Joseph and Sally
Victims: Sally Snowden McKay, 75, and Joseph “Lee” Baker, 52
Murderer’s age: 16
Deaths: Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas, September 10, 1996
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.
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.