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Kenneth Marshall Rumsey: The Truth About The Man Who Killed Lee Roy Martin

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In the late 1960s, the quiet town of Gaffney, South Carolina is gripped by fear when a serial killer appears, leaving a trail of tragedy in his wake. Lee Roy Martin, known as “the Gaffney strangler,” stalked the community, preying on unsuspecting women with a gruesome modus operandi of kidnapping and strangulation.

Reign of terror

From 1967 to 1968, Martin’s reign of terror claimed the lives of four people, casting a shadow over Gaffney. His victims, two women and two teenage girls, were discovered a few days after their disappearance. The gruesome revelations shocked the community, and Davitel’s actions struck fear into the hearts of residents.

A Disturbing Revelation

The first victim, Annie Lucille Dedmond, was found in May 1967, prompting a disturbing revelation. A call to a local newspaper, allegedly made by Dedmond’s killer, led authorities to the other victims – Nancy Parris, Nancy Rhinehart and Opal Buckson. Buckson’s abduction was witnessed, providing a key lead that eventually led to the arrest of Lee Roy Martin.

Behind bars

Convicted and sentenced to four life sentences, Martin faced imprisonment in the Central Correctional Institution. However, his time behind bars was tragically short. On May 31, 1972, Martin met his end at the hands of his fellow inmate, Kenneth Marshall Rumsey. Rumsey, 30, fatally stabbed Martin in the back and chest during his janitorial duties, bringing the chapter of Gaffney’s strangler to an abrupt end.

Swift justice

Rumsey’s swift justice has raised questions about the motive and circumstances of Martin’s death. The Gaffney Ledger reported that Rumsey’s act occurred during Martin’s janitorial assignment, painting a grim picture of the violence within the prison walls.

The Aftermath

After Martin’s death, the legal system quickly moved against Kenneth Marshall Rumsey. Accused of murder, Rumsey faced the consequences of his fatal actions. However, like the man he killed, Rumsey’s time in prison was destined to be short.

A tragic echo

Five years after taking the life of Lee Roy Martin, Kenneth Marshall Rumsey succumbed to the same prison environment. His life ended in tragedy because he died by suicide in the premises of the very institution where he performed the deadly act against the infamous Gaffney Strangler.

Unveiling of destinies

The intertwined fates of Lee Roy Martin and Kenneth Marshall Rumsey remain a dark chapter in Gaffney history. The story of a serial killer who died at the hands of a prisoner, only to repeat the cycle of tragedy, echoes the complexity of human destinies intertwined in the web of crime and punishment.

As Gaffney reflects on his horrific past, the stories of these two men serve as stark reminders of the lasting impact of crime on a community, leaving scars that linger long after the echoes of Gaffney’s stranglehold reign have faded.

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