Sunday, February 21, 2010

Will We Ever Know Who Killed the Flippos?

Four months after the explosion that both emotionally and literally rocked the small Franklin County town of Red Bay, three combined teams of investigators were no closer to finding their bomber than they had been on July 11, 1981. The three Flippo daughters had offered a ten thousand dollar reward for any information, with then-Alabama Gov. Fob James matching the amount. That amount of the reward in today's dollars would be roughly $45,000.00--yet, there were no takers.

After four years of no valid clues, then-Gov. George Wallace added still another ten thousand dollars to the available rewards. Investigators decided to release small amounts of information. An ex-boyfriend of the youngest daughter had been cleared, as had a band of Marion County bootleggers who lived near the home of one of the Flippos' older daughters. While never completely authenticated, investigators by now believed that Flippo, the former president of Red Bay National Bank, left the mayor's office in 1975 because of a temporary health problem. They also believe that Ruth, a retired school teacher, heard the bomber as he placed the explosive under the bedroom, causing her to attempt to stand and resulting in her unusual injuries. Those at the scene said her last words were, "Oh, somebody please help me."

By January 1993, Franklin County Sheriff Larry Plott declared the case at a dead end. Without new information, there was nothing left to investigate. The TimesDaily lists the 1985 murder of Florence teacher Tommy Morris as one of the area's oldest unsolved cases. Perhaps Red Bay sits too closely to Mississippi for many in the Shoals to remember the tragic deaths of J. N. and Ruth Flippo.

Their daughters and friends still remember. There's still a $30.000.00 reward offered for any information leading to the murderer(s). Surely someone knows something...

Thought for the day from
Butch Hancock: Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.