South Georgia murderer scheduled for execution - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia murderer scheduled for execution

William Putman William Putman

November 11, 2002

Cook County - For Shannon Blincoe, justice will finally be served Wednesday night. In a plea for her parents' murderer's execution, she states, "He gets to continue breathing and living his life. So I am doing everything I can to stop him from living, which is what he decided to do for my parents."

Cook County District Attorney Bob Ellis prosecuted Putman and has pen palled with Shannon since the murders. He says the execution is long overdue.

"Shannon's mother and father are gone forever, and justice delayed is justice denied," said Ellis.

On July 10, 1980, Putman stopped at a truck stop in Lowndes County, where he shot and killed trucker William Hodges. He later murdered Shannon's parents, David Hardin and Christine Back, as they slept at a rest area in Lenox. Although investigators have found no relation between Putman and his three victims, there is a connection between the two cases.

"A witness saw the couple's car at the truck stop in Lowndes county so we believe Putman might have thought Hardin and Back witnessed the murder and then went after them," said Ellis.

Witnesses at the rest area in Lenox were able to describe Putman's truck, and just over an hour later, he was pulled over by a state trooper near Vienna. According to that trooper's report, they found the gun, traces of Hodge's blood, and Hardin's wallet on Putman. Yet, he's never admitted to the murders.

"Even with all the evidence, he never even admitted being at that rest area," said Ellis. "He blamed it on a hitchhiker named Jeff, and we aren't sure where he came up with that excuse."

Although Putman's long awaited execution will bring closure to a 22 year case, for Shannon, it will never be enough punishment for the man she says ripped away her innocent childhood.

posted at 3:30 by ashley.harper@walb.com

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