The rotting lily didn't really need any gilding when it comes to Edward Wayne Edwards' life story.
A career criminal, who in the 1970s wrote a memoir and gave public talks about prison reform and supposedly becoming a better person, Ed Edwards died in prison in 2011 while awaiting execution for the 1996 murder of his foster son, Dannie Boy Edwards. He was 77.
At the same time Edwards was serving two life sentences for four other murders—after DNA evidence linked him to a 1980 double homicide in which the female victim was raped and strangled and her boyfriend was stabbed to death, he confessed to fatally shooting another couple in 1977. He was already behind bars in Wisconsin when he confessed in 2010 to shooting Dannie to collect on his $250,000 life insurance policy.
Edwards had spent half of his life in and out of reformatories, jail and prison for bank robbery (which landed him on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List in 1961), stealing cars and burglary. He was a drifter who was married four times and fathered at least six children. He had hidden in plain sight, even appearing on the popular game show To Tell the Truth in 1972. He reportedly sold the movie rights to his life story, but that movie was never made.
Or was it? Have Edwards' crimes actually inspired countless books, movies and TV shows over the years?