Thanks to new information from an inmate in Georgia, the 1972 case of the three brutal murders of a mother, father and son in North Carolina has finally been closed.
In what was named the “Durham Case,” Bryce, Virginia, and Bobby Durham, were all found dead in their bathtub during a snowstorm on Feb 3, 1972. They were discovered by the couple’s son-in-law and neighbor. Bryce and Bobby had been drowned, while Virginia was killed by strangulation.
However, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that four men were identified as the likely perpetrator’s thanks to testimony from one of their sons. The men were identified as Billy Sunday Birt, Bobby Gene Gaddis, Charles David Reed and Billy Wayne Davis.
According to the police, Davis is the only surviving member of the four, who were a small-time criminal group known as the “Dixie Mafia” and were likely responsible for several violent crimes in Georgia and the greater Southeast, mostly in the 60s and 70s.
Davis, who is currently incarcerated in a correctional facility in Augusta, Georgia, was first questioned when the son of Billy Sunday Birt, Shane Birt, recalled a story his father told “when he admitted to killing three people in the North Carolina mountains during a heavy snowstorm.
Davis admitted that the murder was part of a “hit,” but did not disclose who hired them for the job. In his interviews, he claimed to be the getaway driver, and that Birt, Reed, and Gaddis entered the home to carry out the murder. Investigators also said that this case had similarities to a 1973 investigation that the same men were involved with.
Ginny Durham, the couple’s daughter, released a statement thanking investigators for closing the case. “I would like to thank all of the people who have worked for decades on my family’s case. I know that they sacrificed many days and weekends in order to work on solving this case since 1972. Durham even gave special thanks to several investigators who chose to keep assisting with the case after their retirement.