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The Brutal Murder Of Mary Ann Holmes

The Murder Of Mary Ann Holmes

Pic: Gilavally

In the early morning hours of July 9th, 1995, someone crawled into the unlocked back door of single mother Mary Ann Holmes’s house and brutally assaulted her. She was a single mother to two daughters, who were aged four years old and eighteen months old respectively.

Mary Ann’s clothing had been forcefully cut off of her body and she was bound with handcuffs and rope and gagged. She had been sexually mutilated and was raped both vaginally and anally by an anonymous object and also by the attacker himself. She had been hit in the head multiple times by a sharp object during and after the torture, probably the same object she had been raped with. It was later inferred that the cause of demise was blunt force trauma to the head.

Marry Ann Was Murdered In Front Of Daughters

This had all occurred while her two young kids watched from the bed, just a couple of feet away from the murder spectacle which occurred in the small living area. Mary Ann’s four-year-old daughter was also stripped of her clothes and bound, nonetheless was spared any sexual attack.

She sat with her mum’s dead body for some time attempting to wake her before running to the neighbor’s house while still nude and bound to get help. Once the police reached, they discovered poor Mary Ann handcuffed, gagged, and curled up in fetal stance on the living room floor with blood everywhere. The eighteen-month-old kid was next to her mum and both girls were left physically unharmed by whoever murdered their mum Mary Ann, but of course, their mental suffering caused by this evil encounter would haunt them forever.


The evidence here was very small for police to go off in this case, and nothing appeared to fit together. The four-year-old daughter drew a gruesome picture of the crime spectacle, which when correlated to images of it, was nearly identical. In the drawing, Mary Ann was laying on the ground with what looked like a knife or hatchet stuck in her head, with blood pooling all around.

It was a dreadful scene. Mary Ann’s four-year-old kid was interviewed, but not much could be gathered from it. The kid was too traumatized and too young to give a comprehensive account. Not a big amount is realized or documented of what the kid told detectives, but one thing she told us was that the intruder was ‘huge’ and that he was ‘ A lion man ‘ investigators were uncertain what she meant by this.


Police found out a bloody shoe print at the spectacle that was approximately a man’s size 11 or 12. Reportedly a fingerprint was discovered on the handcuffs and a tiny trace of DNA was discovered, but neither was sufficient to produce any substantial leads and no matches were found. Mary Ann Holmes also had a yard sale the day before she was murdered She had made a small amount of cash at this sale that was stolen during the assault.

Her neighbor, Kaye Turner, believed that there was a connection between the killing and the yard sale, yet still, no indication leads to anything. Did the murderer attend the yard sale? Did they scope out her home? Did they acknowledge she was a single mother alone with her kids? Mary Ann’s backdoor was also shattered, she had been asking her landlord to repair it for some time, yet it was never completed.

This was how the murderer ultimately gained entry.


There were three major suspects in Mary Ann’s killing. David Black, John Bursee, and Philip Turley. David Black’s dad owned the house that Mary Ann was renting. Mary Ann had given him cash to fix the back door since it wouldn’t lock, but the door was never repaired. It was the same door that the murderer used to get into the home. David Black also had long blonde hair and a beard, which may have fitted the four-year-old daughter’s Lion Man’s description of the murderer. David also started living in the house years after the killing and became slightly haunted by the case.

He contended to live in the homemade him feel ‘closer’ to Mary Ann. He is realized to be very ‘out there and not mentally stable. John Bursee was Mary Ann’s ex-boyfriend who resided in Florida. Mary Ann was reportedly very scared of him. She had filed a police report after he called her and endangered that he was going to come back to Thatcher for her. After her casualty, police interviewed him but his alibi checked out and he was cleared. Philip Turley was the third and most interesting individual on the suspect list. He had a deep and unshakeable obsession with Mary Ann.

Some References

Some references say they dated at some point, but other references say that they were just acquaintances who had no actual connection. Turley told a family member that he was engaged to Mary Ann, but this was not valid. He also said that he had purchased land in the town of Pima to build a dream home for them. He kept a detailed diary about his love for her. Past girlfriends of Turley were quizzed and stated he was brutal and had an obsession with harsh sexual activity and tying them up with rope and…..handcuffs.

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