In Putnam County, Georgia, a crazed killer may be on the loose (if he’s not already in another state by now). He (and maybe he had an accomplice) beheaded Russell Dermond, 88. Nobody knows why. At the time his decapitated body was found, his wife, Shirley, 87, was missing. But two weeks later her body was found near a dam, dead from blunt force trauma.
Dermond’s head has not been located.
Dennis Higgs is the fisherman who discovered Shirley’s body in the water. He first believed it was a buoy, but as he approached, he realized it was something to back away from, and called 9-1-1.
The body was five to six miles from the Dermond home. Gary McElhenney, the Putnam coroner, announced that the completion of a toxicology report on the body will take two or three weeks, possibly three months. Meanwhile, dental records will verify the identity of the woman’s body. Until then, the sheriff and McElhenney are “pretty certain” that the body is that of Shirley’s, due to the general appearance and some tell-tale surgical scars.
It is believed that the murder of Russell Dermond occurred between 4:30 p.m. on May 2 and 4 p.m. on May 3. Oddly, there are no signs of any forced entry or even a struggle inside the house. Authorities are vexed over who could have done this. It may have been the work of one person, maybe a group, maybe even involving a female accomplice.
No clues have been turned up in the area or at the lake vicinity. No leads exist.
If this act was random, just for some psychopath’s kicks, the killer will likely strike again. A crime like this can’t be a singular event—someone with this kind of evil will surely develop another fix to satisfy.
On the other hand, if this was a personal attack, this still shows a derangement that indicates that the killer will strike again anyways—either choosing a victim he knows or a random victim. When one gets this savage, anything goes.
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