DID A killer cop murder the young sailor in 1969? Cold case detectives in Charleston, South Carolina think that might be the case. On a warm October night in 1969, Danny Kelly, 26, had a gun pressed to his head and the trigger pulled. He was found slumped across his bed in a sea of blood. But now, Det. Mike Gordon is hoping to solve the mystery of the murdered sailor after almost 42 years. There was no weapon, witnesses or motive in the murder. However, there is one tantalizing clue: Kelly's relationship with a County police officer suspected of being a contract killer who murdered several people while wearing the badge as a hitman for the Dixie Mafia. Cop Leonard Lee Crowe
was one of the last people to see Kelly alive and his name has been linked to the murder. He always proclaimed his innocence and died in Oklahoma last year. But he had dated Kelly's wife before they married.
On the afternoon of Oct. 3, 1969, Kelly and a buddy went to his apartment and found his wife Diane chatting with Crowe. The group sat around talking for a bit and then Kelly went off with his buddy to shoot pool and celebrate a promotion the friend had received. Diane headed out as well, to get her hair done at a beauty shop. When she returned home around 6 p.m., she found Kelly sprawled across their bed in his underwear, the right side of his head blasted with shots from a .22-caliber gun. It's a story that spans decades and goes inside the famed Dixie Mafia.
GREAT PIECE IN THE CHARLESTON POST-COURIER