Thursday, July 29, 2010

Couple Murdered at Base Store, 1973

~Compiled from accounts by Maxwell SPs and news reports

On Saturday morning, May 5, 1973, a married couple was found murdered at the Town and Country Store on Maxwell AFB. They were MSgt (Ret.) Lawrence Shaw and MSgt (Ret.) Ruby Shaw of Prattville, AL. Both were shot to death. The bodies were discovered by a milkman making his deliveries. Reports state that $1,900 was taken during the robbery.

Town and Country Store (left), Maxwell Blvd - 1979
Crossing Guard SrA Cindy (Rawlings) Smith, child unknown
(photo by Philip "J.P." Brown)

The investigation was conducted jointly by the OSI and FBI. Accounts from Maxwell AFB SPs who were stationed there during that era indicate that some base officials entered the crime scene, contrary to protocol, and thus contaminated the area. This would have compromised the evidence to some degree. The murder was never solved, and no arrest was ever made.

Update, 05/05/2011 - A former SPOI investigator related that a suspect was identified, but that he was imprisoned in another state serving a life term without parole. Prosecutors decided to not prosecute him given that he will never again see the light of day outside a prison. This is certainly good news for those seeking justice over these many years.

Newspaper Sources (all via Google Archives):


  1. I remember the day I heard the news of this tragic event. I was eight years old at the time and considered the Shaws my adopted grandparents.

  2. I responded to the crime scene that day as a Security Policeman. I may have been the 1st or 2nd officer on the scene.