Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Gaffney serial killer is caught

Gaffney, SC is a small town best known for it's peach water tower, a symbol of the peach orchards in the area. Some have said the peach resembles the back-end of a woman bending over. In addition to the peach orchards, Gaffney, population around 13,000 is also home to Limestone College, a small "private, Christian, non-denominational, coeducational liberal arts college."

Recently, Gaffney has been terrorized by a serial killer who has murdered five people in three separate incidents. There has been no known connection between these people and no pattern. Yesterday, the suspect was killed in nearby Gaston County, NC after a shoot-out with police.

My family has two separate connections to Gaffney, about 50 miles away from my back door. My daughter-in-law's family lives in Gaffney and her mother works at Limestone College. They have lived in Gaffney their entire life. Additionally, my son-in-law's parents attended Limestone back before they were married. The town of Gaffney has been hit hard with this incident and they are all glad it's over.

Much will come out about the individual who committed these crimes. 41 year old Patrick Burris. During a press conference last night, SLED investigators waved a 25 page rap sheet - asking for an explanation as to why this man was on the streets. When captured, Burris was in the company of a couple - what is their role in this mess? Where has Burris been the last two weeks and what led him to Gaffney (he was caught about 30 miles away) to commit these murders?

There will be more research into all of this and I, for one, am interested in the answers. But for now, this saga is over and Gaffney can return to its peaceful nature again.


Thomas said...

Wow. There's a lot goin' on down there in Carolina these days.

Ashley Beth said...

you forgot to mention that Gaffney is also known for it's outlet shopping. I'll let it slide since you are a man.

Randy said...

Thomas, yes, a lot going on. Glad it's over.

Ashley, Outlet shopping? They have that there? (I try to forget - to me shopping is never an event).

in2thefray said...

I was interested in this since I knew the area secondary to almost relocating there. I kinda have my fingers crossed he doesn't fit the recent "right wing extremist" meme

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out whether you are naive or just downright insensitive: "Gaffney can return to its peaceful nature again." Tell it to the victims' families and neighbor. My late husband was from Gaffney, and his family (all neighbors of 3 of the victims) are in deep grief.

Randy said...

Anonymous, in this case - myopic. You're 100% right, the victims' families and those close to them will be in grief for a while. My heart goes out to them. For them, the world has ever changed and Gaffney can not be the same as it was. Every thing about the town will remind them of the ones they loved.

Perhaps one of the best ways to honor the victims is to allow this town to return to it's "peaceful nature". I know a man who chose Gaffney for his new home town straight from the map. Once he visited, he knew this was where he wanted to retire.

You and your extended family have my deepest sympathies and my respect. The one thing that I would offer is that now some of the questions have been answered and the wounds can begin to hesl.

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