It was the eighties. My sons loved Mr. T on TV, but hated his breakfast cereal. I was living out in the country and working at a small town hospital.
I hadn’t heard much from my exes family in years when my mom calls. She told me that Anita Lynns husband had been murdered his body found in Orange County, California. I felt bad for her she was to young to be a widow and worse yet the couple had small children.
Anita Lynn Ford was a pretty brunette, full of life. Often referred to as being a bit on the wild side. I hadn’t seen her since 1976 a year before she married her husband Barry. I had never met him. Understandable since my divorce from her older brother wasn’t congenial by any means. Our families who had been friends for years and had chosen sides.
A short time later I get another call. Seems Anita and her brother George had been arrested for the crime. I was in shock. I phoned her oldest sister and let her know my concern. Surely this pretty young lady I had known all my life could never have done such a thing. She assured me it was an awful mistake. George wasn’t capable either, no way.
Only thing is it wasn’t an awful mistake. Seems Anita made a big mistake when the officers came to her home to tell her they had found her husband. She felt compelled to call her brother. Then she says something like “ Oh my God it is terrible, They found Barry. He’s been shot “
The problem ? Neither officer had told her that Barry had been shot. So up goes the radar, bingo they have their suspects. Being good at heir job they didn’t let on right away they did an investigation first. Compiled lots of evidence. Like the fact she had been to bars asking around for someone to murder her husband.
What I later learned was this. The brother and sister had become involved in drugs. Namely cocaine, an expensive habit. She was working from home to pay for her drugs but apparently it wasn’t enough. So her brother and she came up with a plan. Kill Barry for the insurance money.
Late one night George calls his brother-in-law and tells him his car broke down. Barry being a tow truck owner and operator, went out into the night to help him. He would have had no idea it would be the last time he would help anybody .
George shot him and threw the gun into the ocean where it was never found. But it wasn’t needed. As Anitas confession finally sealed their fates. She insisted hers husband had been abusive. (I have no idea I never knew him. I do know no one deserves what was done to him. Not for any reason.)
They both got life, they very easily could have gotten the death penalty because they commented murder for financial gain. Gee whiz a divorce would have been cheaper and easier too.
You ask do I believe they would have done this had it not been because of the influence of drugs. The answer is no not for a second.
The rest of the victims ?
The children where raised by a family member, and have turned out very well. It is tragic they were cheated out of knowing either parent. They have been able to visit their mom behind bars, but will never know their father. However they were and still are very loved.
Anitas mother suffered a stroke and never recovered, I believe it was from all the stress brought on by her youngest two children’s actions.
Georges wife who has never divorced him had to raise their child alone. Only able to visit her husband in prison.
As for me I still to this day am in non-belief over the whole mess. How could these two happy cheerful kids I knew have committed such a heinous act ?
I still have contact with an older sister of the two, and I do pray I have written nothing to offend her or any other member of the family. Especially the kids who are now grown.
As for photos I have decided to not post any.
I am adding this with respect
Barry Alan Ford August 4th 1953- September 4th 1984
May he rest in Peace