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Oscar Bolin, Florida

Oscar Bolin, Florida

January 7, 2016

Oscar BolinOscar Ray Bolin, Jr., was executed by the state of Florida on Thursday, January 7, 2016. Oscar was pronounced dead shortly at 10:16 pm local time, inside the execution chamber at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida. His execution was delayed several hours due to appeals. Oscar was 53 years of age. He was executed for raping and murdering 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 spent the last 25 years of his life on Florida’s death row.

Oscar claimed he had an unstable childhood, as he was abused during it. He also claims his mother was an alcoholic, leading him to develop his own substance abuse problems. Oscar previously worked for a carnival and a towing 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 typically called Gary to let him know that she had arrived home safely, but the call never came. Gary grew concerned and called Teri’s mother, as they lived together. Teri had never made it home. Gary began driving along the route she likely took. He discovered her vehicle outside of a post office, with the parking lights still on and mail, addressed to Teri and her parents,  on the ground.

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 to Oscar Ray Bolin. During the marriage, Bolin confessed to 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 in prison in Ohio, serving a 25-to-75-year sentence.  Bolin was convicted of 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. Police also connected Bolin to the rape and murder of Natalie “Blanche” Holley, who was killed in Florida on January 25, 1986. Her body was found in an orange grove. Bolin’s ex-wife Cheryl, testified in regards 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 other people have come forward claiming that Bolin confessed to 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 the family of Oscar Bolin.

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