July 24, 2017

Why she secretly buried her husband in the backyard

Wife of cop killer mobster harbored him in secret room for a decade before he died of a stroke and she was forced to dig him a shallow grave in her backyard

 Lillian&Donald Webb
Lillian and Donald Webb

Last week, the wife of a mobster who murdered a police chief 37 years ago told the FBI she had to dig him a shallow grave in her backyard after he died while hiding out in a secret room at her home. Donald Webb was  accused of killing Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, police Chief Gregory Adams during a traffic stop 37 years ago. He was on the FBI's 'Ten Most Wanted Fugitives' list from 1981 to 2007.

In a separate investigation into an illegal gambling operation, Massachusetts state police detectives obtained a search warrant for Lillian Webb's property.  They found a secret room and a cane that suggested Webb had lived there.  Thereupon, the police chief's widow filed notice of an intent to sue Lillian Webb and her adult son unless they revealed Donald's location. .

Mary Ann Jones (the remarried widow of the police chief) agreed to drop her claims after Lillian Webb agreed to tell authorities where her ex-husband was buried.

Lillian Webb told the police she had hidden Donald Webb for almost ten years after he went on the run in 1980 following the shooting of Adams. Webb was staying in a secret hidden room in Lillian's home when he suffered a stroke in 1999.  Realizing her husband was dying, she knew she would have to dig a grave in her back yard in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

'She said she started working on it in the nights, a little at a time. It was winter and she said it was hard to dig through the frozen soil, but it was a shallow grave, about three feet deep,'  On Dec. 30, 1999, Webb died, his wife told investigators. She put his body into a plastic tub, pushed it down three steps, dragged it into the backyard 'and dumped his body into the hole.'

A widow gets answers, 37 years later:

The widow of the murdered police chief Mary Ann Adams Jones went on with her life, working and raising her sons and, ultimately, remarrying.  She said she learned to live with the lack of resolution, the nagging mystery surrounding her husband’s murder, the unanswered questions.
Then, in April, she received a telephone call from the FBI, saying the case had taken a turn; the secret room had been discovered in Mrs. Webb’s home.
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Saxonburg police Chief Greg Adams didn’t go down without a fight. In fact, in the words of police, he “fought like a lion.”  The 31-year-old husband and father of two was shot in broad daylight Dec. 4, 1980, but before he died, he had nearly bitten off the lip of his assailant and had broken the man’s left leg in at least two places. That assailant — Donald Eugene Webb of North Dartmouth, Mass. — was so badly injured, he required a month of hospital care and, until his death, walked with a limp.

“When [the police told me] Greg gave him a compound fracture and just about bit off his lip, I was glad. I was glad to hear he fought as hard as he did. That the only way Webb was going to stop [Greg] was to shoot him dead. That’s the man I remember marrying,” she said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at July 24, 2017 2:36 PM | Permalink