James Gilmore Jr., known as “Jimmy” to most, was a bad seed early in life. By the age of 14 he was known to be a bully around his neighborhood. He had experienced run ins with the law and was known to hang out with a local group of teenage motorcyclists. His parents were aloof and they left their four children unsupervised often. This allowed Jimmy to show his darker tendencies and outright attack his siblings. His brother Wayne was assaulted on multiple occasions, sometimes with fists, and at least once with a baseball bat. Jimmy also attempted to strangle Wayne and had to be physically removed by his other siblings.
This tumultuous situation came to a head on the night of January 7th, 1962. Wayne and Jimmy were sitting at home when someone knocked on their back door. Jimmy went outside and promised he’d return soon. After he was gone for a full three days Jimmy’s mother contacted the police to report him missing. Her belief was Jimmy had run off with his hooligan friends. His father was skeptical about Wayne’s version of events but had no evidence to suggest foul play or some such.
Jimmy never came home and eventually the family moved during the early 70’s into a new homestead. The Gilmore’s house was sold off and Jimmy’s disappearance dissolved into the family’s memories. Then in March of 1985 a new shocking twist came to the case. The man who bought the Gilmore’s home was renovating the place which led to the construction crew uncovering Jimmy’s skeleton buried in a shallow grave beneath the house. Neither Jimmy’s family or the new owner had ever reported strange smells during all the years that had passed since Jimmy vanished. The house is located in a rural area, so it was speculated that the animals around the land may have helped mask the smell.
The police interviewed and polygraphed the Gilmores but everyone passed the test. The only other clues the police had to go on were a pack of cigarettes and a lighter that were found near the grave. The elder Gilmores are now deceased and Jimmy’s sister Linda was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in 1979.
Wayne admits in contemporary interviews that his mother asked him if he knew more than he was telling all the way until her death. Wayne ominously was quoted by a reporter as saying “Him dying at that age saved some people’s lives. He would have killed people as an adult.”
Dorian Corey was born Fred Legg but when he approached adulthood his flamboyant side took over and Legg began participating in drag shows as Dorian Corey. “She” ended up taking hormones and getting breast implants to embrace her true self. Corey was well known in some circles in New York for her extravagant costumes as she racked up prizes and awards in drag queen and ballroom shows.
Corey hit the mainstream by appearing in 1991’s “Paris is Burning” which covered New York’s transgendered balls during their raucous peak in the decade of decadence. Corey acquired AIDS during the 80’s and died from complications of it in 1993. While her friends were cleaning out her apartment in the aftermath of Corey’s death, they discovered a trunk that contained a mummified body. A gunshot was obvious on the victim’s skull. Fingerprints would identify the body as that of Robert Worley, a known rapist and burglar who had last been spotted in 1968.
Some came forward to claim that Worley was in fact Corey’s boyfriend, who may have been killed when a lover’s quarrel escalated. Others theorized that Corey had been an intended rape victim, but after killing her assailant, Corey chose to hide the body, lest she be charged with murder. Corey’s friend Lois Taylor revealed that Corey had written a short story about a transgendered woman who killed her lover over being pressured to have a sex change operation. This manuscript was never found, nor any diary or confessional notes that might shine light on how Corey came to keep a dead man in her possession for decades. The case remains unsolved.
James and Carol Sumner
Tiffany Ann Cole ran away from home at the age of 12. She had been plagued with mental health issues partially stemming from her dysfunctional home life and low IQ. Cole turned to prostitution to pay the bills and drugs to numb her pain. At the age of 23, the young woman and her boyfriend Michael Jackson came to Jacksonville, Florida to visit Jackson’s buddy Alan Wade. While there, Cole made a call to an elderly couple by the name of James and Carol Sumner. The Sumner’s had met Cole in South Carolina as they were friends with Cole’s father. At that time they took a liking to the disturbed young woman, sold her a vehicle at a good rate and offered their home to her if she ever needed a roof over her head. It would prove to be an offer they would regret.
Cole asked if she and Jackson could spend the night while they were in town visiting Wade. While sharing dinner with the couple, the Sumners talked about making $100,000 off selling their previous home and that triggered an idea in Jackson’s head. Soon after that evening, Jackson and Wade began to plot to rob the Sumners. They brought in another co-conspirator in Bruce Nixon Jr., another friend of the men. At first the idea was to wait for the patriarchal couple to head to an appointment or some such and ransack the house, but plans turned evil and soon a new scheme hatched.
On July 8th, 2005, Cole and Jackson waited outside the Sumners home. Meanwhile Nixon and Wade walked up to the door and asked to use the couple’s phone. Once inside they used a toy gun to trick the elderly duo into complying and the Sumners were bound by duct tape. Once financial records, ATM cards and other things were found, the couple were forced into the garage and stuffed in the trunk of their own Lincoln Town car. Cole and Jackson continued to burgle the house briefly before following Wade and Nixon in a separate car. They took separate cars in case the police made an appearance. The plan was for Cole and Jackson to intentionally get pulled over to keep the cops from following the car containing the Sumners.
The trip saw the foursome drive to a remote Georgia location where two days prior they had prepared a large hole. The Sumners were dragged from the trunk by Wade and Jackson while the other two collaborators stood guard by the road. The couple had freed themselves of the duct tape and were alternating between praying and begging for their lives. The Sumners were ordered to give the rogues their PIN numbers and passwords. They were then shoved in the 6 foot deep pit and slowly buried alive. This brutal death by suffocation was chosen over the original plan of overdosing the pair with drugs. The foursome then abandoned the Sumner’s car and immediately went to an ATM to start draining the Sumner’s bank account. They then returned to the Sumner’s home and continued to pillage it for valuables.
Three days after the murders, the Sumner’s daughter contacted police and informed them her parents hadn’t been able to be reached for several days. The detectives were able to access bank records and saw the large sums of cash being withdrawn. Around this point, Michael Jackson called the authorities and tried to pass himself off as Mrs. Sumner. A second call came in to the police by “Mrs. Sumner” and this time it was Cole trying to pass off the ruse. The calls were traced and soon the cops were able to identify the hotel the foursome were staying at. They were caught red handed with loads of the Sumner’s personal papers and valuables.
Nixon pled guilty and received 54 years in prison. The other three all fought their murder charges. Jackson and Wade were each found guilty of two first-degree murder charges and were each given a pair of death sentences. Cole was convicted of two first-degree murder counts, two for kidnapping and two for robbery. She was then sentenced to a pair of death sentences. Her lawyers are using appeals to this day to try and lighten her sentence. Cole claims she wasn’t an active part of the murders, but the prosecutors and judges have so far counter argued that she led the men to the Sumners, drove along with the men to the murder site, and participated in the preparing of the grave. She also bought the items used in binding the victims and financially benefitted from the spoils of the robbery. Plus she took part in the attempted subterfuge in covering up the crimes by trying to impersonate one of the victims.
In a final note, the Sumners were found with their hands clasped together, there for one another to the end. Their bodies were cremated and now reside in a single urn. Together forever.
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