February 27, 2018 4:40 PM
The rumors have been floating for several months in Columbus, but the official press release went out Friday announcing the date of execution for convicted murderer, Carlton Gary.
ATLANTA, GA – An execution date for Carlton Michael Gary has been set for March 15, 2018. Attorney General Chris Carr offers the following information in the case against Carlton Michael Gary for the 1977 rape and murder of Florence Scheible, Martha Thurmond and Kathleen Woodruff.
On February 23, 2018, the Superior Court of Muscogee County filed an order setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Carlton Michael Gary may occur to begin at noon, March 15, 2018 and ending seven days later at noon on March 22, 2018. Gary has concluded his direct appeal proceedings, and his state and federal habeas corpus proceedings.
And while Gary is on death row for the deaths of Florence Scheible, Martha Thurmond and Kathleen Woodruff, there are at least 7 more victims who will finally receive justice as well.
Also from the press release:
At trial, the Prosecution introduced evidence of the attacks on the other “stocking strangler” victims, claiming that they showed a similar pattern and were also committed by [Gary]. The evidence presented by the Prosecution to show a similar pattern included the following. All of the victims were elderly white women between the ages of 55 and 89. Each of the victims lived alone. In each crime, the assailant broke into the woman’s home and burglarized her residence.
With the exception of one, all of the crimes happened at night. All of the elderly women were sexually assaulted. All of the attacks involved ligature strangulation, usually with the victim’s stockings or pantyhose. With the exception of only one attack, all of the attacks occurred in the Wynnton area of Columbus, Georgia. Every deceased victim had been either partially or totally covered after the attack.
Yes, his death warrant is for the murder of three specific women, but Carlton Gary is believed to have attacked ten women in Columbus, Georgia, killing seven of them. Most were raped and then strangled. Geraldine Moore was the first to be attacked, but she lived. She was unconscious and in the hospital, unable to talk to police, when Ferne Jackson was raped and murdered in her home on 17th Street in Columbus only five days later. Jean Dimenstien was next, followed by Martha Thurmond, Florence Scheible, Kathleen Woodruff, Mildred Borom, Ruth Schwob (survived), Janet Cofer, and Mary Sue Butler Ogletree. All of these women had either never been married, had been widowed, or were divorced. All lived alone. And all-with the exception of Mrs. Ogletree-were over the age of 60. These were women of note; school teachers, a city employee, a small business owner.
I know from experience with other victims families that the death of their loved one’s perpetrator rarely brings peace. In most instances, it simply brings closure to a chapter of life spent in courtrooms, lawyers offices, fighting appeals, and telling their story time and time again. The end of this story is about more than Carlton Gary. This isn’t just about a man who killed innocent women in a brutal fashion. It’s about the 10 women who were his victims. They have names and families and friends. Their stories are alive and important. In the days that come, when the media is frenzied over the finale to the decades long fight for justice, remember, this is more than folklore. This is more than a story that happened somewhere to someone you don’t know. This is the end of a horrific tragedy that happened to real people.
Don’t forget the who when you are reading about the what, the when, and the where.