NC Man Now Charged With Killing Family 36 Years Ago

Bertie County, NC -- A Bertie County man has been arrested for the murders of his wife and two small children in 1972.

On the morning of November 26, 1972, fire destroyed the house located on Route 1 in Windsor. It was the home of Roy Lawrence Rascoe, his wife Annie Elizabeth Smallwood Rascoe, and their two small children. His daughter was one-year-old Retta Renee Rascoe. His son was two-year-old Tony Ray Rascoe.

After the fire, the badly burned remains of Mrs. Rascoe and her two children were found at the scene. Mr. Rascoe wasn't hurt.

The sheriff's office says : "In recent months, new evidence related to this incident was uncovered. Since then, Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, with substantial assistance from the Windsor Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been diligently investigating the case."

68-year-old Roy Lawrence Rascoe was charged Monday. He faces three counts of first degree murder and first degree arson.

According to Smallwood's death certificate autopsy results said "Charred body found: But did not die in fire." Since it was over thirty years ago the Sheriff's Department could not say why the prior investigation didn't lead to an arrest.


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  • by Renee Charles Location: NYC, NY on Sep 11, 2009 at 05:04 PM
    I am from the Bertie county area and this story is shocking to me. Why did it take this investigation so long. Oh! I know. This happened 36 years ago....doing a time when no one cared about who, what or why a balck person got killed.
  • by Raymond Location: Roanoke Rapids on Sep 2, 2009 at 06:12 AM
    Along these same lines, whatever happened to the Bishop case where he killed and set on fire his entire family in Terrell County. Did he ever get caught?
  • by Vanillawafer03 Location: Lewiston on Sep 1, 2009 at 04:20 PM
    I don't understand y it took so long to convict this 68yr old man with this crime. This is bad real bad MICHEAL JACKSON.
  • by Kelly Location: LaGrange on Sep 1, 2009 at 01:56 PM
    It takes an evil person to burn up their own babies. If he didn't want to be a husband and father he had the option to leave. Let him burn now and later!
  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Sep 1, 2009 at 10:20 AM
    To add to THINBLUELINE, God did take care of this. The Bible clearly states, "you will reap what you sow." He did not say when... That's why patience is developed and people are "free agents" of choice. If the law hadn't prevailed; he (God)would've. So, thin-Rest in knowing GOD is LAW. Godspeed, friend.
  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Sep 1, 2009 at 10:14 AM
    What is done in the dark? Will come to light. No matter how long it takes...one will reap what they have sown...until then God will judge the soul.
  • by Chris Location: Windsor on Sep 1, 2009 at 08:56 AM
    Anon, Until recently you could not even communicate across the county on radio because of the distance bertie has. Radio was not the main form of communication, and considering the poor nature of the county today I am sure they could not afford the top of the line equipment then either. People that act like 5 year olds have no business commenting on the internet period, maybe you should take your own advice and get a life.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Sep 1, 2009 at 08:52 AM
    Enjoy God, the case you are referring to was not plea bargained with the "cops". The "cops" have no position or power to arrange plea bargains and all of that is handled with the district attorneys office. Manslaughter in his case did not mean it was accidental, it meant that he accepted responsibility for her death but that he did not murder her. The state did not have to prove that he murdered her in this case, they only had to show he was responsible for her death. He got 12 years in prison, not sure how you figured he will walk in just a few months considering he has only served 2 years so far.
  • by enjoy God Location: sanford on Sep 1, 2009 at 06:44 AM
    Since they solve this murder 36 years later. I wonder will the truth ever come out about Marnita Bynum that was found in the trunk of her car. Her husband took a plea bargain with the cops, but I think he paid the authorities off. He had $100 thousand life insurance policy on her. And if the death was ruled as an accidently the policy will double. And since he was charged with manslaughter that say it was an accidential death by stranglation. He will never tell the truth about the matter and authorityies have sealed the records. In a few months he will walk free but she will never walk again. Justice need to be done. And right now the authorities did not do that.
  • by concerned Location: Windsor on Sep 1, 2009 at 06:18 AM
    this is for Bertie Anglo, what do you mean how long it will take before the race card is played. I have no idea what you are talking about, this is not a racial thing. this is just a terrible crime, so don't try to stir something up.
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