Putting the pieces together: Small town remembers double homicide

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BUFFALO, WV (WOWK) – A double homicide committed 65 years ago in the small town of Buffalo, West Virginia still remains on the minds of area residents.

On Aug. 29th, 1955, Phloe Johnson and her sister Alice Martin were both shot and killed in the front room of Johnson’s house by their 47-year-old brother-in-law Lincoln Sayre.

According to an article written by the founder of “Friends of Buffalo, WV History” Mark Harris, Sayre struggled with alcoholism. He became distraught after his wife, Hazel Grimes Sayre, left him after he made an appearance at a church picnic intoxicated and made plans to kill her family.

65 years later, the town still remembers the events like they were yesterday.

Throughout the years, pieces of the story have been missing. However, Buffalo resident Mark Harris has been determined to fill in the blanks with all the information he could find.

We try to get the bits and pieces and put them together and just have something so future generations will have it and know what happened and the history of the town.

Mark Harris, “Friends of Buffalo, WV History” founder

Harris says quite a bit of research goes into re-telling a story like this with historical accuracy. But with a little bit of help the story started to come together.

Harris says their goal is strictly based around preserving the history of these events and making sure the victims are never forgotten.

The full article will be released in the newsletter for the “Friends of Buffalo, WV History” group. For more information on the group, click here.

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