List of Birmingham homicides in 1986

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This is a List of Birmingham homicides in 1986. It includes homicide cases occurring within the city limits during the calendar year. Note that not all homicides are ultimately ruled to be murder in courts of law.

Birmingham had 88 homicides in 1986.


  • April 16: Nathan Madison, manager of the Ensley Grill, was killed during a robbery. According to prosecutors, three men; Abdullah Abdus Sabiar, Anthony Hollingsworth, and Charles Robert Knight III; entered the back door of the restaurant at about 10:00 PM and forced employees to lie of the floor while they emptied the cash register of $5,000 and shot Madison. Two others, Eugene Gates Brown and Alloysius Gardiner, waited outside with a getaway car. Sabiar, the suspected shooter, and Knight were convicted of capital murder in separate trials. Hollingsworth was convicted of felony murder. (report)
  • July 14: The body of Tracey Diane Schoettlin, 26, a waitress at the SouthPoint American Cafe in Five Points South, was found below a bridge over the Cahaba River near the River Run Shopping Center. She had experienced car trouble on the way home from work the night before and stopped near UAB. A man who stopped to help drove her to a convenience store to buy motor oil. Shortly afterward she was abducted, raped, murdered and mutilated. Thomas Paul Bradley of Center Point later contacted investigators with what he claimed were "visions" of the crime. They determined that he was describing details that only the murderer could have known. He was arrested and charged with capital murder. Bradley was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but was ruled competent to stand trial. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He is incarcerated at the Donaldson Correctional Facility. While in jail, Bradley was named as a lead plaintiff in a class-action suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of Alabama's mentally ill prison inmates. The suit led to increased psychiatric services and better conditions for those inmates. (report)


The murders of Madison and Schoettlin are generally believed to have contributed to the decline of the Ensley and Five Points South business districts in the late 1980s as another wave of people moved out to the suburbs due to fear of crime.

See also