BOWLING GREEN, Fla. (AP) – When Florida executed David Alan Gore last year for murdering six women and girls as one of the state's most horrific serial killers, the victims' families expressed satisfaction that he finally was dead, three decades after his crimes.
But that was only half the story in a case dubbed “The Killing Cousins.”
The man Gore said joined him in hunting women and girls and then raping, killing and dismembering them – his cousin Fred Waterfield – will never meet the same fate. Instead, Waterfield is serving life sentences at Hardee Correctional Institute in central Florida for first-degree murder for two killings.
He insists he is innocent, that he was also a hostage when Gore committed the public murder that got them arrested and that he wasn't present and had nothing to do with Gore's other crimes. He said Gore lied when he implicated him in all six killings and that the prosecutor fabricated evidence against him because he wanted to make a name for himself by getting a conviction.
He said that the fact that the prosecutors tried and failed to get him a death sentence like his cousin's shows the case against him was weak.
“All throughout this case I felt that the injustice would never allow that (a death sentence) to happen,” Waterfield, 60, told The Associated Press recently in his first interview since his 1983 arrest. He is serving as his own lawyer as his ex-wife and daughters try to clear his name and get him released.
The prosecutor who tried him and the victims' families doubt that will ever happen. They are convinced of his guilt.
“Yes, I would have liked to have seen the same fate happen to Waterfield as happened to Gore, but the fact is it didn't,” said Nancy Byer, whose 14-year-old daughter Barbara Ann was murdered along with the teen's 14-year-old friend, Angelica LaVallee. “I'm just hoping he's having a miserable life. I mean that. I hope it's miserable for him because he's caused a tremendous amount of grief along with his cousin, and they did it for years.”
Back in the early 1980s, women and teenage girls began disappearing in and around Vero Beach, a small Atlantic coast town best known as the former spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. A 17-year-old girl and her 48-year-old mother. A 35-year-old woman who had gone to the beach.
Gore was a suspect – during his spree, he had been found hiding in the backseat of a woman's car. He was shirtless and had a cocktail in one hand and a gun in the other. He also had handcuffs, rope and a police scanner. Detectives tried to connect him to the disappearances, but didn't have enough evidence. He was out of prison in less than two years and soon after Barbara Ann Byer and LaVallee, who had been hitchhiking, disappeared.
Then came the kidnapping and murder that broke the case. On July 26, 1983, Lynn Elliott and a 14-year-old friend were hitchhiking on a beach road when Waterfield, then 30, and Gore stopped to pick them up. Waterfield offered the girls marijuana, but before they could smoke it Gore pulled a gun. They drove to Gore's house, where Gore tied the girls up in separate rooms. Waterfield left, heading back to the nearby auto repair shop he owned.
Gore raped Elliott then went to rape her friend. Elliot untied her feet and ran from the house naked. Gore, also naked, ran after her and shot her twice in the head. A boy riding his bike saw what happened and told his mother, who called police. When they arrived, they found her body in the trunk of Gore's car and her friend alive in the attic.