Chamblee54

Carlton Gary

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on December 13, 2009





The State of Georgia has set an execution date for Carlton Gary. December 16 is scheduled to be his date with the gurneygoinggone, in Jackson, GA. Mr. Gary is said to be the “Stocking Strangler”, who terrorized Columbus GA in 1977 and 1978. Not everyone agrees with the verdict.

Carlton Gary was born December 15, 1952. ( His birthday is the day before the scheduled execution). He met his father once, when he was 12. His mother was poor, and often got relatives to care for her son. As Carlton Gary got older, he became familiar with law enforcement.

In 1970, there was an elderly lady strangled and murdered in upstate New York. Mr. Gary was involved. Later DNA tests indicate that Mr. Gary was the 1975 killer of Marion Fisher in Syracuse NY.

On August 22, 1977, Carlton Gary escaped from Onondaga prison. On September 15, 1977, Mary Willis “Ferne” Jackson was strangled to death with a nylon stocking. Between this date and April 20, 1978, six more women were raped and strangled with stockings. All were elderly white ladies, most of whom lived in the affluent Wyntown neighborhood.

— Ferne Jackson, 60, of 2505 17th St., killed Sept. 15, 1977.
— Jean Dimenstein, 71, of 3927 21st St., killed Sept. 25, 1977.
— Florence Scheible, 89, of 1941 Dimon St., killed Oct. 21, 1977.
— Martha Thurmond, 69, of 2614 Marion St., killed Oct. 25, 1977.
— Kathleen Woodruff, 74, of 1811 Buena Vista Road, killed Dec. 28, 1977.
— Mildred Borom, 78, of 1612 Forest Ave., killed Feb. 12, 1978.
— Janet Cofer, 61, of 3783 Steam Mill Road, killed April 20, 1978.

During this time, Carlton Gary was busy robbing restaurants. He was caught, and sent to prison in South Carolina. He escaped in 1984. At this time, the police in Columbus were working on a lead in the Stocking Strangler case.

Police in Columbus hoped against hope that a lead they were developing in the long, dragged-out case of the Stocking Strangler would pan out. A .22 Luger handgun had been stolen from a Wynnton house at the time of the murders. An anonymous caller called the owner of the gun and said, “The police have the gun you had stolen from you.”
That gun owner reported the call to the Columbus police. At first they were baffled. They did not have that gun but could police in another area have it? Detectives put out a nationwide teletype asking if anyone had it. No other police department did. Two Kalamazoo, Michigan clerks went painstakingly through their records and found that the weapon had been registered at their shop in 1981. Detectives tracked the gun down to its current owner who said he had purchased it in Phenix City, Alabama from Jim Gary. The police interviewed Jim Gary who said he had gotten it from his nephew, Carlton Gary.
Detectives then discovered that Gary had recently escaped from the South Carolina prison where he was serving time as “Michael David.” That made their job especially urgent. If Gary was the Stocking Strangler, elderly women were in terrible danger.
Fingerprints of Carlton Gary were matched to prints found in the home of victim Kathleen Gary. Then Columbus police were contacted by investigators from Phenix City who were looking for suspected robbers and cocaine runners, one of whom was known as Michael David…
On the early morning of May 3, 1984, acting on a tip, a S.W.A.T. team went to a Holiday Inn in Albany, Georgia. Carlton Gary was in a room with a woman. When that woman came out of that room to go to an ice machine, S.W.A.T. members asked her to come to a room for questioning. She agreed to cooperate with authorities and told them that Gary had a gun on the nightstand.
Trying to decoy him into opening the door, she went back to it and knocked but ran away before he answered it. Gary opened the door, saw the police, and tried to shut it but officers kept it open with their shoulders. Then the team swarmed into the room and captured him…
True to his pattern, Gary confessed to having been at the homes of the Wynnton area victims but denied raping or murdering them. His accomplice, Malvin Alamichael Crittendon had done that. “I did the burglaries,” Gary explained, “and Michael killed the old ladies.”
Crittendon existed and was located by the police. He denied taking part in the Stocking Stranglings and police could find no evidence to connect him to them.”

In August 1986, Carlton Gary went to trial. The state would not give the defense any money to hire investigators or expert witnesses. The star witness for the state was Gertrude Miller, who had been attacked, in similar fashion to the other victims, but survived. Mrs. Miller identified Carlton Gary as the attacker. On August 26, 1986, Carlton Gary was convicted of the murder of Florence Scheible, Martha Thurmond, and Kathleen Woodruff. He was sentenced to death the next day.


In a death penalty case, there are a lot of reviews. This is especially true for a high profile case like this. Evidence has come up which indicates Carlton Gary is not the stocking strangler.

DNA testing was not used during the trial. After the trial, the body fluids from the crime scenes were destroyed as a bio hazard. ( This evidently was not done in Syracuse). It is not possible to compare DNA from Mr. Gary to what was found at the crime scene.

The following quote is from a Vanity Fair article about the case:
“Even though DNA-testing techniques had not been invented at the time of the stranglings, investigators did possess an older method for testing semen that could be very effective: secretor typing. Most people, about four-fifths of the population, are “secretors,” meaning that in their saliva, semen, and other fluids they secrete chemical markers that give away their blood group. A “group-O secretor” would be someone from the common O blood group whose semen contained a relatively large amount of the relevant marker.
The tests carried out on semen collected from the murder scenes of Ferne Jackson, Florence Scheible, and Martha Thurmond indicated that the stocking strangler was a “non-secretor,” whose body fluids contained only tiny traces of the group-O marker. As for Carlton Gary, the police took a saliva sample from him after his arrest. It revealed that, together with some 40 percent of the population, he was an O secretor.”

The star witness, Gertrude Miller, seems to have a few flaws as well. She had identified several other men as being her attacker, some of whom looked nothing like Mr. Gary. The trial was in 1986, when the murders had been committed in 1977-78. A commenter in a Columbus internet forum named “former Wyntown resident” says:
” I personally knew one of the “witnesses” well and she is a Hystrionic Personality Disorder who interjected herself in this appalling travesty of justice solely for the attention. She obviously presented well enough in court but I knew beyond a doubt she lied- she concocted the story of an encounter years after it allegedly took place.”
The last victim, Janet Cofer, had a bite mark on her breast. A impression was taken of this mark, and a model of the teeth marks produced. The teeth in that model do not match Carlton Gary.

The fingerprints were not photographed “in situ”, or in the original location. They had been lifted and transferred to file cards. There is no tape of the interrogation. The detective, Mike Sellers, wrote the only record of the interrogation at his kitchen table at 4:30 am, after interviewing Mr. Gary. The tape of the discussion was destroyed.

A British journalist named David Rose came to Georgia to write about the death penalty, and got caught up in the case. He wrote a book, The Big Eddy Club, about the case. Two Vanity Fair articles are by him.

Unless something happens to stop the process, Carlton Gary will die on Wednesday. While he is no choir boy, there is doubt that he is the stocking strangler.

Update The Georgia Supreme Court issued a stay of execution on Wednesday, helpfully before the 7pm deadline. The Supremes voted 5-2 to order Muscogee County Judge to hold a hearing to consider DNA tests.

PG was under the impression that the fluid samples from the crime scene had been destroyed. Other evidence in this case has been said to be destroyed or lost, only to turn up later. ( i.e., the mold made from the teeth marks).

PG has too much free time these days, and was going to go to Jackson to witness the scene outside the prison. He went to the 11 alive weather radar to check the weather, and saw a headline announcing the stay of execution.

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4 Responses

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  1. […] [image] […]

  2. […] There are two controversial death penalty cases in Georgia now. This would be Troy Davis and Carlton Gary. At first, I was convinced of the innocence of Mr. Davis. Four posts later, I am not so sure. There […]

  3. yolanda dean said, on May 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

    why dont carlton gary mention his children by sheila im thier sister


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