A year after Boyette: Remembering the murder victims
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WEAR) —
The end of a week-long multi-state crime spree that left four women dead marked its one year anniversary.
After a tense standoff, Rice turned herself in and Boyette shot and killed himself.
As you can imagine, communities in Santa Rosa, Escambia, and Baldwin counties were terrorized knowing that suspected killers may be in neighborhoods.
In Lillian, Alabama, community members remember one of the women killed and reflect on her life.
Josh Thompson, pastor at First Baptist Church of Lillian, said, "We would come from Sunday school and Peggy would be here in the nursery. I could just stop, stick my head in and say, 'Hey, how are you doing Peggy?'"
Thompson reflects on moments he shared with Peggy Broz.
Broz died after being shot in her front yard in Lillian.
She became the third woman killed during an alleged murderous crime spree led by Boyette and Rice.
"We draw from the memories that she left and we do life. She shows up every now and then in that," Thompson said.
After Broz's death, Kayla Crocker was shot and killed outside her Beulah home.
For Thompson and the family and friends of all the victims, life has changed forever.
"I feel like our neighbors, I think we watch out for each other more. I think we are more in tuned to those things that are out of place. Whether it's a strange car, whether it's a strange individual. Not that we're watching everybody but we're looking to see what's different then it was the day before," Thompson said.
He understands these were random acts of violence.
He tries not to let this tragedy affect how interacts with strangers.
He said, "The majority of people that we run across aren't Billy Boyette's. They're people in the world that are trying to do life, and either they've fallen on hard times or just in a bad spot or they're new to the area."
A future that won't be lived in fear.
Thompson hopes this case stays in the public eye.
He said anytime Rice makes a court appearance he will be there so she can see his face.
She is due in court in March.