get-together between friends and relatives is the start of the episode leading to this capital murder case. It ends in brooks of blood and some grizzly happenings. The dramatis personae of this crime are Elroy Preston, his brother, Ervin Preston, Elroy’s girlfriend, Sherry Brown, and the victims, Pee Wee Richardson and Betty Klein. The place of the killings is Ervin’s North St. Louis home.
Elroy had been living temporarily with his brother Ervin in the downstairs portion of the house. Ervin was a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair. Pee Wee Richardson and Betty Klein lived together upstairs. All were present in Ervin’s quarters for an evening’s heavy drinking, save for Sherry Brown who did not drink. During the course of the night, frequent alcohol-related verbal outbursts were exchanged between the three men for a mix of petty reasons, including who was to sleep where and whether some chicken which had been purchased to fill their hungry stomachs would be permitted to be shared with Pee Wee Richardson.
Pee Wee and his bedmate, Betty Klein, ultimately went upstairs for some sleep, with Elroy from time to time interrupting their slumber with trips to their room. Angry for a continuing assortment of grounds, Elroy made a final trip upstairs and ordered Pee Wee and Klein to Ervin’s downstairs quarters. In the presence of Ervin and Sherry Brown, Elroy announced to the hapless Pee Wee and Betty Klein that he would kill them just as soon as he removed his clothes. Presumably, the idea behind the clothes removal was to keep from having them blood spattered.
True to his word, Elroy did take off all his clothes, and proceeded to stab and critically wound Pee Wee with a hunting knife. Then with a single swipe of the knife he severed Betty Klein’s spinal cord at the neck, killing her instantly. He immediately returned his attention to Pee Wee and stabbed him several more times in the chest and abdomen. Pee Wee died as a result of five stab wounds to the body, face and hands, the latter coming as he tried to ward off the lethal blows. He also absorbed four incised wounds. The killings complete, the Elroy took some leftover fried chicken, dipped it in the victims’ blood and ate it with relish, all the while aiming deprecatory remarks at his stone dead victims. With this bizarre bit of action completed, Elroy and Sherry Brown dragged the bodies to a back alley and left them there to be discovered by neighbors. He and Ms. Brown then made some effort to clean the blood spattered house.
Elroy was convicted of the capital murder of Pee Wee Richardson and sentenced to death. He was also convicted of second degree murder for the killing of Betty Klein and given a consecutive life sentence as a dangerous offender for that crime.