Dannie Boy Edwards, US Army
Edward ‘Ed’ Edwards
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.
If you have information pertaining to additional crimes related to Edward Wayne Edwards, please call 800-FBI-TIPS.
Edward Wayne Edwards | Timeline
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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