Unsolved for 50 years: North Carolina triple murder now blamed on 'Dixie Mafia'

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Thursday, February 10, 2022
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'Dixie Mafia' blamed for unsolved triple murder in 1972

BOONE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 50-year-old triple homicide case has finally been solved.

Police in Boone say that the alleged perpetrator, Billy Wayne Davis, 81, along with 3 others were responsible for the murders of Bryce Durham, his wife Virginia and their son Bobby in 1972.

The three victims were found murdered inside their Watauga County home after a snow storm.

For 47 years, the case sat unsolved. But then in 2019 investigators caught a break.

The son of one of the accomplices called in a tip to authorities. He had been researching and writing a book about his father; during one prison visit, his father reportedly confessed to killing three people in North Carolina during a heavy snowstorm.

That tip reignited the investigation.

Authorities interviewed Davis, who is already behind bars serving a life sentence for a crime committed in Georgia and followed new leads confirming he was the lone surviving suspect. He told investigators he was the getaway driver and never entered the Durham family's home.

Davis said three other men, Billy Sunday Birt, Bobby Gene Gaddis and Charles David Reed, were the ones responsible for the murders. They have all since died.

The four men were known as the Dixie Mafia, and they were involved in dozens of violent crimes across the Southeast in the 1960s and 70s.