A former drifter accused of killing two high school sweethearts nearly 30 years ago told detectives he had sex with the woman and then watched a group of men stomp the couple to death, according to prosecutors.
Edward W. Edwards, 76, told detectives after his arrest in Louisville, Ky., in July that he didn’t know who killed Tim Hack and Kelly Drew, both 19, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday by Jefferson County prosecutors. The couple disappeared in August 1980 from a wedding reception at a hall near a campground where Edwards worked as a handyman.
When asked how his DNA was found in a semen sample on Drew’s pants, Edwards said he drank with Hack and Drew and had consensual sex with her in a field outside the reception hall, prosecutors said. The complaint does not specify where the three allegedly drank.
Edwards told detectives he saw Hack fight with two men, and that the men stomped Hack to death as Drew screamed. He then saw three men stomp Drew to death as she lay on her back. He said he didn’t intervene or tell police because he didn’t want to get involved, according to the complaint.
He told detectives he had thought about killing people, but had never done so, prosecutors said.
Edwards, who has been living in Louisville for several years, was charged last month with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Hack and Drew. He has not yet entered a plea in the case.
On Thursday, Edwards waived his right to a preliminary hearing in which a judge would have heard evidence and decided whether to proceed to trial. His attorney, Jeffrey De La Rosa, said the burden of proof for the state is so light he decided not to contest it. He said he’s more concerned about obtaining police reports detailing the investigation since 1980.
De La Rosa said he is aware Edwards made the statements to police, but he declined to comment about them. A call Thursday to Edwards’ Louisville home went to voice mail, which did not allow for a message to be left.
According to the complaint, Edwards’ wife, Kay Edwards, told detectives that she and her husband left Wisconsin “awfully quickly” at night after he was questioned about the slain couple nearly three decades ago. They moved to Pennsylvania, even though Edwards hadn’t lined up a job and didn’t know anyone there, she said. The couple moved around frequently but it was unusual for them to leave after the school year started, she said.
Edwards wrote an autobiography in which he detailed crisscrossing the country in the 1950s, running scams, seducing women and robbing banks. He landed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list before he was eventually captured. He claimed to have turned his life around after a stint in federal prison.