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Waynesboro mourns slain couple

Family, friends laud devotion to church

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WAYNESBORO, Ga. --- When an ambulance carrying Ralph and Trudy Gordon drove through Waynesboro on Sunday, it was as if the town stopped.

The Rev. Willie B. Tomlin presides over a prayer service for Ralph and Trudy Gordon, who were found slain in their home Sunday, at the Thomas Grove Baptist Church in Waynesboro.   Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
The Rev. Willie B. Tomlin presides over a prayer service for Ralph and Trudy Gordon, who were found slain in their home Sunday, at the Thomas Grove Baptist Church in Waynesboro.

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"Everybody just pulled their car to the side," said Trudy Gordon's niece Alvetta Carroll. "That says a lot about what we thought of them. Everybody knew them. I'm really going to miss her."

Carroll and dozens of other family members, neighbors and friends of the elderly couple gathered at Thomas Grove Baptist Church on Monday night to remember their spirit and devotion to the community. Ralph Gordon was the chairman of the deacon board at the church. His wife taught Sunday school.

The beloved couple were killed in their home sometime over the weekend. Ralph Gordon's daughter found their bodies at their Ninth Street home after they did not show up at church.

Law enforcement officials are giving few details about the slaying, but Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey said his deputies are devoted to finding those responsible.

"The community is outraged. That I will tell you," he said. "There are some very upset people in this town."

Investigators estimate the couple had been dead two days before their bodies were found.

"Nobody deserves what happened to them," said Gary Nicholson, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge. "From what I've seen these were good people, and no one deserves what they went through."

Nicholson refused to elaborate or provide details on the deaths but said at an afternoon news conference that police were pursuing leads. He said investigators aren't sure how many people might be involved in the deaths, but he has no reason to suspect it involved a gang.

Burke County Deputy Coroner Susan Salemi described the slayings as "brutal."

Cynthia Mobley, a longtime friend of the couple, said many believe the couple were robbed and stabbed at their home.

"That's what I've been told" she said. "I had someone break into my storage home April 17. The robbing and stealing keeps happening. It's sad."

Mobley said she attended Savannah State College with Trudy Gordon, and both taught in the Burke County school system.

Carroll said her aunt taught for 35 years. She and her husband, who retired as an Army master sergeant, kept their weekly ritual of Wednesday night bowling and Sunday services at Thomas Grove.

Carroll said she believed someone must have broken into their home.

"They were very safety cautious, so they wouldn't have let you in if they didn't know you," she said. "I just don't understand it."

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

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Rolling Eyes
Rolling Eyes 06/21/10 - 07:49 pm
How nice that the community

How nice that the community holds this couple in such high esteem. God bless the family and I extend my condolences. I hope that the people responsible for this killing is caught post haste.

tcowan13 06/21/10 - 08:06 pm
God bless the family.

God bless the family.

angeleyes 06/21/10 - 09:53 pm
This is so sad. How could

This is so sad. How could anyone hurt this sweet looking innocent couple. It makes me sick how people have to kill other people. You just remember you will have to answer to God on why you did this. You will be dead alot longer then you will be alive..So think about that before you do something stupid such as this. May God bless this family..SO SAD

scoopdedoop64 06/21/10 - 10:30 pm
Those who did such a thing

Those who did such a thing need to be found and quick. Hopefully they will put up a struggle and save us having to pay for their trial. Crime cannot be tolerated. Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding and trial process. Hopefully they will get them soon.

Purrfectlyevil 06/21/10 - 11:51 pm
This is a very sad story, one

This is a very sad story, one that is intolerable! Am not from Waynesboro and do not know the people involved but I do send my prayers to the family and my wish out that the perpetrators of this horrible crime be caught and dealt with swiftly.. I BELIEVE in corporal punishment and hope it shall be served... would be lovely if we could still draw and quarter or hang slowly by neck until dead.. sorri if that offends anyone but this crime is offensive in itself. God bless....

Dixieman 06/22/10 - 05:22 am
God bless their souls and

God bless their souls and comfort their families.
Purrfectly - you mean capital punishment, not corporal punishment.

curly123053 06/22/10 - 05:43 am
This is so sad. I pray for

This is so sad. I pray for this family.

disssman 06/22/10 - 07:39 am
The killing and robery will

The killing and robery will continue until we start punishing criminals. When a heinous act occurs everyone os out for blood, but we wait so long for a trial that most people forget or don't actually don't want anything done to the perpetrators.We actually believe when a judge says life in prison that is what is intended, but we are so wrong. In fact it generally means that if a little person is killed the murderer will spend maybe 10 years at most, like the creep that helped kill the Ritchey girl and is now free. No, our focus is American Idol, Survival or dancing with the stars or some other "reality" TV show that has nothing to do with our every day lives.

peonynut 06/22/10 - 08:45 am
Everything stops in

Everything stops in Waynesboro on Sundays and everyone pulls over for the funeral processions. Heck everything stops in Waynesboro after 6 P.M.

The investigation should be looking close to home but if the family is waiting on a resolution from the local police or sheriff; don't hold your breath.

pommom38 06/22/10 - 09:42 am
I hope you will be eating

I hope you will be eating those words when all is said and done.
There has been no funeral procession as of yet, so your comment was because?? The Gordon's are so highly respected and loved, that people pulled over for the ambulance carrying the deceased. THAT is not the law, nor expected, that is pure devotion and respect! The police dept will be watched closely in this case, believe that.
From the sounds of it, you dislike Waynesboro a lot. So, why live there?
Yes, God bless the Gordon's, but also, bless and watch over the daughter during this horrific time! To walk in and find your parents like that, can not imagine.

corgimom 06/22/10 - 10:52 am
What a terrible tragedy. The

What a terrible tragedy.

The Gordons are now safe and well, living their Eternal Lives, in God's loving hands.

My condolences not just to the family, but to all who knew them.

Faeron 06/22/10 - 10:16 pm
Loved Ones and friends:

Loved Ones and friends: Finding out about my cousin Trudy left my heart bleeding. Thank you all for your prayers for her and the Mosely family; also her husband Ralph's family. Yes, they were truly a wonderful God loving couple. I will miss her calls and cards. Right, no one deserves such a death and especially those two. Such a tragedy and shock. I am praying hard for strength for the loving daughter who had to find her loved ones. The good thing is that they will suffer no more and will be happy in God's arms. God will provide peace to all of us and will also give knowledge to GBI to find and punish the responsible persons. Love an blessings, Faeron Mosely Pierce of Arizona

SeeYa 06/23/10 - 12:48 pm
Peonynut, looks like the

Peonynut, looks like the local LEO's made it a short wait to nab a suspect.

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