- Young Woman Buried
- 9 year old boy tape records
her poignant last words.
- Gruesome murders and bizarre crime scenes aren't your
run-of-the-mill sights in Oxford, Miss., the university
town that has served as home for renowned writers like
John Grisham and William Faulkner. Neither of these
literary giants could have crafted a tale quite as
baffling as the murder case of Purity Knight, a local
student who was buried alive and held prisoner for 11
weeks by an abductor who scattered Edgar Allan Poe quotes
around the crime scene.
- Police in Yoknapatawpha County claim that the murder
is related to a stalking incident involving Miss Knight
earlier this year, but some locals in Oxford have a
feeling that police have left the truth safely buried.
There is history behind the death of Purity Knight.
- Just two years ago, on the night of April 1, 1995,
Purity's sister, Valerie Vilson, was found dead in her
apartment. Investigators deny a connection to the
murders, but autopsies reveal that both women were
cleaned after death and sexually mutilated.
- The plot thickens and the coincidences multiply when
you consider the nature of Knight's death. Her body was
discovered buried in the red clay mounds of Yoknapatawpha
County, outside of Oxford, by a 9-year-old boy named
Dylan Tull. A fourth grader at Oxford Elementary School,
young Dylan regularly played in the graveyard adjacent to
the scene of the crime. One day the boy stumbled into a
nearby wooded area, then into a clearing near a mound of
sand and red clay, when he heard "a sound like a voice
coming out of the ground." Tull found Purity Knight
buried alive in a large box with grates for air and
food, wedged impossibly beneath piles of wet sand. The
boy fed Knight fruit and candy and engaged in
conversation with her before she died. Certain people
involved with the case feel like Knight might have
revealed her abductor's identity to Tull, or perhaps the
boy even saw the killer. Oxford police recovered cassette
tapes of conversations Knight and the boy shared, but
there was no name or description of the assailant. "That
tape was the most disturbing thing I've heard on this
job," said a confidential source close to the
investigation. "I only hope that boy's folks realize what
a predicament their son has stumbled into. If the killer
is still around, and thinks for a minute that the boy
knows more than he's telling, we're gonna wake up one
morning and find that kid buried up to his eyeballs
- Ask those Oxford citizens who are "in-the-know," and
they'll give you a different read on the case. "There's
sure something fishy going on between those two
detectives," one confidential source told the NATIONAL
STAR. "With all the flip-floppin' loyalties and bungled
detective work, I'd say they're doing a right fine job of
covering up trails."
- Suspicions turned on the police when one of the two
central detectives on the case, -- Anderson, was released
from the investigation after it was discovered that he
knew the victim intimately and had carried out
clandestine meetings with her. Some now say the
investigation's head detective, -- Armstrong, may be
tempted to clear the name of his friend and fellow police
- The possibility of an internal scandal grows more
intriguing the deeper you dig. A similar murder involving
a victim being buried alive in a large box occured in
Oregon 10 years ago, around the same time Detective
Anderson was living and working in that state. Oddly
enough, Purity Knight attended Reed College in Oregon.
The make-up of the two coffins were similar in
construction said a source close to the investigation.
"I'm saying it's a strange coincidence," said the source,
"that he was there and a girl is boxed, then he's here
and a girl is boxed."