This week’s Flashback Friday case is Martha Ann Dicks, a 19-year-old who disappeared from Sumter, South Carolina on March 29, 1972. I’ve only got one photo of her and it’s of very poor quality. Martha’s sister said she was a lesbian, but she dated men sometimes; perhaps she was bisexual. I wonder if she was transgender; she liked to wear men’s clothing and used the name “Clyde.” She may have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance.
Serial killer Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins knew Martha and confessed to her murder sometime before his execution in 1991. Several of his ten confirmed victims were people known to him, which is unusual; serial killers usually murder strangers. The murder is also unusual in that it was an interracial crime; most murders, including serial murders, are intra-racial — that is, both killer and victim are of the same race. Pee Wee Gaskins was white and Martha Dicks was black.
In any case, Martha “Clyde” Dicks was never found. If she were alive today she would be 63. Her baby, if she actually was pregnant, would be about 44.
From the Wikipedia article on Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins:
While on death row, Gaskins told his life story to a journalist named Wilton Earle. He claimed to having committed between 100 and 110 murders, including that of Margaret “Peg” Cuttino, the 13-year-old daughter of then South Carolina State Senator James Cuttino, Jr., of Sumter. However, law enforcement sources found it impossible to verify all of his claims. In his autobiography, Final Truth, Gaskins wrote that he had “a special mind” that gave him “permission to kill.”
Has anyone ever read this book? It sounds fascinating.
Yes, you should read it. I haven’t read it in years, I’ll have to read it again. This all happened about an hour and a half from where I live, with ties to people close to where I live. He was quite the character, and very well known by most everyone in the area.
I will have to pick it up somewhere. I read quite a few reviews of the book on Amazon.com saying that it is very graphic and very disturbing and some people even had to put it down and walk away for awhile as they processed what they just read. I’m interested to hear if you agree/disagree. He seemed like quite an intelligent albeit terrifying person.
Wow – just checked Amazon since my library doesn’t have it – $125 for hardcover, $107 for paperback.
Well I guess I won’t be reading it anytime soon, then. Geez.