List of Birmingham homicides in 1977

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This is a List of Birmingham homicides in 1977. It includes homicide cases occuring within the city limits during the calendar year. Note that not all homicides are ultimately ruled to be murder in courts of law.

Birmingham reported 87 homicide cases to the FBI in 1977, with 67 of them (77.0%) reported as "cleared."


  • August 18: Chicago steel executive Nigel Harlan, 43, went missing after leaving the Sho-Boat Lounge. His body was found in Shelby County three weeks later. Tony Randolph Nolen and Debra Andrews were arrested in Pensacola, Florida and charged.
  • August 30: Virginia Y. Simpson, 56, was found shot to death in her bed in the Theodore Swann residence on Redmont Road. Her son, James "Popsie" Simpson II, was charged, but the charges were later dismissed for lack of evidence. No one else has been charged.
  • November: L. E. Fuller, owner of a furniture store in Powderly, was killed during a robbery. Tommy Lee Battle and Joseph Hardman were arrested. Battle was released for lack of evidence.
  • December 19: Rosemary Brock, 29, was shot in the head by her brother, Edward Schmidt, after she went to his apartment at 1057 Beacon Parkway East to talk him out of killing himself. Schmidt was arrested and charged with murder.
  • December 20: The burned body of Leroy Robinson, 44, was found in the alley behind the 900 block of Graymont Avenue West. He had been knocked unconscious before a fire was set around his face and hands using rubbish from the alley. The murder may have been related to the death of Peter Galley, whose headless corpse was found in the "Bessemer Cut Off area" earlier in the year. The two had briefly roomed together.
  • December 21: Ernest Galloway, Jr, 19, was shot in the back after an unsuccessful attempt at robbing the Sentell Oil Company gas station at 5501 1st Avenue North in Woodlawn. Station manager Robert Lee Smith was not charged.
  • December 31: James Dewey Cash, a cab driver, was murdered by David Larry Nelson during a robbery. Nelson was convicted in March 1979 and sentenced to death. The sentence was reversed on appeal and he was retried in March 1982 and was again convicted and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted on appeal to life in prison, but Nelson remained on death row for a separate conviction. He died of natural causes at Holman Prison in November 2009. [1]



  • Birmingham News reports accessed at the microfilm room of the Birmingham Public Library
  • FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, accessed via the Murder Accountability Project (