The dead: Livingstone Stocker, 33, Michael Miller, 24, Henry Clayton, 35, John Holmes, 26, Gilbert Williams, 37, and Charles Cesar Stinson, 35. Two survived: Johnnie Hall, 45, and Margaret Wooden, 24.
We went up there as a squad, and it was 24 hours a day for the next three-four days, recalled former Miami-Dade homicide Lt. Don Carey. It made a lot of press. The director of the department even came out, and he didnt come out to many homicide scenes.
Three months later, Ferguson posing as a cop shot two teens during a robbery attempt. That couple survived.
Brian and Belinda did not.
The teens had dated casually for just a few months. Brian had knack for imitating Steve Martin. Belinda whom one teacher called Miss Sunshine mulled a career as a nurse.
On the night of Jan. 8, 1978, they went for ice cream at Farrells Ice Cream Parlor at Hialeahs Westland Mall.
The two drove to a field on LeJeune Road and Northwest 128th Street, a popular lovers lane and parked. They never returned. At 2 a.m., both families filed missing persons reports.
The next morning, Hialeah Highs custodian riding on horseback discovered Belindas body under an Australian pine tree. A quarter mile away, Brians body, a bullet in the head, was slumped over behind the wheel of his mothers 1974 Pontiac LeMans.
The killer had chased Belinda from the car, raping her before shooting her. The murders rocked Hialeah, where a memorial drew more than 800 people.
Homicide detectives soon identified Ferguson. The Ruger .357 pistol used in the shooting had been stolen from the Carol City murder scene.
In April 1978, police found Ferguson in an Opa-locka apartment, with the same stolen Ruger pistol.
Unlike today, when Death Penalty cases can take years to go to trial, justice moved quickly for Ferguson. Within six months, he had been convicted by two different juries in the Carol City murders and the teens killings. He was sentenced to die in each.
After the judge pronounced him guilty, I remember, he turned to me as though he was coming to get me, former prosecutor Kaye said. But he thrust his hand out, shook my hand said, Good job counsel. He was a violent man. I didnt think he had the character to do that.
In 1982, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the death sentence saying the judge did not consider evidence of Fergusons mental illness. A year later, he was resentenced to death again.
In the ensuing decades, Ferguson lawyers have nevertheless sought to stave off execution by pointing to his mental state. Each appeal, including one Friday denied by a Bradford County judge, has failed.
It is impossible to fathom that the State can constitutionally put to death a man who thinks he is the Prince of God and who believes he has a destiny of being the right hand of God and returning to purify earth, lawyer Handman said.
Michael Worley, Belindas brother, called the decades-long legal fight a slap in the face.
Outrageous is the fact that for 34 years, our tax dollars have been keeping Ferguson alive. Free food, medical care and the ability to communicate with his loved ones and lawyers, he said. My sister was brutally killed at the age of 17. Her murder shattered our entire family. Life was never the same.