Yellow and black crime scene tape surrounding a homicide crime scene cleanup location.

4 of the Most Gruesome Murders in Recent Alabama History and Why Homicide Crime Scene Cleanup is Important

Yellow and black crime scene tape surrounding a homicide crime scene cleanup location.
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Homicides are on the rise across the U.S., and the state of Alabama is no different. The state had the second highest murder rate of any state in the U.S. at 12.9 murders per 100,000 residents in 2019.

The city of Birmingham specifically, with just over 100 homicides this year already, is on pace to surpass its all-time record high of 141 homicides in 1991.

It’s hard to fathom so much intentional and senseless taking of human life in our modern world today, but our beloved state of Alabama has been home to some of the country’s most gruesome murders, its history riddled with tragic and unforgettable crime scenes. Though first responders have the tough job of arriving first on a homicide crime scene, our team of homicide crime scene cleaners at Alabama Bio-Clean, are usually second to arrive after law enforcement, and we’ve seen our fair share of unforgettable crime scenes.

And, unfortunately, Alabama has witnessed some of its most unforgettable murders in just the last 30 years. Below are a few that stand out in our minds.

Four Unforgettable Alabama Murders

The Huntsville, Alabama Faculty Meeting Murders, 2010. During a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the spring of 2010, a biology professor who had been denied tenure stood up and began shooting — execution style — those closest to her with a 9-mm Ruger semiautomatic handgun.

A mother of four, Amy Bishop killed the department chairman and two biology professors and wounded three other individuals. Later investigations into her history revealed that Bishop had also shot and killed her younger brother at the age of 20, but at the time, the incident was ruled an accident. Bishop was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and only later in 2015, freely admitted and apologized to her victims and their families, as well as her own family, for her actions.

The Alabama Twins Murder Case, 1992. Another memorable murder that comes from Huntsville, Alabama, involved twin sisters Betty Wilson and Peggy Lowe, who were both arrested and tried for the killing of Huntsville eye surgeon Dr. Jack Wilson. The twins were described as “middle-aged Belles from a Tennessee Williams drama,” with refined Southern accents and respectable jobs (one as a teacher, the other, a nurse).

Betty Wilson returned home one night to discover her husband Jack Wilson’s lifeless body in a pool of blood on the hardwood floor, a metal baseball bat lying next to him. The investigation uncovered the Wilsons’ troubled marriage and Betty Wilson’s extra-marital affairs. It was also speculated that Betty Wilson wanted the $6.3 million that she would have been left with following her husband’s death.

Allegedly, both Betty Wilson and Lowe played a role in hiring a hitman to kill Jack Wilson, though Lowe would eventually be found ‘not guilty’ for her part, while Betty Wilson is currently serving life in prison.

The Geneva County Massacre, 2009. Twenty-seven-year-old Michael McLendon killed 10 people and three dogs during a murderous rampage throughout multiple Alabama towns in March 2009. The bulk of the casualties were McLendon’s own family members, but he also killed anyone who happened to be visiting his family at the time, too.

After police cornered McLendon, he turned his gun on himself, taking his own life. Investigations later found notebooks McLendon had filled with the names of other individuals he felt had wronged him and that he intended to kill.

The Citronelle Slayings, 2016. In perhaps one of the most gruesome homicides in recent history, 30-year-old Derrick Dearman went on a meth-induced killing spree in Citronelle, Alabama, one night, murdering five individuals and an unborn infant.

The bodies were found in an isolated home on a dirt road in August 2016, and law enforcement officials alleged that Dearman entered the home in the early morning hours, attacking the sleeping residents with an axe and a gun. One of those murdered was a woman who was five months pregnant with her first child. The crime scene was described as “a real-life horror movie” by first responders, and Dearman was eventually given the death penalty.

Professional Homicide Crime Scene Cleanup Restores Order to a Location After a Traumatic Event

Cleaning up a homicide crime scene is difficult and potentially dangerous. Nothing, however, is more difficult than having to overcome the horror and grief associated with losing someone you love to homicide, and our deepest sympathy and sorrow go out to those families affected. In the aftermath of a homicide, Alabama Bio-Clean, should be your next call after police, firefighters, paramedics and coroner have finished their jobs.

At Alabama Bio-Clean, homicide crime scene cleanup and restoration is one of our top requested services annually and, with more than 10 years as an industry leader in Alabama, you can rest assured that we know how to swiftly and safely handle any biohazard situation that might arise due to potential blood-borne pathogens present at the scene.

Our homicide crime scene cleanup technicians are skilled at entering the scene after a murder without interrupting the integrity and security of the area. Once the authorities have released the scene, we will clean and repair the site. Though our job is to expertly remove any traces of a traumatic event, our goal is always to conduct this process with the utmost compassion and respect for those affected, restoring order to the environment so that others may safely return to living their lives.