Welcome to our new website!
Nov. 6, 2019

Empire School

Empire School

After Eric & Gypsy's bodies were found at the school, Eric's family is given access to the crime scene and are shocked at what they found.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/secretscrime)

Visit our website at https://secretstruecrime.com


Welcome to Secrets True Crime, The Eric Cates & Gypsy Story.  I am your host, Amber Sitton.  What is done in darkness will eventually come to light.  That is the purpose of this podcast...to shine light on the story of Eric Cates, his beloved dog, Gypsy and the town of Empire, AL.  Listener discretion is advised.  The subject matter may involve violence, sexual content, murder and adult themes.  It’s not suitable for younger listeners.  This is episode 2 of a serial podcast and they are designed to be listened to in order. 


There have long been many rumors of corrupt law enforcement in Walker County spanning back decades.  This is a hard topic for me as I’m generally a supporter of law enforcement but after giving it much thought, I know I can’t set the scene and mindset of a significant part of the population without mentioning it.  And with the number of comments and messages we are receiving on this topic, it’s obvious that the people of Walker County want this topic brought to light.  This isn’t aimed at the many honest and hardworking men and women who serve and protect their communities everyday.  I’ve met many law enforcement officers in Walker County that I believe love their communities and are dedicated to serving and protecting it but we can’t ignore the elephant in the room.  This is a problem that has even been brought to our attention by current and former law enforcement in the county. 


Speaker: (43:17)

Every time that you spoke to him, it turned around and got right back out into the community. Everything that was said to him. 


The statement you just heard has been echoed by many we’ve spoken to about Eric.  I can count on 1 hand how many people have NOT told me this.  The people who made those statements expressed how they were in fear for their lives after speaking with law enforcement.  The things they willingly told them were not kept confidential and these people believed the actions of law enforcement put their lives at risk.  We’ve been told countless times that murderers including those responsible for Eric’s death, are still walking free because they are long time police informants and are being protected by law enforcement or others in positions of power.  Are these things still happening today or are these stories things of the past?  I don’t know enough to say with certainty one way or another but I can tell you there are many in Walker County who wholeheartedly believe these stories and stories that are much worse than these to be true and we have been provided information that indicates there’s been at least one past FBI investigation into things happening in the county.  Distrust of law enforcement seems to be deeply ingrained in many in the area.  The saying Snitches Get Stitches is one that many here seem to live by.  I can’t tell you the number of comments we’ve received with these sentiments.  As we’ve talked to dozens of people over the last couple months, I was struck by an unusual paradox.  Much of the community will quickly tell you that you have to keep your mouth shut to survive in Walker County, yet I have never encountered as many informants in my lifetime as what I’ve encountered in the last 2 months.  Some of them have proudly given us a list of contacts and agencies that they act as informants for almost as if they were reading us their own resume.  I find this to be very perplexing.  If there are so many acting as informants, why are there so many unsolved murders and disappearances?  I’ve spent a good bit of time pondering this.  Could it be that these informants take that role as a hopeful get out of jail free card?  And while they might be offering information, the information they are giving isn’t accurate but is instead given to create confusion?  Or do they just inform on minor crimes and offenses and won’t get involved in cases such as murders?  I don’t know the answer to that but it’s something I am interested in understanding better.  If any of you locals who are listening can give me better insight, please reach out to me.  Confidentially of course!


Before we go any further, I want to go over a couple names with you so you’ll know who’s who and to clarify that none of these men are still employed at the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.  At the time of Eric’s murder, the sheriff of Walker County was Jim Underwood.  Sheriff Underwood was defeated by Sheriff Nick Smith in the 2018 election.  The investigator who was assigned to this case was Chuck Tidwell.  He left the Walker County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.  As mentioned previously, Dayron Bridges was the chief deputy at the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.  He has since retired.  As mentioned previously, Eric and Gypsy were found behind the old Empire School. It was formerly Empire Middle School but it had been closed a couple years before the school caught on fire in 2010.  The abandoned, partially burned school is quite the eye sore these days.  The old gymnasium is still standing but sections of the roof are missing.  The remainder of the school consists of an old chimney stack that looks like it could fall at any moment and lots of concrete block rubble. It is said that many people go to the school now to make meth, or shake the bottle, among other rumored activities. The school sits in Empire in the woods at the very end of Wingo Rd where the road curves into Selman Rd.  On our first trip to Walker County, Michael and I drove to the school.  We pulled our vehicles straight in and parked at what once was a circular drive in front of the school.  The circle drive creates an island that looks like it was once nicely landscaped.  If you look closely, you can still see shrubs and other remnants of what was once a nicely manicured entrance to the school but it is now overgrown with weeds and pine trees.  This is the same area that Tobbie would later describe to us as where Eric’s family and friends gathered the day Eric and Gypsy were found.  As we exited our vehicles, we found ourselves surrounded by piles of garbage that people are dumping there.  Michael pointed out a white styrofoam cooler with writing on it.  It read Cosby Juice.  It took a minute for that to sink in and for me to grasp the meaning of what had been in the cooler.  This trip to the school was one of our very first stops.  We hadn’t even met with Tobbie and Eric’s brother, Chris, yet.  We weren’t quite sure where Eric’s truck had been found but we’d read in news articles that it was behind the school.  We saw a path leading in that direction.  The path goes around the gymnasium on the right side of the school. We walked towards it but stopped at the entrance to the gymnasium.  It was wide open.  Before we even reached the doorway, we were overtaken by the odor of mold.  We peeked inside and noted portions of collapsed roof and other debris.  The old hardwood floors from the gymnasium floor were buckled and rotten from water damage.  We carefully walked across the gymnasium and exited out the back door.  We walked right out on the path that circles around the school.  We weren’t sure if we’d be able to locate the exact spot where Eric, Gypsy and the truck were found but we saw a small wooden cross adorned with flowers sitting just off the path beside a mudhole.  We knew then we’d found the spot where Eric and Gypsy were found.  We then continued circling around the school.  There isn’t much left of the remainder of the school.  It’s mainly just piles of concrete block rubble.  We walked across much of the rubble and then spent a little time exploring some other trails through the woods.  We found several trails that appear to lead to nearby Selman Rd.  You’ll hear more about Selman Rd in future episodes as it has been heavily rumored to be a pertinent location in Eric & Gypsy’s murders.


The story has always been told that turkey hunters found Eric & Gypsy in the burned truck that Saturday morning.  With some help from a man who lives in Empire, we tracked down those hunters so we could get the story from them directly.  It turns out the 2 men are brothers and they both told their story to Michael.  We will refer to them as BB and LB.  LB had been out hunting around the Empire School.  He saw Eric’s burned truck but he didn’t approach the truck at that point.  To some, this is going to seem like unusual behavior but the school is located in the immediate vicinity to meth cooking operations, what some have referred to as a long standing chop shop and quite a few other illegal activities.  LB told Michael that he walked right by the truck and thought to himself that it was an insurance job.  He called his brother, BB, to tell him he’d killed a turkey that morning and he also mentioned the burned truck behind the school.  BB drove over to the school to take a look at the truck.  He quickly recognized it as Eric’s truck.  LB walked up to look inside the truck and found Eric’s body.  He immediately dialed 9-1-1 and they waited for law enforcement to arrive.  One of the brothers did call a friend of Eric’s and the word spread like wildfire through the small community.


At the conclusion of the last episode, Eric’s truck had just been hauled in the rain to the county garage.  Eric’s family had been told by Chief Deputy Dayron Bridges that the truck would be put inside the garage for processing but instead, it was dropped in the yard, still exposed to rain and other weather elements.  The spot it was left in that night is the exact spot the truck sits today, 4 years and 7 months later.  


Eric’s family stayed at the Empire School while Eric’s truck was towed to the county garage.  While many others at the scene that day walked pretty freely around the crime scene, which was never secured or taped off, Eric’s family stood in front of the school and waited.  While Tobbie and Chris shared all this with us the first day we sat down with them, there was so much information to take in and I didn’t fully grasp what they were saying.  The family was kept at the front of the school but numerous people on the scene were allowed to go back near the truck and actually viewed the bodies of Eric and Gyspy.  One of the people who quickly came to be at the side of Eric’s family was Tonya Mauldin.  Tonya is married to Tobbie’s cousin and she operated what is known as The Blue Store in Empire.  The Blue Store is a small convenience store with a couple gas pumps and a kitchen that cooks up breakfast daily and serves tasty made to order burgers and sandwiches for lunch.  You are going to hear a lot about the Blue Store in coming episodes.  


Tonya: (37:34)

Me and Eric's known each other since we were kids. He was a good man.  If you was broke down on the side of the road, he’d pull over and help you. I have a really bad back.  When I owned the store I would get my mom and dad’s big flat bed truck and we would go, I would go over to pick up like feed and stuff to carry at the store.  I would be unloading it and he would jump up there, start throwing sacks down, helping, never asked for anything.  We lost touch after I quit school and then when I started back at the store working for Harold Jo, he would come in and get checks cashed and stuff like that.  He found out I was married to Keith and that, you know, Tobbie and Keith’s first cousins. And, uh, its like I just became family instantly like he just...we’d stand for hours and talk.  He’d stand outside of the store when I closed the store down and he would make sure I got everything in the truck.


Tonya opened the store at 4 am the morning Eric was found.

Tonya: (51:38)

Not long after I opened the store is when #$%^&* came in in a truck similar to Eric’s and got, I think it was like a 5 gallon jug of gas.



It wasn’t #$%^&*’s truck?






Cause you know that truck…



Oh yea just like I know Eric’s truck.  It was not #$%^&*’s truck



But it wasn’t Eric’s either?



No sir.


Tonya: (58:54)

I mean, y’all been to the school.  When you first pull up there, the road to the right is where Eric was found and there’s like a U.  And Chuck and all the investigators was up there talking to all them.  Once he come down here, and that’s when I told him about (&*^&* getting the gas.  He said will you run back and make sure that it wasn’t Eric’s truck.  So I left and went back and checked the cameras and it was the long wheel base but he was still getting gas.  But when I said something to the investigator about it, he said that there wasn’t nothing, that the truck was done been cooled and stuff like that by the time at that point.  And I opened the store at 4:00 am.

I did speak to the man who delivered newspapers in Empire that day.  He delivered to someone who lived on Selman Rd near the Empire School.  He said right as he went down into the dip in the road as he passed the school, there was what he initially believed to be fog over the road.  As he drove through it, he smelled an odor he described as a chemical smell and realized something had been burning.  He thought to himself that someone must be burning household garbage.  He estimated he was passing through this area between 4 and 4:30 am.  


Eric’s truck had been found sitting in the middle of a big mudhole.  The sheriffs office had to tow the truck out of the mudhole before they could remove Eric and Gypsy’s bodies.  Once the tow truck left with Eric’s truck, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office allowed the family to walk behind the school.  Tonya Mauldin and a couple other family members had been asked by Tobbie to take photos that day.  When we met with Tonya, she provided us with some of the photos she took.


Tonya: (23:38)

That’s them coming out with Eric’s truck.  This proves that none of this was roped off.  Cause the van that was in that, behind that truck, is Eric and Gypsy in that van.  In the coroner’s van.  And they said well y’all can walk back if you want.  And so we started walking back.  Everything, I mean, I don’t know.  This is where they pulled the truck back and dug through the truck. 


Tobbie and Eric’s brother, Chris, described what they saw that afternoon as they walked behind the school.


Chris: (01:03:06)

This was, this was 10 minutes. 15 minutes after the wrecker pulled Eric's truck out. He said, alright. There you go. Y'all can go back there if you want to. So all of us, was like really, I mean we can, we can go back there. Yeah. we're done. And uh, so we walked back there. And uh, as we walked around there, you had to walk around the back corner of the old gymnasium there.


Chris: (01:03:51)

They had SUV pulled into the right and had a couple of little clear plastic totes in it.  It didn't look like the had anything in him, but as I, as we walked on around, we  seen them two piles there. there wasn't any kind of tape up whatsoever. Any kinda crime scene tape or what not. There wasn't anything. 


Tobbie: (16:48)

Once the vehicle was removed and they let us go back, there were two piles of what turned out to be ashes from the pickup truck. Um, looked like little volcanoes on each side where the truck had been parked, where they had taken and raked out the debris from the fire and just left it there in a pile.



In the parking lot?


Tobbie: (17:27)

ah, right there at the mud hole. They drug the truck out enough to where they could get the bodies out and then started processing the truck to a certain extent. But they left all the ashes and stuff there. And I asked them, I said, are you not going to take


Tobbie: (17:50)

this? And he said, no, we have enough evidence. And I raked through the, um, ashes and I found two Lee buttons like off of Lee Jeans. My son did not wear Lee jeans. I found pieces of his bone.


Tobbie: (19:13)

I just couldn't understand why evidence all that evidence was left.


Chris: (01:02:35)

It looked like, it looked like they'd just took their It looked like they just took their hands and kind of raked, you know, just kind of raked the ashes out out of the floorboard of the truck and they were just piled up like a little ant bed.


Chris: (01:04:23)

Um, but, uh, we walked over and Kinda, I knowed what them piles was. And we took a little stick or pencil, I forgot what it was and kinda raked through it. And, uh, I found, like she said, we found bone fragments.


Chris: (01:04:53)

I'm not sure how much of it was Eric's and how much of it was Gypsy’s. I know Gypsy's paw bone was in there. It was obvious what it was. And the button she found it was, it was actually wrangler button, but Eric didn't wear wrangler pants. 


Chris: (01:06:45)

I've got the button at the house, put up,


Tobbie: (19:30)

the mirror off of the pickup truck was left in the mud hole and Eric had washed his vehicle the day before and I asked if they would get the mirror. He wouldn't, he left it in the mud hole.


Tobbie: (20:55)

Um, at that point, uh, I remember telling my cousin that was with me, I said, this ain't where this happened. And as it went on, I, I believe it, that's not where my son was killed. Well, it's where he died. I just don't believe that that's where it had initiated.


Chris: (01:06:55)

That's how thorough of a job they'd done, you know, trying to get evidence. That truck was pushed into that spot. The mudhole had about, it was about three feet on each side of the truck that was in water. And they wasn't any footprints in that mud. So I know Eric didn't drive hisself there and park it there and that mudhole. I mean it was, it was a circle drive around the back side of the school and you could tell that that truck had come in that way, you know, and, but there wasn't any footprints right there in that mud. So I knowed that that truck, it had been pushed in there.   They didn't, they didn't claim they couldn't get any fingerprints off the bumper, off the tailgate. Uh, Eric had washed his truck that evening. I come in for, from work and he was standing there at the shop, washing his truck on that Friday evening. and uh


Chris: (01:08:29)

when we walked around there that, that evening, they told us, you know, we could walk around there. Well, they were something, we seen the mirror laying there. It was kind of halfway out of the water, you know. We seen it laying there. I don't know if it was mama or somebody said don't touch it. Leave it alone. We thought we'd get someone else to


Chris: (01:09:18)

process of the scene. But after a week went by and the little episode at their sheriff's Office on that Wednesday we knowed then, we wasn't getting no help from Walker County. So the sheriff in Cullman, he's family friends and had known him for years and he's in known Eric and known our family for, for years. He, he called us and told us personally anything that we needed Cullman county was at our disposal. Investigators, detectives, officers, just any kind of manpower we needed to just let him know. So we relayed the message to no avail.They didn't even call them. So then I just turn my attention toward Cullman county to see what we could get as far as help wise out of them. And they said that, uh, Walker County and pretty much just told them that they didn't need their help. And, uh, was pretty, pretty blunt about it. And, uh, so Matt, he just, he went, he told us, you know, too, that he wanted to see that crime scene, but he couldn't go over there to Walker county cleared it. So we waited about two weeks and mama was calling them every day. And they finally released the crime scene and then she called and got permission from Walker County Board of Education to go over there. So me and my dad


Chris: (01:11:23)

and, uh,


Chris: (01:11:25)

three deputies from Cullman County went over there. This was, this was two weeks later.  It was two weeks and the mudhole was still there. The mirror was still there. What was left of them 2 piles was still there. Just the way we left them. There hadn't been any sign of any kind of, any kind of traffic over there. Well, you know, whatsoever.


Chris: (01:12:03)

but our intention of going over it was to clean that, was to drain that mud hole and get that mirror out because we know that Eric has washed his truck and we just figured that they had to be some fingerprints on it. You know, if somebody, if you’ve ever tried to, if you've ever tried to push your vehicle out on the road and, and drive it at the same time, you know, you Kinda, you get your hands on whatever you can reach, you know. So we've figured they was probably some fingerprints on there. And, uh, me and my cousin dug that ditch to the drain drain that hole out and Cullman county, but they got five bags, five evidence bags, you know, the paper bags, they had five bags of remnants that come off of that truck. I mean, some of it was just melted aluminum, you know, out of the radiator. But the mirror was in there and they, uh, they collected both of them, piles of ash that was there.


Chris: (01:13:30)

And, uh,


Chris: (01:13:34)

If Cullman County had been allowed to come over there that Saturday. Well, heck we wouldn't be sitting here now because like I said, I mean you had that Dayron Bridges had been in law enforcement for 20 years, but he had just about as much interest in and his last 20 years as he did his last 2, you know, he didn't care. And, uh, it was obvious he didn't care. That day over yonder he told us he didn't have the manpower to, to do that case. He didn't have the manpower, we gave him the manpower and they wouldn't take him. 


Amber:  Where is he now? 


Chris:  I don't know, but I know where he's going.

Tobbie: (02:54:45)

Saturday night after we had found the truck with Eric and Gypsy in it at the empire school. We got a call later that night. We got several calls giving us tips.


Eric’s family immediately began to receive a lot of tips.   Some were cryptic.  Many came from blocked phone numbers with callers who didn’t want to identify themselves.  Some tips reported suspicious activity at a house where a BBQ was reportedly held that night. Other tips claimed Eric was killed by a man who lived in what is referred to as The Camp over a debt he supposedly owed.  Others claimed Eric was murdered over various romantic interests.  Many tips pointed the finger at a man named Randy Hicks.  Are you wondering why Randy Hicks is one of the few names I’ve revealed?  Well, Randy was found dead under unusual circumstances and while I’m told his family wants answers, many of them have avoided us.  We are interested in what happened to Randy and if his family would like his death looked into, well, we aren’t hard to reach.  We will be exploring these tips and more in an in depth manner in the coming episodes.  As the tips came in, Tobbie and the rest of Eric’s family sent them directly to the investigators with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.


Tobbie: (24:25)

I couldn't get any questions from the sheriff, chief deputy, the investigator, which, and I know the investigator was running his legs out that first few days. He was taking the dog to Auburn and he was taking Eric to Huntsville.  All three of us would call. We were giving them information. I mean we started getting phone calls that Saturday afternoon and everything we got, we turned over to Chuck Tidwell who was the lead investigator. If he wasn't available, we'd give it to the chief deputy bridges. Um, tried to give some information to the sheriff, but that was like talking to a brick wall. Um, and after, well, Wednesday when we hadn't heard anything, um, I just called Wayne and told him I was going to see the sheriff's office and see who I could talk to. So Chris and Wayne, we all went and I was asking about the house where supposedly a fight had taken place and they were supposedly cleaning up blood and now the house had burned, if that was anything to the fact. And he refused to answer me. And, um, this was chief Bridges. We couldn't see the sheriff.  He wasn’t in. And then I asked him had the dog been taken to Auburn? He wouldn't tell me.


Tobbie: (26:21)

I asked him was there anything to the rumors that it was due to the guy that had been arrested on 78 highway by the US Marshals for the guns. And he refused to answer. There were two or three things that I had asked.  I think Wayne Wayne said something then about why won't you answer her questions? And Mr. Bridges became very  aggressive, jumped up, threatened to arrest us, told us he didn't have to answer our questions, that this was an ongoing investigation. And I said, why would you not answer us. And again, um, he told me he didn't have to answer any of my questions and Wayne said something about, we didn't understand and he started yelling for them to come in and arrest Wayne.  And I just told him, I said, yeah, why don't you do that? That's going to look real good in the paper. You arrest the father. So I told Chris to take his daddy and go back out to the car, truck. There were several people that had come to the door at this time. Chris took his dad and I asked Bridges what was going on and he told me that this case would never be solved.


Amber: (28:37)

So your son was found on Saturday and this is on the following Wednesday?






So four days later he told you your son's case would never be solved. 



That's correct. 



Did he tell you why? 






Did it seem a vindictive thing because he was mad that you were asking questions?


Tobbie: (29:02)

Oh, he was very upset that we were asking questions. I don't know that it was vindictive. I believe that he knew by not, I mean it's like I asked him about it. You told me you were taking the truck to the garage, but yet it's been out in the open. And I, I ask him, had it been processed and he told me that they had all the information and evidence they needed, but he would never elaborate. And then as the weeks wore on, with no communication with the sheriff's department after giving information, you know, leads and tips, the breakdown in the communication was, was very evident, not only us but other departments. 


Let’s summarize the events the day Eric was found.  The chief deputy and investigators chose not to rope off the crime scene.  Local residents were able to walk back and see Eric and Gypsy’s bodies in the vehicle.  The chief deputy and investigators were not concerned about potential evidence being lost when it began to rain.  They removed Eric and Gypsy’s bodies from the truck and raked out piles of ashes, bones and other evidence such as buttons off clothes and left them at the scene.  They left evidence and pieces of Eric’s truck laying in the mudhole.  They didn’t bother to drain the mudhole to see what else it might contain below the surface of the water.  When questioned by the family, they said they had all the evidence they needed and had collected said evidence within a few hours of the 9-1-1 call.  While the family was told Eric’s truck was being taken to the inside of the county garage for processing, it was instead dropped outside in the yard in the rain and it has never been moved from the spot it was left that night.  When Eric’s family had a few questions about the results of the tips they’d provided to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, they were yelled at, treated very aggressively and threatened with arrest.  Despite being repeatedly told by the chief deputy that he had all the evidence he needed, just 3 days after Eric and Gypsy were found, Tobbie is then told by the same chief deputy that Eric’s case would NEVER be solved. If after the last episode, anyone has been wondering how a county gets to the point of only have a 12% clearance rate on homicides, here’s your roadmap.


It would be an understatement to say I was shocked and angered as Tobbie & Chris described to us their experiences at the hands of some in the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.  While working on season 1 of the podcast about Susan Osborne and Evan Chartrand, one thing that always stood out to me is the empathy, compassion, concern and kindness the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office has displayed while interacting with Susan and Evan’s family and friends.  Lieutenant Evans is responsive and understanding to their frustrations.  I remember having a conversation with him one day in which he told me that the families of victims are going to emotional and even angry at times.  He told me it’s normal, that he doesn’t blame them because he knows he’d be angry too.  I’m going to stop short of providing examples here but I will tell you, after personally seeing how a properly trained investigator and sheriff interact with a victims’ family, it enrages me to hear how Eric’s family was further victimized by those that were supposed to be there to help them.


Tonya told me that they received tips of various weapons being used in Eric’s death.  Sometimes the stories were about a gun and sometimes it involved a knife.  At one point someone told them the weapon had been hidden in the rubble of the old Empire School where Eric and Gypsy were found.  The same location that was never secured and a crowd of people were allowed to roam freely during and after when Eric and Gypsy were discovered.


Tonya: (33:01)

I used to go over there and keep everything mowed and cut down and there's still still there. I thought I caught a glimpse of it in the picture that y’all had posted. Yeah. But it's really growed up over there. Like I said, after it happened I kept everything cut down in case cause we went through there searching. You know, cause was told we needed, there was a gun and he was shot. And so like all of us went over to the school, and like searched all throughout the school. You know what's left are the remnants of the school. 


Even with the conflict that Eric’s family experienced with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Tobbie still believed that Eric’s case would be solved fairly quickly.  They were receiving so much information.  Boy was she wrong.  Nothing had prepared Tobbie for the secretive town of Empire where many of the residents have fine tuned their skills at misdirecting any investigation into what happens in that town.  It’s hard to fully grasp this concept until you’ve personally seen it in action and experienced it first hand.  We’ve spent countless hours in Empire talking to as many of the people rumored to be involved in Eric’s death as possible.  They’ve all expressed to us how great a guy Eric was, how much he’s missed, how they want to help find the ones responsible for murdering such a good man.  The women almost always refer to him as their protector.  Eric interceded and protected them from their abusive men.  They talk about how Eric was so good to their children, good to them.  And he was.  They are speaking the truth about these things.  But this is where the truth ends with most of them.  When it comes time to provide information about what happened to Eric, the lies begin.  They either clam up and say they know absolutely nothing, point you in a direction that isn’t feasible or just flat out provide bogus information in an attempt to run us in circles.  It frustrating but the bigger question is why would so many people want to cover up a murder, especially when this murder has likely led to more murders and disappearances in the area.  We will explore that and more as we continue to dig into who murdered Eric and Gypsy.  Join us next time as their story continues.  


If you have any information that could help in solving the murders of Eric and Gypsy, please call the Walker County Sheriff’s Office at 205-522-6112.  You may also email me at secretstruecrime@gmail.com or call our confidential tip line at 205-282-0740.   If you are enjoying this podcast, be sure to follow or subscribe in your podcast player of choice and by giving us a 5-star rating and review in Apple Podcasts.   I’m active on social media and often share photos of Eric and Gypsy.  Follow Secrets True Crime on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  @secretscrime. If you are left still wanting even more content, please check us out on Patreon.  We have it filled with great information about Susan and Evan and will be regularly adding new content about Eric and Gypsy.  We also have our 1st zoom call for Patreon coming up in the next couple weeks where you get to ask us anything.  This podcast is an independent podcast.  That means that everything that goes into making this podcast is done and funded by me.  All of the investigative tools and resources are provided by Echo 7 Foxtrot. The tragedies we highlight and investigate have had a tremendous impact on the victims' loved ones and friends. We don't burden them with additional expenses to cover their cases--we donate our time and talents because we want to help and hope to find the answers they need that are long overdue. We have launched a Patreon membership group.  For as little as $5 per month, you can receive exclusive access to members only photos, videos, early access to episodes and much, much more.  By becoming a patron, you too are helping us help these families. Your support as a patron of Secrets True Crime Podcast helps us cover the expenses associated with producing a high quality podcast, traveling to conduct fieldwork and interviews, and obtaining the tools and equipment needed to conduct a thorough investigation. In short, your support as a patron allows us to do MORE for these families. Become a patron of Secrets True Crime Podcast today and let’s solve these cases TOGETHER.  www.patreon.com/secretscrime.  I’ll also post the link on our Facebook page.  This audio production for this podcast is by Kane Power at precisionpodcasting.com.