Our Georgia History

A killer pays the price
July 9, 1980 Schoolteacher William Hodges, 49, is killed at Truckstops of America in Valdosta
  A killer pays the price
July 10, 1980 David and Katie Hardin are murdered at a south Georgia rest stop on I-75 near Lenox
  A killer pays the price
September 17, 1982 William Putnam is sentanced to die for the murders of David and Katie Hardin
  A killer pays the price
November 13, 2002 William Putnam is executed for the murder of a couple in front of their children 22 years before.
  A killer pays the price

It was a killing spree like no other here in rural south Georgia. A former Alabama truck driver, William Howard Putnam walked up to the car where William Hodges was sitting. Putnam shot Hodges with a .38 caliber revolver.

Later that night Putnam approached a car with David Hardin, Katie Back and their three children and a niece, returning from a Florida vacation. Putnam killed Hardin, then demanded that Back come with him. When she refused, Putnam killed Back.

Witnesses, including the niece gave a description of Putnam and his truck, which police found in another rest stop in Dooly County. A search of the truck turned up the murder weapon and personal items belonging to Hodges were also found.

Putnam was executed with a lethal injection

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