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Alabama Cold Cases

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Alabama Murders

In 2019, the Alabama murders rate was 12.9, according to state statistics, meaning that there are almost 13 homicides per 100,000 residents. Sadly, murders in Alabama by year seem to rise, with no end in sight, especially in certain areas. In 2016, there were around 30 murders in Montgomery, Alabama, alone. In 2019, there were 39 murders in Montgomery County, Alabama. As of April 1, there were around 19 reported murders in Alabama in 2021.

Unsolved Alabama Murders

According to Project: Cold Case, from 1980 to 2019 there were 20,003 homicides in Alabama alone, leaving 7,893 unsolved murders in Alabama. Some currently unsolved Alabama murders, better known as Alabama cold cases, as posted on the Attorney General’s website, include the 2011 murder of Sherri Terese Smith, the 2007 murder of Kimberly Compton Whitton, and the kidnapping of her daughter, Haleigh Culwell Whitton, the 2001 murder of Shannon Nicole Paulk, and the 1999 murder of Gennice Shoma Thrash, among many others. These Alabama unsolved murders and kidnappings date back to the 1970s, leaving their families little hope for current media attention.

In 2019, a new hope was brought to two families dealing with unsolved murders in Alabama with the help of DNA and genetic genealogy. Nearly 20 years after the murders of Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley, law enforcement was able to link Coley McCraney to their murders using DNA evidence collected at the crime scene. This is just one of many Alabama cold cases solved and Alabama murders solved in the last few years with this form of evidence and technology.

If you’re a fan of the long-running series Unsolved Mysteries, you might notice that Alabama has been the focus of multiple episodes since its release in 1987. One of the biggest unsolved murders in Alabama, which remains unsolved today and is featured in Unsolved Mysteries, is the missing person case of Sherry Lynn Marler, who disappeared in 1984. In recent news, there was a rise in the reward for the 1991 murder of Elizabeth Spence, who is one of the many unsolved murders in Montgomery, Alabama.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

Famous Alabama Murders

Some of the most famous Alabama murders over the years include the 2005 murder of Charles Newman, who was killed on Halloween night by Andrew Lackey, later named the “Halloween Killer;” the 1941 Gibson Family Murders; and the 2001 unsolved murder of Shannon Paulk. Other famous murders in Alabama include mass murders, including the 2009 Geneva County Massacre and the 1963 Baptist Church Bombing.

As for notorious Alabama criminals, some of the most famous include Nancy Hazel Doss, also known as the “Black Widow” killer, who killed up to 11 family members; Bobby Frank Cherry, a Ku Klux Klan member who was convicted of four counts of murder after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 2002; and Joseph Dewey Akin, who was a doctor suspected of killing over 100 people during his 10-year career in medicine. These individuals are also known to have committed some of the most infamous Alabama murders.

If you’re interested in learning more about the horrific history of all murders in Alabama, you can find lists just by searching “list of murders in Alabama” or “list of Alabama murders.” If you’re interested in learning more about famous murders, a simple search of “Alabama famous murders” will find you the results you’re looking for.

Homicide Rate in Alabama

The homicide rate in Alabama, as of 2017, was 12.9, meaning that there are almost 13 homicides per 100,000 individuals living in Alabama. Alabama’s murder rate is the second highest in the United States, just behind Louisiana, whose homicide rate is 14.4 homicides per 100,000 residents. Knowing this, you might find yourself wondering, “Why is Alabama’s crime rate so high?”

The violent crime rate in Alabama has decreased from 5.2 incidents per 1,000 in 2020, to 5.1 per 1,000 in 2021. The violent crime rate in Montgomery, Alabama, remains statistically higher than the national violent crime rate in most categories. These categories include assault, murder, rape, and robbery. Although the crime statistics for how many murders in Alabama 2021 or how many murders in Montgomery, Alabama, 2021 have not been released, we can imagine a general homicide rate based on the statistics from 2020. According to the CDC, the homicide rate in Alabama as of 2020 was around 12.8 per 100,000 residents. So, to answer how many homicides in Alabama 2019 by looking at the state of Alabama’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), there were 430 homicides in 2019 alone. To answer how many homicides in Montgomery, Alabama, 2021, we must look at the same report, which is from 2019. This report shows that there were around 43 homicides in 2019 alone in Montgomery County, Alabama.

Montgomery County Murders

In 2019, there were 43 Montgomery County murders alone. If you’re interested in learning more about these murders, such as the Montgomery County murders trial, Montgomery County murders evidence, or the Montgomery County murders crime scene photos, you can search all of these to find not only statistics regarding the crime rate and homicide rate in Montgomery County, Alabama but also information regarding different cases.

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Additional Alabama Cold Cases

Layla AdkinsWoodrow AllenRobert ArchieKimberly ArringtonPatrick BagleyJessie BanksVictor BarbourJustin BarnettDaniel BarterTarasha BenjaminChin Suk BeshearsMaxine BieberbachPamela BiggersNorris BillingsleyEric BlevinsTimothy BlueEric BoldenMichael BoyetteLeon BradleyAnthony BreedloveAnthony BrownDeandre BrownTamborah BrownLatoya BrownJerry BrowningCharles Browning IIIWayne BryanDavid BurneyJames BurrowsRhonda ByersPatricia CadleDonna CallowayEvan ChartrandFranklin ChastainRobert ChildersCharles ChildreeTammie ChipmanRobert ChunnJessica CollinsLeslie ConnellCarla CorleyDonna CupidoHishawn CurryJerry DaileyMandi DardenAnthony DavisDarion DawkinsBrenda DearingDamian DillAnita DobbsBryan DormineyRuth DorseyOlive DryShannon EllisMolly EzellLelia Marie FaulknerRebecca FergusonGuy FieldsWilliam Charles "Pete" FikesGarland FordDonald FortsonGail FranklinTabitha Lynn FranklinHerman GambleChristy GarrardMichael GodwinSteven GodwinLakira GoldsmithYu GoodsonMichael GordonWendy GorhamKevin GrayLisa GreenDebra GreenBrenda Kay GreenJessica HambyJanet HamnerRonnie HarrisChristopher HarrisonHuey Hazelrig JrMont Highley IVChristian HillDenton HillJeffrey HollomanJasmine HostKelley Louise Henderson HowardTyesha HowardShelia HughesFloyd HurstJohn HydeCharles Jackson Jr.George James2007 Autauga County Jane Doe2000 Jefferson County Jane Doe1990 Cleburne County Jane Doe1986 Autauga County Jane Doe1984 Walker County Jane DoeNovember 5 1982 Lee County Jane Doe2001 Jefferson County Jane DoeNovember 3 1982 Lee County Jane Doe2007 Elmore County Jane Doe1982 Tuscaloosa County Jane Doe1979 Tuscaloosa County Jane Doe2014 Jefferson County Jane Doe1995 Madison County Jane Doe1976 Mobile County Jane Doe1998 Jefferson County Jane Doe1990 St. Clair County Jane Doe2013 Madison County John Doe2013 Jefferson County John Doe2003 Mobile County John Doe2006 Jefferson County John DoeJune 1988 Jefferson County John Doe2011 Montgomery County John Doe1991 Dekalb County John Doe1981 Jefferson County John Doe1981 Jackson County John Doe1985 Mobile County John DoeOctober 1988 Jefferson County John Doe1996 Mobile County John Doe1997 Marshall County John Doe1997 Escambia County John Doe1997 Jefferson County John Doe1999 Jefferson County John Doe1999 Dallas County John Doe1999 Mobile County John Doe2008 Cherokee County John DoeDecember 1999 Mobile County John Doe2004 Jefferson County, John Doe2002 Jefferson County John Doe2005 Baldwin County John Doe2005 Blount County John Doe2007 Jefferson County John Doe2008 Limestone County John Doe2012 Jefferson County John Doe1991 Talladega County John Doe Abram JohnsonJason JonesTraci KegleyNadia KershSteve KeszthelyiScott KeyEldon KingOscar KingGuy KirbyAshley LaneJanice LaplantBradley LardVirginia LeeShep LeonardNancy LewisJames LoweJanet LuxfordAubrina MackJoseph MaplesSherry Lynn MarlerDavid MartinJanell MasseyTravis MasseyYolanda MaullJames McCallCharlie "Jay" McCordJeffery McFryMelinda McGheeJohn McHan Jr.Tonya McmillianMarta MendezErnest MicklesSherry MiltonPeggy MockLeedell MorganRandy MorganJerry MorrisMiles Morris Jr.Susan OsborneRandall ParnellHolly PaulShanna PeoplesTravis PhillipsLisa PierceEvelyn PiperEdgar PoweJennifer PowersDebra PritchettKemberly RamerJulie RayWillie ReynoldsJames "Amp" ReynoldsAlonzo ReynoldsDonna RigsbyLaQuanta Riley Ramondus RobinsonBrittany RobinsonClara RogersMonica RollinsDalton RollinsWarner RoseElmer RossJanis RudderErik RuizBarbara RushtonVictor SanchezTyrie SandersDavid SargentEdwin SatterthwaiteMarcia ScobieChristopher ScottRilla SheehanReginald ShortJames ShroyerBrenda SicaJason SimsRuth SimsLori SlesinskiGlenna SlickerJohnny SmithCorey SmithAyanna SmithBennie Smith IIBarbara SparksWillis StarkKaren SteedZaida StockbergerLisa StoweJune StreeterKierra StubbsPei SungJohn SwitzerBrent TalleyRoger TaylorNanette ThomasJeremy ThompsonRichard TrimbleTravis TuckerBrenda TuckerDanniella VianYuette WabbingtonGeral WalkerJames WallJames WallLorene WareRobert WeemsZachery WestbrookBetty WhiteTerry WhiteKimberly Compton WhittonJudie WildingDonnie WilliamsDoretha WilliamsJeremy WilsonJordan WilsonBrittney WoodCharles WoodPaula WorcesterFred WrightMichael WrightMichelle WyattTrista YeldingChristina Zane