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Gaston County Historian

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#1
Nov 26, 2008
 
Do these names mean anything to anyone here?
JGM of MO

Greenville, NC

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#2
Feb 1, 2009
 
Pinkney Mitchell and Wallace Lanford, if I am not mistaken, are the persons convicted of the gruesome murder of Kathleen Smiley on 4/21/1974. They tied her to a tree near the now demolished Lincoln Academy and raped and disemboweled her.
Investigator

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#3
Feb 27, 2009
 
Gaston County Historian wrote:
Do these names mean anything to anyone here?
They were the two who were convicted of the kidnap and murder of Kathleen Smiley from Dekalb GA. Her body was found 4/21/74, chained to a tree at Lincon Academy in Gaston County NC.
Gaston County Historian

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#4
Mar 16, 2009
 
Yes and this terrible murder has been the source for many years behind the ghost stories of the abandoned Lincoln Academy site. Does anyone know what these two animals motive was? Were they on drugs? Devil worshippers? Or just plain mean? I believe they both died in prison if I am not mistaken.
Family member

Orlando, FL

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#5
Jun 14, 2009
 
Gaston County Historian wrote:
Do these names mean anything to anyone here?
Yes, Pinkney Mitchell is my uncle and Lanford is my friends uncle. I have heard many stories about Lincoln Academy but know one knows the truth but our family and my friends family. I live not so far from Lincoln Academy and as a child I used to go visit my uncle (Mitchell) in prison. He never spoke about why he was in there. He always told me "Don't end up like me!" meaning not to end up in prison. Anyone who thinks they know about lincoln academy might need to do some research to get the real answers. I will not go into any details. This is a touchy subject for our entire family.
Family member

Orlando, FL

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#6
Jun 14, 2009
 
Gaston County Historian wrote:
Yes and this terrible murder has been the source for many years behind the ghost stories of the abandoned Lincoln Academy site. Does anyone know what these two animals motive was? Were they on drugs? Devil worshippers? Or just plain mean? I believe they both died in prison if I am not mistaken.
Mitchell is dead. I don't believe Lanford has died yet!
Big T

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#7
Jul 2, 2009
 
Why did they do it? Were they on drugs or something? Are all the horror stories about what they did to her true? I can't believe someone could be that evil.
Bessemer City Native

Fort Bragg, NC

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#8
Aug 25, 2009
 
According to the NC Dept. of corrections website, Lanford is still locked up - he actually escaped in 1995 and was recaptured. Convicted of that and serving concurrent sentences for the life sentence for killing Kathleen.
I don't know why they just don't give the death penalty to repeat offenders - especially for a crime like this. Unbelievable that my tax dollars are keeping this filth alive.
Bessemer City Native

Fort Bragg, NC

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#9
Aug 25, 2009
 
Actually, the last movement in the NC Dept of corrections website for Lanford was in 2004 - it says "Death", so it looks like maybe he is on death row or was executed in 2004.

So, maybe there is a little justice left in the world - though it takes 30 years.
Bessemer City Native

Fort Bragg, NC

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#10
Aug 25, 2009
 
Okay, I get it now. Lanford died in 2004 in prison. NC just still keeps him in the prisoner database - now says inactive.

So we only paid to keep him for 30 years.
Ahmad Davis

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#11
Sep 18, 2009
 
Mitchell is deceased, but not Lanford. I live in the area and it is very haunted. Lincoln Academy is not the devil's ground, just where the souls are lost and need to cross over.
Big T

Raleigh, NC

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#12
Sep 28, 2009
 
I'm pretty sure North Carolina didn't have the death penalty in 1974. I think it was re-instated in 1977. That's probably how they managed to escape being put to death. I would like to see a transcript of the trial that would meaybe shed some light on what a possible motive for this murder was and if the stories about it are true.
YOU SUCK

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#13
Oct 25, 2009
 
You are a sorry person for sticking up for him and he should have the same thing happen to him that he and his butt buddy did to that poor innocent girl. EAT S**T AND DIE
Family member wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, Pinkney Mitchell is my uncle and Lanford is my friends uncle. I have heard many stories about Lincoln Academy but know one knows the truth but our family and my friends family. I live not so far from Lincoln Academy and as a child I used to go visit my uncle (Mitchell) in prison. He never spoke about why he was in there. He always told me "Don't end up like me!" meaning not to end up in prison. Anyone who thinks they know about lincoln academy might need to do some research to get the real answers. I will not go into any details. This is a touchy subject for our entire family.
LakesideGrad1975

Scarsdale, NY

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#14
Nov 22, 2009
 
I attended Lakeside High School in DeKalb County, GA in 1974 and was a classmate of Kathleen Ruth Smiley. EVERYONE who was enrolled as a student at Lakeside in April of 1974 remembers that horrible weekend. Since she had spent two years in our class, she was well-known to everyone. Her boyfriend was in my homeroom (75-01) and he was a very cool guy. What the .pdf file from Fulton, Indiana (her birth town) is correct. Further information from the archives of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from April 1974, and the 1975 kidnapping trial in DeKalb County, GA will substantiate what I will say. Kathy finished eating breakfast at a Denny's with her father and younger sister at the diner's location at Chamblee-Tucker Rd, just off the I-85 North entrance. The diner was located on an access or frontage road next to the hyway. Kathy was asked by her father to take her sister home, but her younger sister wanted to him to do that. That decision either saved her life or sealed her sister's fate; no one will ever know. What was told at the kidnapping trial was that the two drifters (Wallace Charles LANFORD and Pinkney Thompson MITCHELL, not someone named WILLIAM!) were hanging around the Shell station where Kathy came by for a can of gas to fill up her car, which had run out of gas. The attendant offered to take it with her, but his boss would not let him. He stated that she struggled with it, but by the time she got to her car, the two drifters had reached it before her. He saw them help her fill it up and was expecting them to return the can. He saw them grab her by the head and hand gag her as they threw her into the car. That is when he called the police, but had no car tag, just a desciption of the car, a red VW bug. An attendant in a station outside of Greenville remembers seeing Lanford driving the car into a filling station and filling the car. He thought it was weird that his passenger did not get out. Asw he approached the car, he saw Mitchell in the backseat with his feet on what looked like a person on the floor. That person was a bound and gagged Kathy. One thing that I have been told from a member of NC Ghosthunter in 1999 was that both Wallace and Lanford both swore that while they did kidnap and rape Kathy, they did not kill or dismember her. They left tied up and gagged while they went out to score on some dope. What this man found out from his research and interviews of retired detectives, police, and forensic experts is that it is now believed that some goth Satanic cultists may have come across to her in her bound condition,and saw a convienient opportunity to dismember her and get a human heart for a Satanic ritual. The area around the old school had been an hangout for Satanic fringe groups since the mid-1960's and it was common for newer members to be initiated into the cult by acquiring animal body parts for Black and Dark Masses. Some believe that it was a group of late teen and early 20's boys who found her and decided it was time to score some big points with the church master....Even some of the investigators found it hard to believe that Wallace and Lanford could pull it off. Since NC had abolished the death penalty in the early 1970's, both men served life terms. Both have died in prison. To this day, at all Lakeside class of 1975 reunions, Kathy's name still comes up. We will never forget her. But her death must be explained truthfully. Maybe that is why she still haunts the campus of Lincoln Academy.
Saddened

AOL

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#15
Dec 2, 2009
 
Family member wrote:
<quoted text>
Mitchell is dead. I don't believe Lanford has died yet!
Yes, Lanford is dead.
Sad2Hear

Stanfield, NC

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#16
Mar 10, 2010
 
This is a very sad and tragic thing.
It's even sadder that people go to that place to get a few laughs from being scared, and these ghost hunters hope to capture a ghost on film so they use it to market what they are in business for, and make money off this poor girls murder.

I have often thought if Kathleen's parents, boyfriend, teachers, and friends have been to the site to pray, cry, maybe leave a poem or flower, only to see the satanic, garbage, and cruel messages in place where their loved one died.

R.I.P. Kathleen, Heaven's Angel.
I'm sorry that your life had to end at such a young age.
You are in a better place.
mikebeer

Kannapolis, NC

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#17
Mar 23, 2010
 
its just sad that that happened.rip
amh

United States

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#18
Jun 23, 2010
 
Mmm....this person was not sticking up for him....chill out!
YOU SUCK wrote:
You are a sorry person for sticking up for him and he should have the same thing happen to him that he and his butt buddy did to that poor innocent girl. EAT S**T AND DIE
<quoted text>
somedude

Lexington, NC

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#19
Oct 8, 2010
 
how do you know she in a better place?
christian

Charlotte, NC

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#20
Oct 18, 2010
 
do you have any yearbook photos of her???? and was she dismembered or disembowled?? sad story/////
LakesideGrad1975 wrote:
I attended Lakeside High School in DeKalb County, GA in 1974 and was a classmate of Kathleen Ruth Smiley. EVERYONE who was enrolled as a student at Lakeside in April of 1974 remembers that horrible weekend. Since she had spent two years in our class, she was well-known to everyone. Her boyfriend was in my homeroom (75-01) and he was a very cool guy. What the .pdf file from Fulton, Indiana (her birth town) is correct. Further information from the archives of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from April 1974, and the 1975 kidnapping trial in DeKalb County, GA will substantiate what I will say. Kathy finished eating breakfast at a Denny's with her father and younger sister at the diner's location at Chamblee-Tucker Rd, just off the I-85 North entrance. The diner was located on an access or frontage road next to the hyway. Kathy was asked by her father to take her sister home, but her younger sister wanted to him to do that. That decision either saved her life or sealed her sister's fate; no one will ever know. What was told at the kidnapping trial was that the two drifters (Wallace Charles LANFORD and Pinkney Thompson MITCHELL, not someone named WILLIAM!) were hanging around the Shell station where Kathy came by for a can of gas to fill up her car, which had run out of gas. The attendant offered to take it with her, but his boss would not let him. He stated that she struggled with it, but by the time she got to her car, the two drifters had reached it before her. He saw them help her fill it up and was expecting them to return the can. He saw them grab her by the head and hand gag her as they threw her into the car. That is when he called the police, but had no car tag, just a desciption of the car, a red VW bug. An attendant in a station outside of Greenville remembers seeing Lanford driving the car into a filling station and filling the car. He thought it was weird that his passenger did not get out. Asw he approached the car, he saw Mitchell in the backseat with his feet on what looked like a person on the floor. That person was a bound and gagged Kathy. One thing that I have been told from a member of NC Ghosthunter in 1999 was that both Wallace and Lanford both swore that while they did kidnap and rape Kathy, they did not kill or dismember her. They left tied up and gagged while they went out to score on some dope. What this man found out from his research and interviews of retired detectives, police, and forensic experts is that it is now believed that some goth Satanic cultists may have come across to her in her bound condition,and saw a convienient opportunity to dismember her and get a human heart for a Satanic ritual. The area around the old school had been an hangout for Satanic fringe groups since the mid-1960's and it was common for newer members to be initiated into the cult by acquiring animal body parts for Black and Dark Masses. Some believe that it was a group of late teen and early 20's boys who found her and decided it was time to score some big points with the church master....Even some of the investigators found it hard to believe that Wallace and Lanford could pull it off. Since NC had abolished the death penalty in the early 1970's, both men served life terms. Both have died in prison. To this day, at all Lakeside class of 1975 reunions, Kathy's name still comes up. We will never forget her. But her death must be explained truthfully. Maybe that is why she still haunts the campus of Lincoln Academy.

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