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Famous Serial Killers , Gaffney Strangler

Updated on November 29, 2009

This is the autopsy photo of Gaffney’s most infamous serial killer; Leroy Martin. Martin killed 4 women over a 10 day period in 1968.

The Gaffney Strangler only claimed four lives but he terrorized portions of two states in 1967 and 1968.
The Gaffney Strangler only claimed four lives but he terrorized portions of two states in 1967 and 1968.

The Gaffney Strangler

Lee Roy Martin was the man who would come to be known as the Gaffney Strangler. Martin abducted and killed four people in 1967-1968 ending with a 14 year old girl and he was arrested three days after he killed his final victim.

In early February 1968 Martin called the local newspaper the Gaffney Ledger and told them where to find his first three victims. He did not give his name he just told the reporter that answered the phone where to find his first three victims.

When the Newspaper reporter and the local police went to the locations they found the strangled remains of.

1. 20 Year Old Nancy Paris.

2. 14 Year Old Tina Rhinehart.

3. 32 Year Old Lucille Dedmond.

Four days later Martin who would come to be known as the Gaffney Strangler called the Gaffney Ledger Newspaper Reporter Gibbons and told him that it was only beginning.

The next day 14 year old Opal Buckson was abducted from her Gaffney South Carolina home while her sister watched. She was to be the final victim of the Gaffney strangler.

Martin stuffed 14 year old Opal Buckson into his car and drove away. Later he even put in an appearance at the Buckson home offering to help volunteer to look for 14 year old Opal Buckson even though he had already strangled her as well. The sister of Opal tried to tell her family that Martin was the man who had abducted her sister but no one believed her at that time.

Police Investigators spotted Martin and the car Opals sister had described in the woods a day after Opals disappearance but Martin was able to get away. Two days later Opal Bucksons strangled body was found near where the police had spotted him in his car. Martin was arrested that day at the Mill where he worked. Later when he was tried he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole but his sentence was cut short when another inmate killed Lee Roy Martin in prison.

For about 10 days in 1968  people in upstate South Carolina and part of North Carolina were in terror over the Gaffney strangler. And he would not soon be forgotten.

Leroy Martin

Here is the autopsy photo of the Gaffney Strangler Lee Roy Martin after he was killed by a fellow inmate.
Here is the autopsy photo of the Gaffney Strangler Lee Roy Martin after he was killed by a fellow inmate.

Post your comments about Lee Roy Martin the Gaffney Strangler now. Let me hear from you.

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      April W 

      13 months ago

      where is his house located?

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      Chesnee 47 

      23 months ago

      where was he buried?

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      2 years ago

      road the bus with her,

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      2 years ago

      Yall got this from Jaysun's Journal

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like to know where you got the photo of Mr Martin on the slab

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      6 years ago

      I was a young teen when this happened, we owned a 57 chevrolet and with the last name of Martin. I was told Lee Roy is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in an unmarked grave.

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      6 years ago

      you're welcome

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      J. Buckson 

      6 years ago

      Opal D. Buckson is my aunt. I watched as my dad suffered through the years trying to get over the death of my aunt. He felt as if he should have protected her. I had yet to be born, but it's amazing how it affected or infected our lives..

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      Krystal Owens Sanders 

      6 years ago

      Growing up, it was talked about. My daddy told us about him. Daddy and a bunch of others piled on the back of a pick up truck and hunted this man. With guns!!!

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      samantha rhinehart 

      6 years ago

      he killed my aunt also he was a sick aunt did not get to live to see her nieces and nephews .this was before my time..

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      d buckson 

      6 years ago

      opal was my cousin i'm glad mr.martin got what he cousin and the other victims should not have died like that. I work in gaffney parttime and some of the people I work with when they learn who I was they was cruel.I pray the town of gaffney don't go through another bad situation

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      kenneth cobb 

      6 years ago

      I was 8 when they arrested Mr. Martin. He was a family friend and was married to a family friend who is still alive as far as I know. My dad and his twin brother we're friends of Mr. Martin, however they had no idea that he was doing these things. I saw one of the cars he used and the backseat was bloody...I rem that at my early took me to see the car. Mr. martin visited our house on many occasions and acted like a normal man. Dad's twin brother worked at the mill with him when he was arrested there. I'm from Gaffney, but we never know who, when, where or why..doesn't matter whee you're from, these killers can live anywhere.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      where did they put his body at ? was it given to the family or was it buried at the prison etc /

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      Dee sandstrum 

      8 years ago

      I was 17 yes old and fromO Gaffney , he lie 2 blocks from me . We were terrified.


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