Joseph Baker, Martha McKay, & Sally McKay

Joseph and Sally

Victims: Sally Snowden McKay, 75, and Joseph “Lee” Baker, 52

Murderer’s age: 16

Deaths: Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas, September 10, 1996

martha mckay


Victim: Martha McKay, 63

Murderer’s age: 39

Death: Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas, March 25, 2020

Sally and Lee, a prominent Memphis blues guitarist, were murdered in their family’s historic home by a 16-year-old male. Sally’s daughter Martha later befriended the killer and supported his early release from prison. When the killer was paroled in 2018 Martha gave him a job at the family home. But Martha’s kindness was met with violence. Lewis murdered her as well, 23 years after murdering her family members.

Inside the Bizarre Case of a Killer Striking Twice 23 Years Apart, Murdering a Mother and Daughter

Known as “The Lady of the Lake,” Martha McKay loved playing hostess at Snowden House, the grand 1919 family estate on Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas, that she’d restored and reopened as an upscale bed-and-breakfast more than a decade ago.

After living on the West Coast, Martha, 63, returned to the land her influential family had owned for generations: 1,000 acres of lakefront property with Snowden House, a white, columned mansion, as its centerpiece.

“She loved that house,” her longtime friend and neighbor Frank Byrd tells PEOPLE.

As a longtime Buddhist, Martha believed in forgiveness, says Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen, and she had reached out to Lewis in prison.