On May 23, 1973 best friends Alexis Ann Latimer, 13 and Serri Jan Clark, 14 leave for a 30 minute walk on the sand on Folly Beach in South Carolina. Alexis' family owned the Folly Beach home, a fixer-upper, and they were trying to get it ready for the summertime ahead. Little did Mary Latimer know, she would never see the two girls alive again.
Both Alexis and Sherri were both Beta club members, A+ students, and popular in school. The Folly Beach Police did not spend minimal time investigation the teen's disappearance, Mary Latimer claimed, "the girls were reported missing immediately, but the police laughed at me. They thought I was just an overwrought mother." Furthermore, none of the local papers mentioned the girls for several weeks and months continue to pass without a resolution.
With help from several family members and friends, Mary Latimer disturbed missing leaflets to local restaurants and small businesses. Mary even contacted a renowned Dutch psychic who produced a fairly accurate map and instructions that the girls's bodies on the north side of Folly Beach.
On April 12, 1974, Good Friday, 3 best teenage girls were walking on Folly Beach when a man approached wielding a pistol concealed under a beach towel. He told the girls they need to come with him and that he's already killed 3 other people.
The man took the girls to a nearby basement that rested under a beach house at 1101 East Atlantic he bound each girl up by her wrist and ankles. 20 minutes later the man runs after seeing a patrol car pulling up. Patrolman Edward Ott heard the screams coming from the area and luckily rescued the girls from their certain death. The girls gave police a detailed description of thier attacker, which authorities used to identify a local sailor, Richard Valenti, 31 as the perpertrator.
The third Folly Beach teen to be reported missing was none other than the police chief's daughter Mary Earline Bunch. She was last seen by her father walking home right before she was abducted by Richard Valenti. Police uncover Mary's body after a local resident's dog noticed her scent buried under the beach sand.
Police arrest Richard Valenti as the Folly Beach serial killer and he quickly confesses to 3 murders and multiple rapes throughout the Charleston area. Valenti eventually takes detectives to his dump site of Alexis and Sherri's body where he details the gruesome events that took place before their death. Valenti describes both girls being tied to the ceiling of the shower area in a vacant beach house where he pushes them off thier chairs and watches them slowly die.
Since Richard Valenti was arrested in 1974 until now he is eligble for parole every two years, continually forcing the family of the victims to relive his horrible crimes.
Family members have started an online Facebook page and petition which helps to keep this evil killer behind bars. If you would like to sign the petition and support the family you can do so here.
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