COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A new book is out about a painful chapter in Columbus’ history. The book’s author drew a large crowd Sunday for a book signing in Midtown.

Southern writer William Rawlings has written “The Columbus Stocking Strangler” about the serial killer who targeted elderly women in Columbus between 1977 and 1978.

Carlton Gary was executed in March 2018 after being found guilty of raping and murdering Florence Scheible, Martha Thurmond and Kathleen Woodruff.

Dozens of people came Sunday afternoon to get Rawlings and former Muscogee County District Attorney and Judge Bill Smith to sign copies of the book.

Dinglewood Pharmacy was an appropriate place for the event. Most of the elderly women raped and killed were in homes less than a mile from the Midtown drug store.

Rawlings was pleased with the turnout but knows why so many people were interested.

“I would like to say it was my skill as a writer, but the truth of the matter is it’s not me. I am simply the messenger. The real thing is the story,” said Rawlings. “It is the story of Carlton Gary, the Columbus Strangler. It is an incredibly fascinating and complicated and amazing story of horrific crime in Columbus. And it’s an integral part of the city’s history.”

The book was released this month by Mercer Press and the first printing has already sold out. It is now in a second printing, which will be paperback.


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