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Eight-year-old Phyllis Seibers and her cousin Debbie Ray, 9, pushed a tricycle with no seat down Sims Road on a sunny afternoon in 1966, just a week before Christmas in the tiny factory town of Shelbyville."They was laughing and having a big time," Debbie's mother Thelma said at the time. If there was a poorer side of town, the Seibers' little enclave near the dump would be it.
"There was one time he was standing in a lot next to my aunt's house and just staring.
One of my cousins went and told him, 'You get back up yonder where you belong and quit staring.' " Eddie was a runt for his age, 130 pounds girding a 5-foot-6 frame.
When Mc Gee saw sisters Mary Ann and Anita Claxton enter the dump, he followed them in.
He was sweet on Mary Ann, so he watched them from a hill above.
Between and 2 p.m., 14-year-old Roger Dale Kelly saw Mc Gee coast down the blacktop road toward the dump again. It was enough to kill them both, but not immediately. The area was flood-prone, so the water was higher than usual. An autopsy would reveal water and plant matter in her lungs. Roger Dale Kelly saw him leave the dump, pedaling hard down Sims Road. Later Mc Gee returned to the dump with a gaggle of Farrar boys. When Phyllis' dad, Charlie Bill Seibers, discovered the girls weren't at Grandma's, he gathered his children and went door to door. Sanders shone flashlights down into the drainage ditch.
As he approached Debbie and Phyllis, they ran, pushing the seatless tricycle before them. That's when Eddie grabbed Phyllis and threw her to the ground. The girls were tossed face-down in the muddy, stagnant liquid. The cold winter sun began to sink, taking the graying light with it. That night, members of the local Civil Defense, city police and 200 to 300 volunteers combed the dump for Phyllis and Debbie. But a dense fog had rolled in that night, obscuring their view. Flashlights continued to wink over the dump in the gathering murk until the search was called off at a.m.
Pronounced similarly to shovel by natives, Shelbyville lies some 60 miles southeast of Nashville. Most worked for Musgrave Pencil, Empire Pencil or U. The girls were happy and healthy on this cool winter day.
Phyllis wore a long wool coat, her fine, board-straight blonde hair running down to the fur collar. Though one was towheaded and the other dark, they shared fine-boned features, imparting a certain frailty. They were off to see their grandmother, Mary Helton, who lived across from the dump and had a Christmas tree with presents to be ogled.
Abbie Farrar, Harold's wife, was always scolding him about washing for dinner.
When the Claxton girls left, Mc Gee followed them out.
Eddie had a thing about staring at girls, Rosie Wright, Phyllis' sister, would later say.