A Life in the Balance

The New York Times

March 16, 2012

This much we know to be true: On a cold winter weekend in early 1982, somebody murdered 76-year-old Dorothy Edwards. Apparently she knew the perpetrator, since she let him into her handsome home on a quiet side street in Greenwood, S.C. The crime itself was horrific. She was beaten with a blunt object, stabbed repeatedly — one ear was almost severed — probably sexually assaulted; her body was stuffed into a bedroom closet, where it was discovered on Monday afternoon, Jan. 18. The next day the police arrested Edward Lee Elmore, a 23-year-old handyman whom Edwards had recently hired to do a few odd jobs around the house. He was formally charged with first-degree murder on Jan. 21, tried in the second week of April, found guilty by a jury that deliberated for two and a half hours, and sentenced to death.

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