AWOL Army Pvt. Dannie Boy Edwards’ Bones Found Near Ohio Cemetery on April 13, 1997; Ed Edwards Guilty of Murder for SGLI; Sentenced to Death (1996)

On this day, the bones of AWOL Army soldier Dannie Boy Edwards, 25, were found in a cemetery near his home in Burton, Ohio on April 13, 1997. Hunters discovered the human remains in a field next to the cemetery in Troy Township. Edward W. Edwards, 77, and his wife, Kay Edwards, took Dannie Boy into their Ohio home in the mid-1990s. Ed and Dannie were so close that he legally changed his name from Dannie Law Gloeckner to Dannie Boy Edwards. Authorities confirmed the bones belonged to Dannie Boy and deemed the case a homicide. Ed appeared to be terribly distraught after learning Dannie Boy was murdered and obsessed about solving the case for years.

It wasn’t until years later, Ed Edwards’ daughter came forward after connecting the dots between the cold case homicides dubbed the ‘Sweetheart Murders’ in Wisconsin and her father. Ed Edwards was eventually confronted by authorities and confessed to five murders in an attempt to get the death penalty: William ‘Billy’ Lovaco (1977), Judith Straub (1977), Timothy Hack (1980), Kelly Drew (1980), and Dannie Boy Edwards (1996). Ed Edwards admitted to luring Dannie Boy to a secluded cemetery near their home in June 1996 and shooting him twice in the chest with a 20-gauge shotgun. He buried the body in a shallow grave in a field nearby. His motive was the $250,000 life insurance pay-out.

Ed Edwards persuaded Dannie Boy to join the Army because it would be good for his character. Dannie Boy joined and after training was supposed to get stationed in Korea. But at some point during training, Dannie Boy was injured so the Army was going to medically discharge him instead. Ed Edwards convinced Dannie Boy to sign up for the maximum amount of coverage offered by the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) benefit. Dannie Boy signed up for $250,000 dollars worth of life insurance coverage and Ed was the sole beneficiary. Ed Edwards knew if Dannie Boy was let out on a medical discharge, he would no longer be eligible for the benefit.

Ed Edwards talked Dannie Boy into going Absent Without Leave (AWOL) two days before his discharge. Ed told investigators that he killed Dannie Boy because he wore out his welcome by stealing credit cards and other belongings from his children. But the truth is he stood to make $250,000 dollars in life insurance benefits if Dannie Boy died and he wanted to collect on it. Ed Edwards set up the insurance fraud scheme and took advantage of an opportunity before it expired. In August 2010, Ed Edwards was sentenced to death. Ed Edwards was already in poor health when arrested and as a result died of natural causes in 2011, one month before his execution date.

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If you have information pertaining to additional crimes related to Edward Wayne Edwards, please call 800-FBI-TIPS.

Related Links:
Edward Wayne Edwards | Timeline
Edwards linked to Ohio slaying
Jefferson County / Suspect in 1980 double homicide linked to Ohio slaying
Interest in 1996 Geauga murder of Dannie Boy Edwards reawakened by Wis. slaying case
Edwards confesses to killing man he considered foster son
Edwards confesses to AP to killing his foster son; GCSO continues investigation
Ed Edwards indicted in murder of foster son
Edward Edwards pleads guilty to Dannie Boy Edwards murder
Man convicted of killing 4 says he killed 1 more
Ky. man convicted of killing 4 in Wis., Ohio, confesses to killing 1 more
Edward Edwards, convicted in Hack-Drew killings, sentenced to death
Serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards sentenced to death in Geauga County slaying
State of Ohio vs. Edward W. Edwards (2011)
Convicted serial killer Edward Edwards dies in prison, avoiding execution
Edward Wayne Edwards on Dannie Boy Edwards murder (Part 1)
Edward Wayne Edwards on Dannie Boy Edwards murder (Part 2)
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Sweetheart Murders by Edward W. Edwards and Zodiac Killer theory examined on Cold Case Files
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A Family Man’s Dark Side Before His Daughter Helped Unmask Him as a Serial Killer | People
Raised by a Serial Killer: Edward Edwards’ Daughter Shares Guilt and Shame After Turning Him In | People
Raised by a Serial Killer: Edward Edwards’ Daughter Shares Guilt and Shame After Turning Him In |
‘My dad was a horrible, horrible person’: Serial killer’s daughter reveals how she turned her father into police after connecting him to a cold-case double murder
Crimes of the Centuries: Notorious Crimes, Criminals, and Criminal Trials in American History [3 volumes]: Notorious Crimes, Criminals, and Criminal Trials in American History
My Father, The Serial Killer | People Magazine Investigates (ID)

Horror strikes a small Wisconsin town in 1980 after a young couple disappears and is later discovered in a field. Dubbed the Sweetheart Murders, it’s almost 40 years before a woman comes forward saying her family holds the key to unlocking the case. -People Magazine Investigates

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