Earlier this month, Anthony Tyrone “Burt” Woodson‘s uncle was charged with his murder. The five-year-old has been missing since 1981, and it’s likely that he will never be found.
Some good articles about the case:
- He said his nephew was kidnapped 37 years ago. Now he’s charged with the boy’s murder
- Man admitted he and wife killed nephew, police say. ‘She started it and I finished it’
- Uncle who reported 5-year-old missing in 1981 admits beating boy to death, police say
I knew almost nothing about Anthony’s case before, and it turns out that the official story had been a lie. Anthony’s uncle Terry said they went to a 7-11 in the middle of the night and Anthony disappeared from the car at some point. Well, Terry DID go to the 7-11, but only after his nephew was already dead.
The police were suspicious of the 7-11 abduction story but couldn’t disprove it, until 2017 when his uncle cracked and admitted Anthony was dead. He’s changed his story a bit since then, but the gist has always been the same: Anthony’s aunt and uncle beat the crap out of him with an electric cord, he died, and they dumped the body and concocted the 7-11 story.
Two childhood friends of Anthony reported that he was beaten badly and often enough that they’d come to recognize the sound of the electric cord and the screaming and crying and would know when a beating was taking place. Even by “Texas in the early 1980s” standards, this level of “discipline” seems excessive to me. But apparently nobody bothered to call CPS.
Justice has come too late for Della Woodson, Anthony’s aunt. She’s dead. And from the sounds of it, Terry might not live to see his trial. His sister, Merlene, says he’s in very poor health with severe diabetes and kidney problems, and that he’s on dialysis.
And it looks like there’s probably nothing left to bury, according to one of the articles:
Authorities have searched for any remains of the boy but have so far found none.
Experts, including anthropologists from the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, have told police the remains would have been dragged off and scattered by animals and likely may never be recovered.
Too little, too late.