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FindCarrie
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xx Gwendolyn Moore - GA (Cold Case Clay)
« Thread started on: Mar 5th, 2005, 11:07pm »

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Gwendolyn Moore was 30 years old when she mysteriously vanished. Her children knew she did not run off. She was later found in a well by a policeman named Officer Bryant. Everyone always knew the husband was responsible but never could prove his guilt. NOT until some 30 years later would the young boy who now a man and a policeman himself help crack the case. The same boy who was with his father the day they pulled Ms. Moore out of the well.
The young boy who was later a police officer himself was Clay Bryant. Because of Clay Bryant, the 30 year old murder case is now headed for a GA jury for justice in March of 2005.

At this time, there is no photograph of Gwendolyn Moore.


Cold Case Clay Who Cracked the Case
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For more information on the case
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/48hours/main678088.shtml
« Last Edit: Jun 13th, 2005, 07:03am by FindCarrie » User IP Logged

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xx 'Cold Case Clay' takes on old cases
« Reply #1 on: Jun 13th, 2005, 07:05am »

LAGRANGE The image of a tow truck hoisting a dead woman from a well in 1970 has stuck with Clay Bryant all these years.

"She was spinning around in a circle; it was the most macabre thing you ever saw," recalls Bryant, who was then 15 and tagging along with his dad, the Hogansville police chief. The woman, Gwendolyn Moore, a 30-year-old mother of four, had been beaten savagely.
No one was arrested and the case was mostly forgotten, until two years ago when Moore's grandniece found her death certificate in some family papers. She was shocked by what she read: A bottle was broken over Moore's temple on July 28, 1970. And she was punched in the face repeatedly on Aug. 3, 1970, the day she died. The grandniece called the Sheriff's Department asking what ever became of the case.

Gwendolyn Moore's death might have remained a mystery were it not for Bryant, who is now a district attorney's investigator in the Coweta Judicial Circuit. In the past year, his investigations led to arrests in cases from 1970, 1987 and 1990. Co-workers have taped a note on his office wall calling him "Cold Case Clay."

The first of those arrests was Marshall Moore, Gwendolyn Moore's husband, whom authorities originally suspected in her death. Moore, 67, who has throat cancer and is out on bond, denies killing his wife.

"My daddy often said she never had justice in this case," Bryant said. He had been on the job just 10 days in October 2002 when a Troup County sheriff's investigator asked if he ever heard of the case. Bryant was faxed information on the case, almost fittingly, he said, on his late father's birthday.

"It was like my father handed me this case and said, 'This ain't right, fix it,' " Bryant said.

A framed picture on Bryant's cramped office wall shows a 19th century English fox hunt with a pack of hounds raring to go. Behind his cluttered desk is his law degree from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta. "My daddy paid for my college," Bryant said. "He wanted me to be a prosecutor."

Bryant, a baldheaded bull of a man with a crooked smile and soft blue eyes, has always been connected to the community where he was born. He started out as a state trooper, was Hogansville's police chief and then owned a tire store. He calls his current position "the best job in the world.

"How many chances would a man get to right wrongs that occurred 33 years ago or 17 years ago or 14 years ago?" he asked.

He totes a worn Rawlings mitt in his truck to tend to his other passion: coaching youth baseball. He proudly yammers on about the athletic accomplishments of his 15-year-old daughter, Emily, and his 14-year-old son, Clayton. He also raised a stepdaughter, Ashley Roush, 23, and has two children, Frank, 24, and Mary Beth, 21, from a previous marriage.

In 1970, Allen Moore, Marshall and Gwendolyn Moore's oldest son, was also 14, the same age as his youngest son.

"Allen's story sent a chill up my spine," Bryant said.

A warning, then a death

Allen Moore is now 48 and the maintenance director at D. Ray James Prison in southeast Georgia. He figures to be a key witness if Marshall Moore is tried for murder. He said his father, a truck driver, was an obsessive man with a hair-trigger temper who routinely battered his wife. The last time Allen saw his mother, he said, she was trembling in terror under the next door neighbor's house, he said.

"I shined the flashlight under there," he recalled. "Her eye was shut and her face was black and blue." She told him to go home and not tell anyone where she was. "She was scared to death of him," Moore said. "So was I."

The next morning, her body was found in the well.

He said his mother tried to leave several times but was manipulated and threatened and always returned. His father told him that his mother fell down the well, he said. Still, Moore told authorities about his last encounter with his mother.

Moore said he left home months later after his father slammed his head against a door and beat him nearly unconscious with a shoe. He moved in with a relative and later joined the Navy for 20 years. Moore has been married four times and believes his upbringing is a reason.

The ordeal had a "huge impact on my life," Moore said. "It's been on my mind all these years. I felt it was me who killed my mother. If I took her and went away somewhere, well, somehow she'd be alive."

Marshall Moore's lawyer is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to throw out the case, claiming it violates his client's right to a speedy trial. Attorney William Stemberger argues that authorities investigated Moore in 1970 and cleared him after he passed a lie detector test. The results of that test and almost all other investigatory files no longer exist. The sheriff, coroner, district attorney, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, and Bryant's father, who could not investigate the case because it was outside the Hogansville city limits, are now all dead. The original death certificate ruled the death due to "acute pulmonary edema."

"It's to the point where he'd have trouble defending himself," Stemberger said. "They made a decision not to prosecute. Now anything or anyone supporting that decision is gone."

Prosecutors will argue that the 2003 autopsy of Gwendolyn Moore showed signs of strangulation, something the 1970 autopsy did not note.

Stemberger said the marriage was "very tumultuous. It went both ways."

Marshall Moore is remarried and raised his and Gwendolyn's three other sons, who believe in their father's innocence, Stemberger said. Moore still lives in the same house as in 1970.

Bryant said that identifying with victims and their families helps him focus in his investigations. "You have to get personal with them and feel their pain," he said.

New case, new arrest

News of the arrest in the Moore case last summer spread quickly in Troup County, about an hour southwest of downtown Atlanta.

Tim Wilkerson, an auto body shop proprietor, approached investigators, saying his father, Fred, disappeared in November 1987. Bryant started up the case from scratch, piecing together reports other investigators compiled over the years, along with information collected by the Wilkerson family.

Two months later, authorities were armed with a search warrant and digging on the property of the missing man's former girlfriend. Fred Wilkerson's bones were 18 feet down an abandoned and covered well. He had been shot in the head. Tim Wilkerson and other family members cheered as Connie King Quedens, 59, was led from her home in handcuffs. She denies the charges and is set for trial in August.

Bryant has also become friends with the Wilkersons. Last week, he stopped at the auto body shop and teased Tim Wilkerson about his business before zeroing in on Wilkerson's brother-in-law, Roger Campbell. Bryant calls Campbell "Nancy Drew" because of all the tips, ideas and theories he continually fed Bryant during his investigation. The information was often dead-on, Bryant said.

Fred Wilkerson disappeared Nov. 27, 1987, two days after he sued Quedens, his ex-girlfriend. Wilkerson's suit claimed he was the victim of a "flimflam" after paying more than $30,000 to buy property with Quedens. Wilkerson's car was found a month later in a parking lot at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport.

In 1995, Quedens, who continued to pay on a life insurance policy on Wilkerson, tried to declare him dead. Wilkerson's son filed an objection. "The family of Wilkerson suspects Quedens as being criminally involved with the disappearance," it said.

"She was a black widow, that's how we looked at it," Campbell said.

Tim Wilkerson said other investigators looked into the case but never seemed to build momentum. "There was no body, so there was nothing to investigate," he said. Wilkerson, who helped his father build Quedens' home, said he knew of the old well on the property because they discarded building materials in it. He said he told investigators about the well.

Bryant does not want to denigrate the other investigations, saying he has the added luxury of time and does not have a staggering caseload.

Getting witnesses to recall events from long ago is not impossible, he said. In fact, it's not that difficult.

One witness, Bryant said, saw Marshall Moore administering a particularly bad beating. Bryant said he asked the man if he was sure of his old memory.

"You don't understand," Bryant said the man told him. "I didn't see it 30 years ago. I saw it every day for 30 years."

Allen Moore called Bryant "a bloodhound" who got more tenacious as he built his case. "He has a taste of the bone," Moore said. He said Bryant has given the dead a voice. "I feel my mother is speaking out," he said.

Bryant said there is more to come. He is working on two more cold cases
http://news.onemissingperson.org/GA-JUN-20-2004-Cold-Case-Clay--takes-on-old-cases.html
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Caring About All Missing & Murdered People
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See also our missing & murdered person blog
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