How certain are you that the person you lend a helping hand to, isn’t planning to take advantage of your kindness?In the cruel and ambiguous climax of today’s world, knowing a person’s true colors could often be impossible.
In the tragic lives of a frail, old couple, Carol and Reggie, they placed their trust with someone they considered a true friend, but they learned the hard way, that their trust in people would actually lead them directly to their graves…..
In a small town in South Carolina, Carol and Reggie were known as the loving couple, who had spent most their lives together, as husband and wife. The couple truly enjoyed befriending their neighbors, and would often, lend a helping to those that may be struggling in their neighborhood.
Never Judge a Book By Its’ Cover
The older couple had become particularly close to their neighbors next door, whom they would often invite over for barbecues in the summer. Throughout the years, they would build an even closer relationship with one particular person in the house, Tiffany, a sweet young woman who played the flute in high school, and participated in cheerleading and Girl Scouts. Carol and Reggie adored Tiffany’s Southern charm, developing somewhat of a “grandparents” relationship towards her. But, little did they know, they should never judge a book by its’ cover; Tiffany’s innocent exterior was nothing like the evil burning inside….
After many decades residing in South Carolina, Carol and Reggie decided, bittersweetly, to move to Florida, so they could enjoy warmer weather, and a more relaxing environment that would cater to their old age. However, the long distance would not inhibit their loving relationship with Tiffany. The couple trusted and loved Tiffany, and would often invite her to their home in Florida.
Keep Secrets to Yourself
During one of Tiffany’s visits to Carol and Reggie Sumner’s home in Florida, she learned that they had sold their South Carolina home and made a $99,000 profit. The couple confided in Tiffany a piece of information that would unknowingly trigger a turn of events worthy of a crime novel…
Tiffany was in desperate need of a car, and when times were tough, she would often turn to Carol and Reggie for their help. Carol and Reggie were delighted to help Tiffany, selling their car to her, for a minimal monthly payment. Tiffany would often drive to the couple in Florida, make a car payment, and also, spend a few days with them. However, Tiffany’s next visit will be unlike any other….
In 2005, Tiffany Cole’s new boyfriend, Michael Jackson, would also accompany her to Carol and Reggie’s home in Florida. It was during this visit, Cole and her boyfriend drove to the couple’s home to complete some additional paperwork on the car. While there, Cole revealed to Michael the substantial amount of money Carol and Reggie made from their house sale. With Jackson’s encouragement, they began hatching a plan to rob the couple and steal money from their bank accounts.
The Plot Begins
From that point on, Cole and Jackson, began plotting a way to rob the couple. They knew that gaining access into their home would be easy since the couple knew and trusted Cole. Cole gladly suggested using Carol and Reggie’s trust in her as a tool to manipulate them…
The couple decided that in order for the robbery of the couple to be a complete success, they would need the help of additional accomplices. Friends of the couple, Alan Wade and Bruce Nixon, all collaborated together to rob the couple of their belongings. However, the greedy bunch also added murder to their devious plan; after all, the couple knew Cole very well.
The Plan Put Into Action
In July 2005, the plan was put into action. Cole, Jackson, Wade, and Nixon, drove to the Sumners’ home. Wade and Nixon went to the door, told the couple they were in a desperate situation, and needed to use their phone.
The couple would not deny anyone their help, allowing the two monsters into their home to use their phone. Once inside, Wade and Nixon, strong and determined, viciously attacked the older, weak couple.
The couple, brutally injured and terrified, were about to endure one of the most heinous crimes in Florida’s history. In a state of shock and in tremendous pain, they were bound and gagged with duct tape, while Nixon, Wade and Jackson searched the home for valuables.
Forced into Their Trunk
After ruthlessly beating and robbing the couple of their belongings in their own home, the terrified couple were forced into the truck of their Lincoln car. Nixon and Wade drove the Lincoln Town Car with the couple inside the trunk, followed by Cole and Jackson who were in a Mazda that Cole had rented for the trip.
Cole and Jackson travelled separately in their car, planning to get deliberately pulled over for speeding if police got too close to the Lincoln. Every single gruesome detail of their crime was planned out methodically, even the site they would be disposed of…
The couple were being driven across the border to their graves in a remote part of Georgia. The evil group had already picked out that specific location due to it being in a grassy area limited to any human presence. They meticulously prepared the spot by digging two open graves ready for the bodies of the old couple.
Once they arrived in Georgia, Carol and Reggie were forced into giving their personal identification and bank information. This was what they wanted more than anything else, the large amounts of cash to have at their disposal.
Once they got what they needed, Jackson and Wade led the fragile couple unknowingly into their open graves. Blindfolded and gagged, Carol and Reggie were utterly helpless, they could neither see, scream, nor move in their dark, muddy graves. Carol and Reggie, a couple who loved deeply and helped generously were going to be buried alive…
Imagine the Terror
It is impossible to imagine the absolute terror the couple must have felt each time the twisted group shoveled dirt over their bodies, until they were fully covered with it. Carol and Reggie died painfully and slowly, suffocating to death from the dirt in their lungs, with each second feeling like all of eternity..
What Happened After Crime?
The next day, the demented group returned to the couple’s home, used bleach to clean the house to eliminate evidence, stole jewelry and a computer. Cole subsequently pawned all of Carol’s jewelry and the computer from the couple’s home. The ATM card was used to again several thousand dollars in cash. Cole and Jackson celebrate in a limousine, drinking champagne and throwing around handfuls of cash.
After Carol and Reggie’s daughter couldn’t get a hold of her parents, she contacted police, who searched their home and found a bank statement with a large sum. Police were able to discover excessive spending in a short time frame, and traced it back to the twisted group. The were found in a hotel with many stolen items belonging to the deceased couple.
Cole, now 33, is one of the youngest woman on death row for her role in the exceptionally gruesome kidnapping, robbery, and murder of Carol and Reggie Sumner. Jackson and Wade also were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Nixon was the only one spared the death penalty and sentenced to 45 years to life for showing the police the location of the dead bodies. The Prosecutor in the case, Jay Plotkin, stated that in 2o years, she has never prosecuted a crime that was as vile and cruel than the torture murder of the Sumners.