Truman Capote made the Clutter family murders in Kansas famous in his book In Cold Blood. Georgia’s counterpart was the Alday family murders, one of the most notorious cases in Georgia history.
Carl Isaacs and two other men escaped from a Maryland prison in May 1973 and picked up Carl’s 15-year-old brother Billy. They killed one man in Maryland. Four days later they stopped at the Alday farm outside Donalsonville, Georgia, in Seminole County, looking for gas. After breaking into a family trailer, they murdered six Alday family members as they returned home from work, including Mary Alday, who was raped and murdered.
The killers were captured days later in West Virginia. All were convicted and three were sentenced to death. But in 1986 a federal appeals court overturned the convictions because of pre-trial publicity. They were tried and convicted again. The ringleader, Carl Isaacs, had been on death row 30 years --longer than any other inmate -- when he was executed for the Alday murders on May 6, 2003, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.