In the episode “Shattered: The Bodies Out Back” on Investigation Discovery, the story is told about how two girls and their baby cousin brother survived a home invasion in Shubuta, Mississippi, in April 1986, while Donald Thomas and his cousin Lamar Lafferty were killed during the same incident.
In this episode, we see how the detectives were able to apprehend the murderers by using a description provided by one of the people who managed to escape the massacre, Marty Thomas. Who exactly is this Marty, then? Let’s find out.
Who Are Marty Thomas and Brandon Lafferty?
On April 26, 1986, Marty Thomas and her older sister, B.B. Thomas, were arrested for burglary. Beach, and Donald Ellis “E.T.” Thomas, Marty’s brother, went to Marty’s brother’s trailer to play in the gully between the hours of 2:00 and 2:30 in the afternoon.
They encountered a short and scrawny man in the driveway as they arrived at the location on Shubuta Vossburg Road, which is roughly 11 miles west of Shubuta, Mississippi. He was armed with a revolver. Marty would subsequently provide additional details about him, such as the fact that he had a shaved head, two missing front teeth, and was wearing a blue shirt and tennis shoes.
What Happened With Marty And Brandon?
The two teenage girls were held at gunpoint and marched toward the backside of the trailer, where they observed Donald’s silver Ford pickup vehicle, another assailant with a shotgun who was described as being a big black man, and a dead body that was laying on the ground.
Marty quickly identified the body as that of her brother’s cousin, James Lamar Lafferty, and she knew without a doubt that he had been murdered. The girls were led into the mobile home, where they were horrified to discover that James’ two-year-old son, Brandon Lafferty, was sitting on the couch wearing bloody clothes. The girls were escorted out of the mobile home.
The perpetrator of the attack forced them to lie on the ground on their stomachs while he used hay strings to bind their hands and ankles behind their backs. Aside from that, he threatened to rape and kill them if they didn’t lie to the authorities and say that the attackers were two black males.
He demanded that they identify the suspects as black men. After that, he went to retrieve a pitcher of tea from the refrigerator, all the while his companion was still bringing weaponry out of the bedroom. After a little while, both of the trespassers got up and went, taking Donald’s truck with them.
The girls used their fingernails to cut through the ties that were around their feet, and then they used a knife that was found in the kitchen to remove the bindings that were around their hands. When they were satisfied that no one was following them, the girls took Brandon and raced away to the home of a friend, where Marty called the authorities and notified them of their whereabouts.
Marty Thomas and Brandon Lafferty: Current Location
Both of the girls were terrified, so they initially lied to the police about who the invaders were and stuck with the story that their attackers told them about two black males. However, when Marty discovered to her horror that her brother had also been murdered by gunfire, she cooperated with the authorities by providing accurate descriptions of the invaders. Robert S. Minnick and James “Monkey” Dyess, who had evaded capture from the Clarke County Jail the previous evening, were identified by the police as the individuals responsible for the murders.
Both of the culprits were finally apprehended and condemned to life in prison; unfortunately, one of them passed away in 2018 while he was still serving his time. Marty was always there for Brandon as he grew up, but she waited to explain what had happened to his dad until he was old enough to fully comprehend it. Brandon had the nagging feeling even when he was a little child that there was more to his family than what he was being told about them. At this point in time, it is quite likely that both Brandon Lafferty and Marty Thomas are living a life hidden from the public eye in the state of Mississippi.