NOTE: The following
is a true story, but most attempts to substantiate it have failed. Long time residents
of Pensacola, Florida may remember it, but most have only the few sketchy details
to remember that were made available to them by the newspapers at the time.
Oaks with Moss - Pensacola, Florida
preparing this story, I relied heavily on the word of Mr. Burnie Paul, a resident
of Pensacola for over fifty years. Mr. Paul remembers the story as a young adult,
who followed it in the newspaper; I remember it as a child. Due to the span of
time between then and now, we both acknowledge that there could be some miscalculations
made, but the fact remains that at one time there was a ghoul in Pensacola, who
was never known to have been caught. If he had been caught, the newspapers never
In the year 1957, summer
I think, the citizens of Pensacola, Florida awoke to a startling reality. There
on a back page of the newspaper was a very brief story of a grave in the Escambia
Bay Baptist Church Cemetery (Roberts Cemetery) that had been broken into and the
At some later
date, probably a month or so, again a grave located in the same cemetery was desecrated
in the same manner. The Escambia Bay Baptist Church Cemetery is located on Creighton
Road near an area known as Gull Point. Again, there was another back page story,
containing very little detail in the Pensacola News-Journal.
In looking over this, I can only assume that the morbid nature
of the crime caused the newspaper reporters to withhold some of the gory details,
fearing an outburst from the population. The crime itself was morbid and it may
have been that the newspaper was trying to protect the public as much as possible.
At some point later, a third
body was dug up. This time it occurred at the Whitmire Cemetery, located on Johnson
Avenue in an area known as Ferry Pass, a short distance from Gull Point, where
the previous activity had occurred. In this last crime, the body of a teenage
girl was removed from its grave and was found across the road from the cemetery,
near a small stream. She had only been buried a short time, possibly only a matter
of a few days.
newspaper again carried a back page story on this latest crime. This was to be
the last grave dug up by the ghoul.
In the years that have passed, there have been many guesses as
to who the culprit was. Some believe he was a relative of a prominent citizen,
who kept pressure on the newspaper to keep it quiet. Some believe he was the employee
of a funeral home. Others simply say that he was never caught and may still be
among them today!