Unknown Acie & Carolyn Worthy Killer- Alabama- 1989 Oct 22, 2018 0:43:57 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Oct 22, 2018 0:43:57 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: tuscaloosanews.com)
This story was first published in 2014, on the 25th anniversary of the fatal shootings of Acie and Carolyn Worthy. Tuesday marked 29 years since the Worthys were killed.
Just about every seasoned homicide investigator has one unsolved case that haunts him throughout his career. For Chief Loyd Baker, the double slaying of Acie and Carolyn Worthy 25 years ago is that case.
For Chief Loyd Baker, the double slaying of Acie and Carolyn Worthy 25 years ago is that case.
Baker had only been assigned to the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit for a few months when the Worthys were found shot to death in their home that was burned to the ground on the night of Oct. 15, 1989.
“I have resolved not to give up,” said Baker, who later commanded the unit and is now chief of Investigative Services at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s been 25 years, and I still want to bring justice to the family.”
Evidence linked the deaths to homicides of a wealthy Graceville, Fla., couple nine months earlier. Robert and Kathryn McRae were shot execution-style in a similar home-invasion robbery. Two ski masks were found at their home in northwest Florida, suggesting that at least two people were responsible. A reward of more than $200,000 is still available for information leading to an arrest.
“I feel like someone may still come forward,” said Carolyn Worthy’s son, Billy Jack Logan. “It’s been 25 years. Whoever knows who did this can remain anonymous. We just want to know who did it so we can have some closure.”
Worthy, 68, was a World War II veteran who served as head of the Bessemer VFW post and was known as a charitable man who often carried large sums of cash. Carolyn Worthy, 55, was the director of the Lakeview Baptist Church choir. Friends and family say that she wore jewelry worth $50,000 at times and owned three expensive fur coats.
Although the Worthys were wealthy, investigators don’t believe the killers were primarily after money or high-dollar items. A criminal profiler suggested a much more chilling motive.
“It could be a serial-type murderer who enjoys the kill,” Baker said. “Very little was taken.”
Some jewelry and money were stolen from the home, but not everything of value was taken. The couple was building a home in the Million Dollar Lakes area of Lake View, where they planned to spend the rest of their lives.
On the night they were killed, they drove their matching white Lincoln Town Cars from the Sunday night service at Lakeview Baptist to the house they were renting on Alabama Highway 216.
Baker said he believes they were shot outside and then dragged inside the house.
“Then the house was torched,” he said. “They were found inside, fully-clothed, so it’s not believed that they had been asleep. X-rays showed that they had both been shot multiple times.”
Baker immediately started investigating suspects in Tuscaloosa County. He was eventually contacted by Florida investigators working the cases in Graceville. He won’t reveal details, but he said that evidence does positively link the two crimes. During the investigation, he was able to link a one-time suspect to a murder-for-hire case in Louisiana and a murder in California.
“We’ve been looking for people with ties to Tuscaloosa County and Graceville, Fla.,” Baker said.
He said he believes the Worthys’ deaths were planned at last a year before.
In May 1988, Carolyn was returning from a Wednesday night church service when a masked man armed with a gun confronted her. She also had a handgun, and after a brief standoff, she escaped and filed an attempted robbery report with the Sheriff’s Office.
Later that month, two girls riding a motorcycle in the area of the Worthy home saw a man watching the house. He was wearing camouflage and holding a scope. He left the area when he saw the girls, and they called police, Baker said.
More than a year later, in June 1989, an arson fire damaged the Worthys’ home that was under construction. No arrests were ever made in that case. They were killed four months later.
Logan said that the loss of his mother and stepfather changed their family forever. His mother had a spirited personality, he said, and was the coordinator of many family functions.
He remembers the Fourth of July events the Worthys would host at their house. His mother would set up a loudspeaker by the pool and play patriotic songs that the family would sing along to.
Logan was a Bessemer police officer and later a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputy who spent his last years before retirement helping family members of crime victims. It was a good way to end his career, he said, because he understood what many of them were experiencing.
Anyone with information can contact Baker at 205-752-0616 or Tuscaloosa County CrimeStoppers at 205-752-STOP (7867).
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