Naked City

Waters' Final Plea

Madalyn Murray O'Hair is coming home. On Wednesday, David Waters, the ex-con suspected of masterminding the plot to kidnap, rob, and murder the atheist, her son, and her granddaughter, agreed to show federal authorities where the victims are buried, says a source close to the investigation. Waters, 53, was scheduled to go to trial before U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks next Monday. The source said Waters agreed to a plea bargain one day after his attorney, Bill Gates, looked at some of the evidence federal prosecutors were planning to use at trial. In return for cooperating with federal authorities, Waters will be allowed to transfer out of Texas state prison and into a federal prison. Although sentencing won't be held until March 30, federal prosecutors have made no secret of their desire to put Waters behind bars for the rest of his life.

If Waters lives up to his end of the deal and the corpses are recovered, it will bring to an end to one of the longest murder mysteries in modern American history. It will also confirm Waters' savagery. In his effort to steal a half million dollars from the atheists, Waters apparently killed four people: the three atheists and another ex-con, Danny Fry, who was allegedly part of the conspiracy. Law enforcement officials believe Waters and accomplices dismembered the three atheists and buried their bodies in rural West Texas.

Madalyn herself could not have written a more gruesome ending for her life. But it appears she got her wish, or at least part of it. Writing in the American Atheist in November, 1986, O'Hair wrote that she when she died, she "didn't want any damn Christer praying over the body or even putting his hands on it." David Waters is many things. A Christer, he ain't.

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