January 1, 2004 by

Faye Copeland


Categories: Criminals

Faye Copeland, a convicted killer who was once the oldest woman on death row in America, died of natural causes on Dec. 30 at a Missouri nursing home where she had been released on medical parole. She was 82.

In the late 1980s, Ray and Faye Copeland used drifters in a scheme to buy cattle with bad checks. The transients were then shot in the back of the head and buried in shallow graves near the Copeland farm, north of Kansas City.

At trial, Faye’s defense was that her husband had committed the killings without her knowledge, claiming she was both a bystander and a victim of battered woman syndrome. As evidence of her guilt, prosecutors presented a list, written in her hand, that included at least five of the victims’ names. She also stitched a quilt made from the clothing of the murdered men. In 1990, the jury found her guilty of five counts of first degree murder.

Copeland and her husband were sentenced to death by lethal injection. She was the oldest woman on death row until a federal court commuted her sentence in 1999 to life in prison. While awaiting execution, Ray Copeland died at the Potosi Correctional Center in Missouri in 1993. He was 73.

Comic Book Based on the Copeland Murders

95 Responses to Faye Copeland

  1. heather copeland


    • Kat

      Heather and whoever else it might concern I know that ray and fay were someones parents and grandparents. But the facts remain the same. I myself grew up here and was old enough to understand what was going on. Ray and Fay were both guilty and the courts found them both guilty. yeah everyone was and is still angry about that heck I won’t let my kids go with any of their friends unless I have met their entire family because of what Ray and Fay did they took something precious from MY hometown and that is the feeling of being safe while riding a bike or letting your kids go to he store by themselves. I myself forgave them both a long time ago and wish the family only the best but please don’t disrecpt yourself or the families of their victims because for one it is gross and it only make you look like you condon murder.

    • Bella

      People are not interested in the truth, they are only interested in a sensational story. It sells more books this way and keeps the pitchforked crowd happy. If she was innocent then I hope that at some time in the future is vindicated.

  2. Mike Oxbig

    Fuck you bitch. They murdered those people and one of them being my uncle. She probly seduced some of them. There are probly more murders, so shut the fuck up.

  3. Toni

    To Heather and Mike I will be asking for both of you to be placed on a prayer list. Heather I am sure you loved your grandmother very much. But in reality you are not doing her justice by denying her participation in the murders of so many people. You are harming and hurting yourself, your family, your friends, the living and the dead victims of such a senseless crime an injustice and you are showing total disrespect by professing her innocents when the evidence clearly showed her involvement. Heather as soon as you except the facts you will be able to forgive her and yourself. Mike for your own heath and the health of your family and friends please let the anger go. I too have lost and can imagine your pain but in order to heal you have to let the hatred go. This case was solved in the courts. Don

  4. Copeland in the Blood

    Toni is correct, on both counts. I’ve got Copeland blood running through my veins as well, and was there during that time. Old enough to know a thing or two. It’s long past time for anger…with cases like these, whether it be your grandfather or neighbor or stranger on the news, all you can do is pray, forgive, and move on.

  5. Brett

    Dear Heather, Mike and Copeland In The Blood,
    I’m writing a piece on the Copeland case for a magazine in the UK, to tie in with the new comic book. Would any of you like to have your say? Post here, and we can arrange something.
    Kind regards,
    Brett Callwood

  6. shadrac bathe

    Hey my uncle was thomas park he was on that list that faye wrote in here hand writing wit the x by his name. He has never been heard from since febuary of 1989. gee wonder what happen to him he was murdered by ray and yes faye copeland. She is guilty face it! no way she didnt know what was going on!

  7. Rhonda

    My name is rhonda. I was talking to my aunt the other day and she was telling me the story of ray and faye. ray copeland is the son of my great aunt laney peden. Laney was my great grandfather walters sister. She also told me that rays father jessej was extremely abusive to my aunt. Beating her to unconcousness.trying to trace my geneology these stories make me very sad. Knowone realy knows if faye had anything to with those murders or not. Faye is the only one that knows the trueth Heather, Love your granny with all your heart. Dispite what is or isn’t believed about her she deserved to be loved. Mike, youe anger will consume you. Loss is very hard exspecially when its malicous but you gotta get that anger out of your heart. for the sake of you and the people around you. Bret callwood. I would like to tell my story of where ray came from and how it effected my family.
    To all. Everyone has a right to there opinion about faye but arguing about it does”t make us very nice people eitheer. Good luck and god bless

  8. i dont think so

    plain and simple they killed ppl and she participated she did nothing to stop him battered womens syndrome oh bull everythin has a syndrome now days noone can own up to their screw up gotta find something to blame it on my parents live with in a mile of that farm and i am glad they are moving its horrible and they should of been put to death just like they did to others like the Bible says an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth

  9. Keisha Gibson

    Ray and Faye Copeland were my great-aunt’s Mom and Dad. While it is only necessary to say that they should both have rotted in jail for what happened, I have to agree with Heather. I have heard plenty of the stories from Ray’s own daughter, and how much of a piece of shit he was. He was a wife beater, and only thought about himself. If anything she did what she did to survive from his murderous hands. They are both gone now, so God will be the ultimate judge in this situation.

  10. David Hamilton

    I knew some of the copelands and will say that Ray Copeland was a very mean and very strict man who did not allow much into his home. I was personal friends with Mike Copeland my thoughts and my prayers are with you Mike and the rest of the compeland family. I dont know where Mike is now but if anyone does know where Mike Copeland might be or if he can conact me send me an email at davidhamilton606@hotmail.com…..May God be with the copelands….

  11. Melonie

    My uncle was one of the men killed by these horrible people. His name was John Freeman. He had a son, a mother, and a very loving family that was looking for him. He was trying to earn money to come back home to Indiana with us where his brother lives. He was trying to make some HONESt money and these people you all talk about forgiving took this away from him and the others. I don’t feel a bit sorry for Faye, she should’ve told police and then he would’ve been gone and unable to harm her any more. She chose to deal with the abuse, but those men were there to make money not to be killed by a coward that hat to shoot an unarmed man in the back of the head. John Freeman was not a drifter, but he was a father, brother, uncle, son, friend that was trying to make his way home.

  12. Melonie

    JO as for you, you are one sick S.O.B. if you cant find something better to make a comic book out besides the terrible murders of people. This is not a joke, which your comic books are, but this is real life.You are giving these people publicity that they do not deserve in a sick way. If something tragic happened to someone you were close to you sure as hell would not want people making fun of or making comic books (JOKES) about it… GET A REAL LIFE & JOB!!!!!!!

  13. Chad Haycraft

    I’m sorry for the loss of all the lives that the Copelands took I really am.I know there step grandson and his wife very well and have heard the stories many times.I have just finished the book and I have to say Ray Copeland was a genius for someone who only finished the 4th grade.I know this may sound sick but his plan was ingenius and if he hadn’t let Jack McCormick go he could have made more money.I am not taking up for the man what so ever so please don’t get me wrong,I am just fascinated by how clever he was for someone without an education.As for Faye I’m still not convinced either way if she was involved or not.Most family members think not,but the book claims different so I have no opinion.I know this will upset some of you but I don’t care,it’s just one persons opinion.

  14. andrew

    well faye did nothin cause my parents and my grandma was here counslor in prison and she said that she did nothin and if you disagree i will kick you ass all over this town..and ray on the other hand did kill them but there is nothin you can do it now so leave it alone and let them rest in peace assholes

  15. kayc from dudley,west midlands, england

    i have only just read about the copelands,its a terrible story, and only ray and faye new the truth,and that died when they died, i feel for their familys left behind and for thr familys who lost some one, but i dont feel you should take it out on each other,this is a sad thing for all of you to cope with,all i can say is you need to have a good life and make the most of it, take care, kayc from dudley,west midlands,england

  16. Mariah Copeland

    David Hamilton, Mike Copeland is dead. He died in November 26,2002. The reason that I know this is because I’m his daughter.

    • joan justice

      Someone in your family should write a Book..on what the children of Ray Copeland…had to live through…what their family life was like…and what your grandmother had to put up with…being married to a man like Ray…the photo of Faye that I saw when she was young ..she was a very pretty young girl…Good Luck

  17. Kandi

    I feel for the families that lost someone during the time that Ray had killed those men. But I also believe that the family memebers of Ray and Faye shouldn’t be looked down upon or degraded upon of what their grandparents or great-grandparents did. What’s done is done and now they have had their day of judgement. I believe that is should just be left alone now. Because nobody can change the past to when it all happened. May God Be with All of you!!!

  18. candy thomas

    I knew Fay while i was incarcerated at werdcc and in chilie. what i know about her is she was a very nice lady. I never believed she was guilty and still DO NOT!!!

    • ghst

      I agree she was brutally hurt, abuse by her husband she could not leave him what about the other guy who told them about this bodies who was buried in farms he must have help the guy willingly or not maybe he got into fight with him maybe ray try to kill him but the other guy was not tellng the whole truth that he fight with him faye had battered abuse syndrome you can’t live you believe now and imagine then. The governor took her off death penalty and at the eand she e get out of prison she could have make plead been out if prison then but she didn’t cause she afraid, love her husband at same time.

  19. Susan

    My mother grew up right down the street from the Copelands. She helped Faye Copeland every spring doing yardwork, housework, planting, and things like that. Just odd jobs to keep her busy after school. My mother’s maiden name was Moore (somewhere in her long blood line Mooresville was founded but we haven’t traced it back that far) and my grandfather did alot of contstruction in Mooresville. From the stories my mom has told me about Faye Copeland, I believe she probably knew what was going on, but had nothing do to with the killings directly. My mom said Ray was very mean to Faye…not only the way he treated her, but he talked to her like she was a dog! She said that Faye was basically his “hired hand for no pay” and Faye told her on numerous occasions that “I was raised to love my husband regardless of what he does to me or anyone else. That’s the way it is supposed to be!” Faye was always VERY kind to my mother and her sisters and brothers. I think this was a really sad case and I really think she probably knew about what Ray was doing, but was too afraid for not only herself, but for her children as well. If she wasn’t afraid of him, I believe she would have stopped him or turned him in.

  20. TammyC

    I am a UK author, writing a book which will include mention of the Copeland case. I would very much like to hear from anyone who can provide any background information about Ray and Faye and in particular the dynamics of their relationship. Anyone interested, please write to tammymichael@btinternet.com

  21. angel copeland

    ray and faye are my grandparents im the the daughter of their youngest son morrison (sonny) copeland i believe my grandma faye was innocent and im sorry for the lives that were lost mariah copeland how old was mike copeland if he is the son of al and brenda copeland he was my cousin and im sorry for your loss

  22. trish cahill

    just saw a program on irish tv about the murders. was very impeessed by al copeland. amazing he seemed so normal and such obvious love for his mum. i dont know if she was guilty or not but admire his faith in her. she cant have been all bad if her child turned out so well and still held her un such esteem. sorry for all involved. Trish

  23. Brian Fisk

    I honestly believe Faye was innocent. I saw this case on “Forensic Files” on Court TV and I know that Faye was innocent.
    She just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    I hear that she believed that the Bible says “that a woman is supposed to love and care for her husband” and I think she was really good to Ray.
    Ray may have abused her, but at least she was good to him.
    I believe Faye was a good Christian lady.

  24. Rather not say from Chillicothe

    I took care of Faye until she passed away, and I believe with her illness, if she was guilty, she did plenty of suffering right before her death. It’s really hard to say if she actually pulled the trigger, however I truly believe that she knew what was going on. I don’t believe that my husband could shoot a man in his bed, across the hall from me, change out the mattress, and I not realize it. I also can’t believe that if she wasn’t in on it, how she could stay so faithful to a man that didn’t even try to contact her after her sentencing to death. Or could I have lie on my death bed staring at his pictures hung all over the walls, like she did. I know she was with this man most of her life, but you would think that there would be some sort of hatred towards him from her. It’s really hard to say, and is really not my place to judge. If she was innocent, I really feel terrible for her, and how she had to live the rest of her life. I have met her son, Al, and can say that he is a very nice man, and I had alot of respect for him. Though his visits to his mother was short, he always visited her, knowing that there may be scrutiny because of his parents past, but he didn’t care, he still visited his mother in a very public place, and for that I think he is very brave. As far as Ray Copeland, after reading how he treated his children, his wife, neighbors, and ultimately his victims, I believe he is in hell, right where he needs to be.

  25. Erin Copeland

    I was just wondering if anyone knew how many children the Copelands had. I have read the book a few years ago, but the information had faded. I feel for the victims and their loved ones and being a copeland myself, I find it very hard to believe that Faye did not know what was going on under her own roof. My family has all different versions about the story, but is also a sore subject that is not favorable in my home

  26. jason

    Well I can say I worked at WERDCC where she was an inmate. I was there when the govener gave her a pardon from getting the gas chamber. I believe that the only reason she was given a pardon was due to tghe fact Ms. Carnahan just moved into office and didn’t want to rock the boat. I believe the facts at hand, and hope god is on her side. all of the above events and what people think what happended is somewhat true. Weather you can side with her, and believe she knew nothing is a bunch of crap. SHE LIVED ON THE FARM WHERE THE MURDERS TOOK PLACE, AND STILL KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON THE FARM. How could she not, some, and I say some of the bodies were found right in their own barn. I know whats in my back yard! Sge needed the gas chamber as far as I am concerened.

  27. Rather not say

    Jason, I really do believe that you are right, And I don’t know about when she was in prison, but taking care of her sometimes gave me the willies. In my opinion, she had cold eyes. I’m not trying to judge her, this is only my opinion. I would try to talk to her, and some said she “could” talk, I don’t know, I never personally heard her say anything. She would just give you this long stare. And like I said before, If I were an innocent woman, and my husband had done this, and put me in this situation, I sure as hell wouldn’t have his pictures plastered all over my walls to stare at until the day I died.

  28. Mary

    ……..They are both guilty. God will judge them as He see fits. Faye is guilty of either murder or asociation and Ray is a murder. The End. I don’t care about Wife Battery Syndrome, I do care that she didn’t try to stop him in anyway or try to warn the workers. No instead she made a quilt of their clothings…how sweet.
    “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is a sin”
    James 4:17
    May they get what they deserve in full.



  30. Colby Copeland


  31. Doesn't Matter What My Name Is

    Whatever!!!! Please, she worked outside of the home, she shopped in town ALONE, she was alone when he was looking for his next victim… she had ample opportunity to get the hell away from him and go to authorities… he couldn’t hurt her if he couldn’t get to her… ANYONE EVER THINK ABOUT THAT? She was as calculating and cold-blooded as he was, and both deserved the same penalty… NO MATTER WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER… So go ahead and get pissed off… but you would feel the same as everyone else, if it were Ray and Faye who were killed by their victims… THINK ABOUT HOW THEIR FAMILIES FEEL BEFORE YOU START TALKING ABOUT KICKING SOMEONE’S ASS!!!!

  32. batson

    I knew both Ray and Faye. In fact I used to babysit Sonny and Mary,s kids when they used to live in chillicothe. I moved away and was shocked to learn of the murders. Ray was very abusive to Faye i do know that. Faye was a very kind lady. abuse does alot to people I know i was abused at one time but for the grace of GOD I got out. The abuser can put a fear no other in you that it controls everything about you. I think Faye was so scared to say anything for fear of no one believing her, then what would she have done? if Ray could kill out of cold blood he wouldn,t think twice about killing her, Leave their families alone they had nothing to do with this only love their mother and grandmother.

  33. Pat Hollowman

    Yes, it is sad ok? but nothing we do or say will bring back the people that we love. In time wuons will heal and the pain will fade, but life still go’s on. Yes they were a rare breed, and i hope that none of the remaining Copelands don’t share that triat. Heather, you have to accept the truth and the truth hurts. Your Grandparents were evil and I pray that God have mercy on their soules. You just hope that triat isn’t pasted on to you. I truly feel sad for the familes who had to face the lost of their love-ones. Knowing that they will not have a happy life with them. So please don’t be in denial of all this.
    Thank you, Pat.

  34. TeAna

    i just want to say leave heather and colby alone they r just sticking up for a woman who was good to them keep ur heads up girls u know who loves u TeAna

  35. tom

    Does anyone know if it’s true that there was some sexual conncetion between faye and the victims? i heard she was either made to have sexual relations with these men or did so voluntarily…maybe this is true, maybe not.

  36. Wow...

    I just cannot believe that almost every person who has replied on this page is “related” to these people. It’s really quite amazing…

  37. Daniell Raymond

    hi Faye is my great grandmother and my brother now her he went horseback riding at the farm and even though i did not now her talking shit and making comets is not going to change anything we will never now why they really did it and i am sorry to all the people who lost someone out of rays rage but dont take it out on use just because we are her family and family stik together

  38. robyn hulse

    this is mariah copeland’s cousin, I’m not really related to ray and faye, but only through marriage, kinda, my dad married my mom, my mom is danielles sister, danielle is STILL married to Mike, Mike is ray and faye’s grandson, so yeah, im not actually related to them, but am to the Copeland’s…..

  39. anthony

    this is anthony my sister is daniell and i am the brother that went to there farm and rode there horses at i am now 19 and till this day i still think that my great grama fay is innocent my gradpa abused her and treated her like shit and she paid for her misstakes and if you want to say she is guilty go ahead but if you dont know the whole story7 then dont talk shit she was a great women to me and my family so dont so stuff that you just want to put on her because its not turr

  40. angel copeland

    even though my grandfather ray did these bad things ( i am the daughter of sonny copeland ray and fayes youngest son) my grandmother was a very loving person no she had no sexual relations with the victims i miss her with all my heart im also vey sorry to hear about my cousin mike copeland

  41. angel copeland

    to whomever was wondering fay and ray have five kids 4 boys and 1 girl and yes the farm in mooresville is still there the youngest son sonny has remodeled it and plans on retiring with hisnwife mary there

  42. Pete

    Too bad they both weren’t strapped on the gurney and put to sleep. But on the other hand they did the taxpayers a favor by checking out the way they did.

  43. John

    This is like a Copeland family reunion on here.
    Thanks for all your perspectives folks, interesting reading.
    And nobody with an ounce of sense cares that you were related to killer(s)- you’re only responsible for what you do, can’t help who you’re related to.

  44. virgcopeland@hotmail.com

    I would be interested to see if Ray Copeland had any relatives who were in the military and may have lived in Hampton, Virginia? This would make since to me. The Copeland’s name was Shelton Copeland. He was the head mechanic for Chuck Yeager. . .

  45. cindy dunn

    i was fayes cellie at werdcc in 1999 for at least a year.she didnt talk alot but all n all was a pretty nice lady .only problem i ever seen her have was with the blacks.she didnt like em.dont know if she was guilty or not.

  46. jim

    Worker for agency in 1984 with hotline for disabled in Mo. Got a call about Ray hitting someone in head with 2×4 who never got up!! So when do you think they started their killing!!!! More bodies to be found. Contact if you care.

  47. Bessy

    My sociology class is doing a project on social deviants. I chose Ray and Faye Copeland. I’m making a “wanted” poster for their arrest. They sound like down home hicks who need to be beaten. Sorry for all you who are related but your relatives were pretty screwed up…..even if Faye wasnt involved she was still aware that it was going on and in that way she is just as guilty as Ray…..their kinda like Bonny and Clide just not as famous…..or cool…..or bank robbers…but anyway. Thanks for your help in my project Faye and Ray! Peace 🙂

  48. K. Park

    Faye is the reason ray did it, she was behind it all, come on ray only finished 4th grade how could he be the brains behind the murders. I feel Faye convinced him to do it in order to make more money cause she is one greedy s.o.b.

  49. Ellie

    I am bound and determined before I die, to discourage the media from repeatedly publishing and or speaking the names of killers beyond the notice of their (1) arrest (2) trial (3) conviction and (4) death only if by execution. Furthermore, NO pictures of these people should be published unless needed for assistance in capturing them. Certainly, it should be illegal for ANYONE to make one dime from the books (or comics – give me a BREAK) which speak primarily of criminals and say nothing of their victims. SOMEHOW, our society MUST give fame NOT to the killers, but to their victims. I am ashamed that I even needed to read this blog to accomplish my goal; but I am trying to learn the names of the other victims of these evil people. The VICTIMS deserve some recognition and the publication of some fond memories about THEM. Criminals’ relatives are as good as their own good works and that has nothing to do with the work (good OR evil) of their ancestors. If ANYONE knows about other victims of these killers (I refuse to put their names in print yet again) please give THEM some time and space. May God bless and help the families of Paul Jason Cowart, John W Freeman, Jimmie Dale Harvey, Wayne Warner, Dennis Murphy, Thomas Park and the many others who I have not yet been able to identify. Thank you.

    • Michelle

      Ellie, thank you. it’s nice to see someone other than myself thinking that it is beyond sick that the family of the MURDERERS want to make money off the victim’s and their families… perhaps that dna strand is stronger than one might think.

      RIP <3 PJC "I love you bub and I always will" 09/30/1968

      • Dorene Miller

        Hi. Could you please get a hold of me. I believe that my granddaughter Eden. Is your brothers granddaughter. Please write back. Eden would love to know about Paul

  50. Heather Copeland

    I am not the same Heather Copeland from earlier on the list, however, my branch of the copeland family is from Lyons Georgia, and i have been trying to discover for over a year if i was related to ray and faye, any copelands who know of my branch of the family can contact me at frecklegirl19@yahoo.com

  51. Heather R. Copeland

    I am a Copeland, but not related to these particular ones. I’d just like to point out that due to the comments on this page, every time someone google-searches my name, the first words in the answer are “fuck you, bitch”.
    Thanks for that. Looks great to employers.

  52. Friend of Dennis Murphy

    As a school friend of Dennis Murphy( one of the victims ) I would like to say- Both Ray & Faye are in hell with the devil having completed their missions here on earth.
    Evertt Copeland was a police officer in Stanford Illinois up until the fall of 2008.
    Killing people for money makes them the lowest form of scum and they will rot in hell.
    BLOOMINGTON , IL– Billy Copeland, 65, Bloomington, died at 5:40 a.m. Sunday (March 29, 2009) at Asta Care Center, Bloomington.
    Service: No service. Cremation rites accorded.
    Visitation: None. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.
    Survivors: son, Kevin Copeland, Mackinaw; daughters, Julie (Charles) Rice, Bloomington; Susan (Carl) Young, Bloomington; and Kathy (Brad) Wade, Towanda; six grandchildren; brothers, Everett (Betty) Copeland, Delavan; Alve (Brenda) Copeland, Missouri; Wayne (Bonnie) Copeland, Missouri; and Calvan “Sonny” (Mary) Copeland, Oregon; and sister, Betty (Lester) Gibson, Kentucky

  53. Emily

    I’m currently watching a show about them on I.D. I think Faye had nothing to do with it. Heck, she was forced to have sex with guys while her husband watched, and she was abused, she was most likely scared and did what her husband said. I really don’t think she should have been charged..

  54. shelly

    I just want to send my loving thoughts out to the families, both those of the victims and the children of the copelands. You’ve lived through more than anybody should have to and I hope you all have found some happieness and love in your lives.
    There is no point throwing insults around here really is there? It wont bring anybody back, and the only copelands your hurting now are the ones left behind.. And they lost their loved ones too, whether you think they were bad people or not, it’s no right of yours to say they shouldn’t love their mother!

  55. Linda Smith

    I would like to speak to the grandchildren and children of Faye Copeland. I am the wife of her sister Mary Wilson Smith’s (From Harrison, Arkansas) grandson, Dwayne Smith from California. I am hoping to set the record straight on Faye’s story. I know she didn’t like the media, but I am wanting to tell her side. I tried to contact her prior to her death, but never received a response. If Al, Sonny, or any of the children or grandchildren on Faye’s side would like to contact me, please email me at harleygirl@daslas.com and put Faye Copeland’s kin in the subject line.
    Thank you.
    Linda Smith (wife of Faye’s great nephew)

  56. mooney

    I was in prison with Faye. I can not believe all of this. This woman was cold! She should have been executed. Yes she worked in the greenhouse in WERDCC and would stand in a corner with a shovel when anyone else would come in. What a better job then that for her. I am sure she used a shovel to help bury all of the bodies. For the man who said he worked there, I believe that if he worked there he would have known she was to die by lethal injection. His and most of this is bullshit. How many of her family has spent the money that they made on the people they killed. Yes she died a slow and painful death. What goes around comes around.

  57. Miss Q

    To the Family of Faye Copeland… I spent some time with Faye. back in 91. she loved all her kids. to me she was regular grandma. she wasn’t scary… or was I at all intimidated by her. I felt love. I felt the love she had for her family.
    When Faye got with Ray she was young, back in those days you used the resources you had…. going to the store was a treat! I understood what Faye would tell me from story’s I had heard from my own grandmother on how it was back in the 30’s and 40’s. she shared with me the birth of one of her son’s she had him in Rays truck.
    I sit here and read all this and I really want the kids and grand kids to know… Faye was a very loving soul. she found contentment with gardening… she loved cats. not that Ray would allow it. she told me that if a cat would hang around the house Ray would kill it! she also liked to quilt. I still to this day have a piece she made for my daughter… it is small but perfect for a barbie doll.
    She was an abused wife! She stayed because she had no where else to go. she didn’t know any thing but that… and excepted that is just the way it is. You have to understand that back in the day… they didn’t have the technology they have today. she was very limited on every thing and what the neighbors thought…. was very important! so running and telling anyone wasn’t something she could do. she lived with it… She didn’t like it! but she had a family. that she loved very much… she adored all her kids… even when the trial was over and people didn’t write her or see her… she still carried that love. even with the son she said was just like Ray… she said he got the mean blood. but she loved him!
    Now as you all know people will say what they want… and even with it being hurtful it still doesn’t make it true! Faye was a very loving woman! that is what I know to be true!
    think about this… if what they say is true… how come none of you all are like that? where did you get your ability to love? I’ll tell you… it came from Faye! she represents unconditional love!
    and to the family’s that were touched by this… Faye told and was thrown in jail! she didn’t have any say over anything! Ray did all that. she took it as just another slap in the face. and just sat back and shut up… with no trust! she took it. but it wasn’t just!
    Faye had the ability to dream… she got her freedom…. when she got away from Ray! we laughed together and cried together… she lost her family as she knew it. but gained strength… she found peace! she worked in the yard back at Renz…. stayed to her self… and bought her coffee with the state given 7 bucks…
    so in closing… She loved her family… she loved life… and everything that wouldn’t hurt her!

  58. Michelle Lewis

    My brother, Paul J. Cowart, was one of the ones murdered during this time. I’ve spent many days wondering why and still have no answers. As a result of this happening, I lost all the family I had and that loss broke our mom’s heart and she died 1 year after we recovered my brother’s body.
    At first I hated these people who hurt my brother. I hated anything that had to do with Missouri to be honest. Now, 20 years later, I’ve learned something very valuable; 2 people chose to live their life as they wished to do and thousands are still living with the aftermath of their choices.
    For those of you who choose to talk in here with violent undertones, you’re not doing any different with your choices than the ones who chose to end the lives of people in 1989. You’re thoughts are as violent as their actions and you’re now sporting the same innocent blood as they did. Realize that you have to choose to do something greater; peace!
    Understand one thing; many have been hurt on both sides. The convicted’s family’s are broken hearted and would have loved to have done something to stop it had they known. Their pain and sorrow is just as deep and heartfelt as my own (being the survivor of violence).
    20 years later, I’ve found it easier to stay away from everyone rather than hear the chants of “poor Michelle…” from those who mean well; who mean to love me. I find comfort knowing that everyone has the right to be forgiven but it starts with me.
    I’ve never hurt so bad in my life as I did the day I lost my brother. I miss him with each passing day and I wish my kids could have known him but I believe that God will make this right and I have the chance to see him again if I ‘choose’ to do right in this life.
    Let’s all choose to do right. We are not the judge.
    God bless…
    Please feel free to contact me if you would like to visit about this or anything. I’ve learned a lot from this experience and hope that I can help someone else come through the pain now. It’s been long enough…

  59. Elizabeth Ross

    Mike Oxbig seems to be a little abusive himself telling a woman he does not know to shut the F*** up and calling her a b**** just because she says she loves her grandmother.
    Mike go to anger management for being a woman hater.

  60. Janet Ross

    I am writing a paper on ray and Faye I did not know them personaly but my mom and dad lived in their house after they left. I have heard and read all about them and I worked with one of their sons. A better man to work with I have never seen. I see him ever now and then and we talk and go on our ways. I dont know who did what and don’t care. Its not me or any of you they have to answer to.

  61. MAGEN

    I NEED to know the name of the one daughter. SOMEBODY. COME ON. was it Alice Faye? Pleaseee. ive read the stories about this and theres too many coincidences. Every fact in the stories fits with my so called step grandmother who left my grandpa to lay on the ground dying while he was having a sttroke last year. If the one daughters name is Alice then she was ray and fayes daughter. I have to know. I wont be able to sleep till i know. PLEASE. somebody.

  62. susan

    i never met faye, know al and brenda and heather and colby…they were sad for her, as i am. to a few who do not care about battered wives, do some research, battered wives have done all sorts of things in fear of their own life. al did not like his father one bit and was glad when he died. he loved his mother. may she rest in peace

  63. Bryan

    Well you know life can be pretty shity, for the ones related to those whos lives ended at the hands of Ray and Faye, as well as those related to Ray and Faye. I am not here to talk about anyone being guilty or inocent. However I beleive that everyone fails to realize that there are alot of victims who have never been recognized. Everyone whom was and is related to those who died due to murder and those sentenced to death are in some way victims. My heart goes out to all those whom have suffered because of this great tragedy.However as demeaning as this may seem, I also beleive Ray and Faye were victims, if only victims of there own making. everyone has something good to say about everyone involved, and the trueth is everyone is intitled to there own opinion. But why condem those who had nothing to do with any of it. I personally know the copelands in what way I will not say. I will admit that Ray was a very mean man, but I highly doubt all that anger was of his own dueing not implying that Faye caused that. I have spent over 10 years of my life in prison, and I am sorry for what I done to put me there. However not only the people I committed crimes against were victims, so were my family members.Eye for an eye is what the bible says, it also says to forgive thy neigbor. We should all just move on. I beleive that all of us have a set time in life to pass on, and that time no matter what the circumstances can not be changed. God is very powerful and for those who say my prayers are with you should support this, no matter the circumstances you will not die before your time has come, god will not allow that to happen. If you take someones life you should be punished. I am not one for the death penalty. No man regaurdless of his job should be allowed to take a life, the taking of a human life is murder, no matter who is taking the life. This is just my opinion. Ray and Faye never paid and never will pay the price for what they did or didnt do. Not because they werent executed. I say this because my brother was murdered and his killer was executed, when it was all said and done the execution of the man responcible for his death brauught no less pain to our family. So how did he pay the price for what he done. The list of victims only groes greater. I am not saying Ray and Faye should have been set free. But by them both dying it left no more victims. My brother dying left his children, wife, family, and friends, without him. But his killer had family to. By killing him it only left more victims. I have intended no disrespect by stating this, and I certainly have not meant to cause any more pain.

  64. Mariah Copeland

    Michael was in his early 30s. Drunk Driver hit him. he was getting ready to pull into his job parking lot and the drunk driver hit him. I was 9 when this happened but i remember everything that happened. And now it hurts to go to Chillicothee because i get accused of making my great-grandparent’s mistake. I never knew Ray but Faye was the best woman in the world. She always told me how much I was like Michael. Like my cousin Heather said, Faye is innocent.

  65. Courtnie Copeland

    Hey im Courtnie i and Ray and Faye’s great granddaughter i am sonny’s son andrews daughter. I would like everyone to know that i feel Faye is not guilty she is only involved ecause if she didnt do what Ray said he would beat her. If you had a man that would beat u would nt you do what he said??? well my grandfather (Sonny) and his wife (mary) now live on the farm in moorsville.

  66. addie

    My cousin Jimmie Dale Harvey was one of the victims that they killed and to let you all know the people they killed had loving families who dearly miss them each and everyday!!!! we wish we could just see him one more time he wasnt just a cousin he was more like a brother to me who was robbed from his life way to short for him and his family !! And im sorry but the Copelands both got off to easy for what they have done to my family and all the other ones who will never have the closer we got

    • Frank Harvey

      My name is Frank Harvey. My grandfather lived in Missouri- he had two brothers and a sister, I believe. Some of them still live back there. I just wonder if Jimmy Dale Harvey may be a relative of mine. My Grandfather’s name was also Frank. He had a sister Elizabeth and a younger brother named Ted. I think Ray was the name of his other brother. Frank moved out to California sometime before WWII but the others stayed, I think. Do you have any information about this? My Grandfather and his siblings grew up in Liberal Missouri. Thank you for any help!

  67. carla

    I would like to know more about the victims of the copelands…where did the victims come into contact with the Copelands? Does anyone know when each victim might have become involved with the Copelands and what they were doing before?

  68. cynthia

    I knew 2 of the copeland children and they were very nice. I am actually trying to get in touch with them. If anyone can please give tell them to contact me. thank you..

  69. My brother did not want to die Copeland family!

    Hmmm… I would say that the violent nut didn’t fall far from the tree huh? Calling the family of your family’s murder rampage vulgar names is another Copeland characteristic that keeps popping up in this site too. Let’s home the homicidal maniac gene died with the both of them.

  70. Amber

    I was Faye’s roommate in Chillicothe prison for a year. I was young 18 when I went to prison for drugs I was so scared and Faye was very kind to me she always talked with me gave me advice and would always put a piece of candy on my pillow each day. I have no idea if she was guilty or not she never discussed her crime but I do know what was done on their farm was wrong and very sad but in my opinion Faye was not a monster. In prison some women who have killed brag and are scarey Faye was not like that. I feel bad fir the victims as well as the families.

  71. Sherri

    Hey for those of you who didnt know what went on behind closed doors back off of their family they shouldnt be treated like crap just cause they say they loved faye, abuse victims that is a world that if u know personally or seen it in person then u have no right to judge, besides in the old days some churches said u do what the man says and support yr husband no matter what. Leave the children, grandchildren, nieces etc alone dont judge unless u are in that situation. I feel for the victims 🙁 they didnt derserve this, so let God do his job. My love to everyone involved in this sad situation all around. You cant believe everything written especially about faye.

  72. A

    My family was just contacted by the FBI about a family member who went missing in the late 90s. He worked on the family farm and turns out he was murdered by one of their sons. the son has not been convicted yet but will be going to trial. I am unsure about how many victims he had but was told our family member was not the only one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *