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McGee to enter the world againPosted Friday, September 14, 2007, at 10:58 PM
Edward Joseph McGee. Some will remember the name. Even more will remember his offenses. We'll probably hear in less than two years he has completed his sentence for murders that shocked and broke the hearts of Shelbyville, Bedford County and other areas of the nation.
On the Sunday afternoon of Dec. 18, 1966, the lives of two little girls and McGee crossed paths. Cousins Phyllis Seibers and Deborah Ray, ages eight and nine respectively, went to the old city dump off Sims Road to look for discarded dolls. They failed to return home that fateful afternoon.
The following morning their bodies were found in a water-filled drainage ditch. Autopsies revealed both had died of blunt trauma to the head, possibly by a rock or some other object.
McGee was charged with their murders.
He stood trial for the murder of Phyllis Seibers in Circuit Court here before Judge William Russell in October, 1967. The jury found McGee guilty of first degree murder. He received a 99-year sentence.
Eddie is presently incarcerated at Northeast Correctional Institute Annex in Roan Mountain. As of last week his completion of sentence date was June 27, 2009. If he continues to cause no problems there his release date will be even before that time.
McGee was unable to cope with a normal life in 1966. After 41 years or so in prison what will happen when he is released?
A person at the prison told me last week Eddie is housed with other inmates. He has no visitors. One person familiar with the situation told me a few years ago there had been only one visitor during him time in prison.
Even before he came to our area and the Seibers-Ray murders occurred there were many red warning flags regarding McGee.
While in a church-sponsored orphanage in Kentucky, he was caught peeping into the girls dormitory and later went into the dormitory, stole their underwear and cut it up. This came out during his trial.
A psychiatrist, from Nashville as I recall, testified Eddie had been his patient. He told the jury McGee's IQ was somewhere between 70 and 80. He placed McGee's emotional age as somewhere between 10 and 12.
McGee was released from his care, hopefully to find some menial employment with supervision.
When Eddie completes his sentence he will be given clothing, money from his prison account and a bus ticket to where he is going to live.
A few years ago I heard he was going to live with a sister who resides in one of the western states.
McGee fell through all the cracks as a juvenile and young adult. Will those same cracks be awaiting him as a 60-plus year-old man?
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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.