The Brutal Killing of Bobby Kellum : TrueCrime

Let me set the scene, it’s Could of 1977, in a small metropolis generally known as Albertville, Alabama. The realm has simply over 21,000 residents and is the most important metropolis in Marshall County. Albertville is included within the larger Huntsville-Decatur space. This space was traditionally inhabited by the Cherokee individuals and held many vital battles within the American Civil Warfare. Someday in 1908, one of many deadliest tornadoes in recorded historical past tore by means of the small city. This storm virtually erased the city from existence.

Getting again on observe, Albertville was generally known as a quite protected place with crime charges being comparatively low on the time. On the morning of Could 15th, 1977, issues would change on this allegedly protected group. 2 locals had been strolling close to Martling Cemetery and occurred to note one thing quite unusual. They noticed what seemed to be a human male physique, this physique was not regular although. the throat was slashed violently, the torso had been lined in yellow latex paint, and a number of other stab wounds had been discovered on the chest. In spite of everything this, the physique was then burned severely. Now once I say the throat was slashed, it was minimize so severely that it was described by police as being “ear to ear”.

Some type of acidic liquid had been used to burn off the fingerprints of the unidentified man. Quickly after the invention of the physique, police started to create reconstructions of what the person probably appeared prefer to probably assist fire up clues as to their id. Marshall County investigators publicized a photograph of the person however there by no means any matches. After a while handed, the unidentified man was buried within the Arab Metropolis Cemetery with a headstone marked as “unidentified”.

30 years later and the 30th anniversary of the chilly case is aired on the native information. Just some counties over in Limestone County, a household sees the printed and picture featured and are laid low with the way it carefully resembles their cherished one who went lacking in 1977. Dean Kellum is an Athens, Alabama resident who owns a machine store who thinks the physique could also be that of his 18-year-old brother who seemingly went lacking 30 years in the past.

Bobby Kellum was simply 18 years previous when he left for a visit to Talladega together with his girlfriend to go watch some races on the observe. I’m uncertain if it was a NASCAR occasion of some sort or one thing else solely. Bobby by no means returned from this journey although and in accordance with Dean Kellum, his household simply accepted the truth that he was gone. None of them appeared to know what had occurred to Bobby if he was lifeless or alive and nobody ever reported him as lacking. Even after 30 years of no contact. This half at all times struck me as a bit odd and I’ve seen a number of individuals on-line point out the identical factor.

Why would you not report your brother, son, nephew, grandson, whoever he could also be lacking? If he had no prior historical past of operating off and never staying in touch, this needs to be a trigger for concern. I did discover an article the place Dean talked about his brother was in some type of bother with the legislation for allegedly writing unhealthy checks. I additionally discovered a quote from Dean Kellum who mentions Bobby’s girlfriend contacted him just a few weeks after the journey and stated Bobby had left her to hitchhike again residence and was questioning if he made it again. That is one very disturbing element in my thoughts.

Anyway, a long time would move, and Dean Kellum would say he was 75% certain this man might be his lacking brother. He could be quoted as saying, “There’s quite a lot of resemblances , within the face and the brow and all that.” After seeing the report on WHNT-TV he contacted Marshall County officers and gave them a highschool yearbook picture of Bobby Kellum. Dean and his mom, Wilma Hicks, agreed to supply DNA samples so authorities might affirm or deny this chance.

The unidentified man’s physique was dug up from the Arab Metropolis Cemetery, the place he was buried with only a marker and a date of demise. DNA samples had been taken from the physique and despatched in to be examined. On the time, this course of might take anyplace from eight to 10 weeks to get outcomes if tissue samples might be discovered within the stays. If no tissue is discovered although, authorities must ship the stays to the FBI’s laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, to be examined utilizing the nuclear DNA identification methodology. This course of takes as much as 36 months.

Within the meantime, Former Marshall County Coroner, P.T. Williams stated he believes the stays are possible that of Bobby Kellum, going so far as to say he was 95% certain it was him. Williams was the coroner from 1975-1979 and remembers inspecting the physique in 1977 fairly vividly. Williams talked about the way in which the throat was minimize the person both needed to be unconscious or held or tied down with nice drive. The native police drive had a little bit of a problem on their fingers although, they wanted to boost $5,000 to get the stays examined. If they might not it could take as much as three years to probably obtain any outcomes. Fortunately, the local people in addition to native companies donated $four,000 and the lab agreed to provide a $1,000 low cost to the case.

On September 21st, 2007, Marshall County Sheriff’s Division launched the id of the person discovered murdered 30 years in the past. The person was certainly 18-year-old Bobby Kellum. The story behind what occurred to Bobby throughout his remaining hours of life is essentially unknown. I do have some data that I used to be capable of finding that would assist us higher perceive what occurred although. Three individuals had been recognized as being concerned, 2 of which had died and one who was terminally ailing. No fees had been ever pressed, and the case was closed.

Bobby Joe Kellum was 18 years previous and had simply begun work on the Fraternal Order of Police Truthful in Anniston, Alabama. He had solely labored there from Could 2nd-14th, the place he met a 17-year-old woman who I’ve not been capable of establish. The 2 spent a few days collectively and returned to Anniston on Could 15th the place they apparently had been picked up whereas strolling down Alabama Freeway 21 by the woman’s father, DeWitt Thrash. A person named Brooks was additionally within the automobile with them. The group dropped off the woman at residence and informed her they had been going to drop Bobby again off on the freeway or deliver him residence if it was shut sufficient.

As soon as they returned to Marshall County the group picked up one other man by the title of Barnes and drove towards Martling Cemetery. For no matter cause once they arrived on the cemetery, DeWitt Thrash pulled a knife and minimize Bobby’s throat. He was possible held down by the opposite 2 males. No fees could be given as Thrash and Barnes died in 2005 and Brooks lives out of state and on the time was terminally ailing with lower than 6 months to reside. Sadly, there may be solely a six-year statute of limitations to anybody concerned and prevented any further fees from being charged in opposition to Brooks. The closest factor now we have to a motive is from a press release made by Marshall County Sheriff Scott Partitions, who stated the motive for the homicide was possible as a result of DeWitt Thrash being upset that this man ran off together with his 17-year-old daughter. Brooks who had six months to reside didn’t wish to die with out getting this off his chest. The id of the woman has by no means been launched as a result of everybody concerned seeing no foundation for inflicting extra hurt.

That final truth barely bothers me as apparently the woman had been informed by her father a few years later about what he had completed. Perhaps hiding her id is finest, however I simply really feel like she ought to have talked about this earlier to authorities. And with that, the story of the unidentified stays of a person in Martling Cemetery ends.