This is a tale of a girl turning rebel and running with the wrong crowd.  The sort of warnings many thousands of parents have warned their children about, but for many things can turn out very bad, and for some, deadly.  Edith McElroy was such a girl.  The Louisiana teenager hooked with a biker named Archie "Possum" West, not something her father and stepmother were happy about.  She went mainly riding with him and his little gang of buddies for some years but then decided to marry him.   However, things are never bright and shiny when you mix with bikers, as women do not come before their club, buddies or bikes.  One place they frequented was a garage run by a man named Mike Brown.  

    Archie West was arrested on a number of warrants and jailed, and so Edith turned up at a house where his buddies Ricky Brown & Mike Burnett were and had a number of drinks with them.  But the alcohol loosened her tongue and she said she was responsible for West being in jail.  They turned on her, beating her, stripping her and throwing her into the boot of a car.  They took her to a swamp, tied a weight around her neck and threw her in.  She kept getting up and out, so Burnett told Brown that they have to finish her off or they are done for.  He says he reluctantly helped Burnett, whilst he held her under the water.  Then they left.

    Two fishermen found her body and alerted Police.  Eventually she was identified as 23 year old Edith McElroy.  Her parents told of the people she hung around with but they played dumb, not knowing anything.  The case ran cold for two decades.  In 2001, Mike Brown was facing a heavy sentence in jail, so he informed authorities that Ricky Brown admitted to him that he & Burnett had killed a girl in 1980.   The cops originally on the case had since retired so one cop looked over the files and evidence but could not locate either Brown or Burnett.  He received a call some years later from the ex-wife of Ricky Brown, saying that he told all the details, saying it gave him nightmares.  He was later traced and arrested.  He was charged with 2nd degree murder.  Viki Brown & Mike Brown gave evidence, and in 2012 he was found guilty and sentenced to life.