November 18, 1996
Laurens, South Carolina
Despondent over the deterioration of his 12-year marriage, Johnny Satterwhite murders his child and 3 stepchildren before committing suicide
Johnny and his wife Bertha had separated a week before the murders, and the separation played a key motive for the killings. He shot the children, Christopher Satterwhite (10), Johnny Gary (13), Terrance Gary (14), and Mary Gary (16) in their beds. The boys had each been shot twice in the head while Mary had been shot three times.
After the murders, Johnny wrote a letter to his wife reading “Merry Christmas, bitch. I hope you’re satisfied. You’ll be alone in 97.” He also asked a mutual friend to relay a message to Bertha stating he had left “four packages” at the house for her, referring to her murdered children, and drove to a nearby water reservoir to commit suicide by drowning.
Clipping: The Greenville News (Greenville, South Carolina) Nov. 19 1996