Did You Know?

Fourteen men and no women have been

executed in the United States in 2017.

January 7, 2016

 

Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr., was executed by the state of Florida on Thursday, January 7, 2016.  Oscar was pronounced dead shortly at 10:16 pm EST, inside the execution chamber at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida.  His execution was delayed by appeals for several hours.  Oscar was 53 years of age.  He was executed for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Stephanie Anne Collins, 25-year-old Natalie “Blanche” Holley, and 26-year-old Teri Lynne Matthews.  All three women were kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Florida in 1986.  Oscar has spent approximately the last 25 years of his life on Florida’s death row.

 

Oscar allegedly had an unstable childhood.  He claims his mother was an alcoholic, leading him to develop his own substance abuse problems.  He also alleges that he was abused as a child.  Oscar had previously worked for a carnival and a tow company.  

 

On December 4, 1986, Teri Lynn Mathews worked at a Land O’Lakes, Florida bank until approximately 11 pm.  After getting off work, she went to spend time with her boyfriend, Gary McClelland, leaving his home around 2 am on December 5, 1986.  Teri would typical call Gary and let him know that she had arrived home safely, but the call never came.  Gary grew concerned and called Teri’s mother, with whom she lived.  Teri had never made it home.  Gary began driving along the route she would likely have taken.  He discovered her vehicle outside of a post office, with the parking lights still on and mail strewn on the ground, addressed to Teri and her parents.

 

Teri’s body was discovered later that day.  She had been raped, stabbed, and bludgeoned to death.  Also discovered that day was the body of teenager Stephanie Anne Collins, who had disappeared from a shopping mall in early November of 1986.  Police did not know it at the time, but the two women’s deaths were connected.

 

As police investigated the death of Teri, no leads were forthcoming until the summer of 1990, when Cheryl Coby told police she had previously been married Oscar Ray Bolin.  During that time, he confessed to her of killing Teri and enlisted the help  of his then 13-year-old half-brother Phillip to dispose of Teri’s body.  When police questioned Phillip, he confirmed Cheryl’s story.  Police were then able to arrest Bolin, who was serving a 25- to 75-year sentence in an Ohio prison for kidnapping and raping a 20-year-old waitress.

 

Bolin’s arrest and subsequent investigation revealed his connection to the other body found the morning of December 5, 1986, that of Stephanie Collins.  Furthermore, police also connected Bolin to the rape and murder of Natalie “Blanche” Holley, who had been killed on January 25, 1986, in Florida.  Her body was discovered in an orange grove.  Bolin’s ex-wife Cheryl, was also able to testify to Blanche’s murder.  Cheryl remembered Bolin waking her up, with blood on his shoes and carrying a women’s purse.  She went with him to wipe down Blanche’s car.

 

Following Bolin’s arrest, multiple others have come forward to claim that Bolin had confessed one or more of the murders to them.  Bolin was eventually separately convicted and sentenced to death, for murdering Teri, Stephanie, and Blanche.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Teri, Stephanie, and Blanche.  Please pray for strength for the family of Oscar Bolin.

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