John L. Martin

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John L. Martin (born 1922 – died June 13, 2006 in Birmingham) was a retired postal worker and deacon murdered along with his wife and grandson by Derrol Shaw.

John and Evelyn married in 1938. He worked for the U. S. Postal Service while she worked as a nurse. They both retired, and were active at Green Liberty Baptist Church in Titusville, where John served as a deacon and Evelyn sang in the choir. The couple have three children, two sons, one named E. T., and a daughter, Tammy Duff. Their grandson, Ryan Evans, was staying in a basement room in their house on 10th Court Way in College Hills.

Martin had two hip replacement surgeries in recent years and spent most of his time in a recliner. He was reported missing in June 2006. Traces of blood were found in his recliner, leading investigators to suspect foul play. Rewards totalling $130,000 were offered by Tuscaloosa businessman Stan Pate, Barber's Dairy, the State of Alabama, and others for the family's safe return, or for information leading to the arrests of suspects in connection with their disappearance. Their bodies were found that December in a ravine near Borah Avenue south of Reader's Gap in Muscoda.

Shaw, with whom Evans had robbed and killed Walter Hill in early June, later pleaded guilty to all four murders in January 2008. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.


  • Robinson, Carol (September 5, 2006). "'It's not old news. Not to us.'" Birmingham News.
  • Gordon, Robert K. and Carol Robinson (December 15, 2006). "Bodies of missing Martin family believed found." Birmingham News
  • Velasco, Eric (September 18, 2007). "Prosecutors: Shaw killed to cover crimes." Birmingham News.
  • Velasco, Eric (January 20, 2008) "Couple takes in grandson, but move opens door for a killer ." Birmingham News