Real Names: Candida Darlene Belt and Gloria Ann Ross
Nicknames: Candy (Candace Belt)
Location: Oak Grove, Kentucky
Date: September 20, 1994
Details: Candy Belt, twenty-two, and Gloria Ross, eighteen, were two massage therapists who doubled as prostitutes at the New Life Massage Place run by Tammy Papler in Oak Grove, Kentucky. Candy was a single mother working to support two children. Gloria had been married for less than a year and had a six-week-old daughter. At 4AM on the morning of September 20, 1994, two of their coworkers found them shot and stabbed to death in a back room; their killer has yet to be identified. When the county sheriff arrived at the scene, he discovered that it had been compromised. Tammy and the other employees claim that the police were threatening them if they did not let the officers do what they wanted. They believe one of the officers, Ed Carter, is responsible for the murders.
Tammy opened the parlor in 1992. Their clientele was mostly soldiers from nearby Fort Campbell. According to Tammy, the police did not shut her down because they received money from the parlor. They had her pay for various items, including: new uniforms, new police lights, Christmas parties, and even employee bonuses. According to her, Ed Carter took advantage of the parlor's services more than any other officer. They complied, fearing that they would be put in jail otherwise.
Three years after the murders, on July 15, 1997, Tammy went to the city council about her suspicions. She feared that the case would remain unsolved because the victims were prostitutes. City council member Patty Belew, who used to work with her, listened to her claims. She confirmed that some were true. Despite this, the murders have never been solved.
Suspects: Ed Carter is considered a suspect in the murders. He allegedly took advantage of Tammy and the parlor's services. He later insisted that she contract with him for janitorial services. He then became a fixture at the parlor. When she went on vacation, he apparently took control of it and took money from them. When she returned, she became furious and told him to leave and not come back. She later told her employees that they should not let him under any circumstances. A few weeks later, the murders occurred.
The lead investigator on the case was Leslie Duncan, Carter's former roommate. According to the Sheriff's Department, he admitted to stopping by the parlor that night. However, he claimed that he went home to his wife at 3AM, before the murders occurred. She now disputes his story, claiming that he did not come home until a few minutes after 4AM. She knew this because she made a habit of checking the clock when he came home.
The victims had been shot with a small caliber gun. Carter claimed that he owned no such weapon. Again, his wife disputes this, claiming that he owned a small caliber gun which he hid under their mattress. According to her, it has since disappeared. Also, six days after the murders, she filed a domestic violence complaint against him. They have since divorced.
Carter voluntarily took a polygraph examination a few weeks after the murders. After the examination, he resigned from the police department and retained an attorney. Soon after, he moved to another part of Kentucky. A year later, Leslie Duncan also voluntarily resigned.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 13, 1997 episode.
Ed Carter declined to be interviewed for the story.
Results: Unresolved. In 2006, the Kentucky State Police took over this case and began a new investigation. In July 2012, Leslie Duncan was arrested for tampering with evidence in this case. He pleaded guilty and was given a three-year sentence, which accounted for time already served. In November 2013, Ed Carter and Frank Black were also arrested and charged with the murders. Duncan was charged with two counts of complicity to murder. Black was not a police officer; however, he was convicted of attempted rape in December 1995. The rape occurred just one night after the murders. In that case, he used a knife similar to one used to kill the victims. He also lived close to Oak Grove and was believed to have been a customer at the massage parlor.
All three men were tried beginning on September 6, 2016. Charges against Leslie Duncan were dismissed mid-trial by directed verdict. The trial concluded on September 14, 2016 with a verdict of not guilty for Ed Carter and Frank Black. Jurors noted that the prosecution was never able to link Carter to Black. Also, no physical evidence directly linked them to the crime scene. Furthermore, DNA evidence found on one of the victims did not match any of the three men. However, prosecutors claimed that the DNA must have come from one of her customers that night. Officially, the murders remain unsolved.
- Candy Belt and Gloria Ross on Unsolved.com
- Murders still under investigation
- Murder case leads to prostitution charges
- Cops become suspects in massage parlor murders
- Ex-prostitute remaining on council to keep it honest
- Suspect claims nothing to hide in prostitute slayings
- Tale of sex, murder, embroils city in new scandal
- Kentucky Soap Opera Unleashed After Double Slaying At Brothel
- Ex-officer admits to evidence tampering in ’94 double-homicide
- Somerset Man And Two Others Indicted
- 3 men, including 2 ex-cops, charged in 1994 slayings of Kentucky prostitutes
- Ex-cops charged in Ky. brothel slayings
- Witness: Oak Grove police paid "hush money" to keep brothel open
- Jury Acquits 3 Men From 1994 West Kentucky Brothel Murder Trial
- A Town Under Trial
- Belt v. Carter (2015 Civil Suit)
- Candy Belt at Find a Grave