‘Forever grateful’ to slain couple

Nov. 27, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Carolyn Spivey, executive director of Coaltion for Families in Lee County, has been married to her husband, David Spivey, co-owner of Jones Printing in Sanford, for 42 years as of Tuesday.

Nine months before their wedding, Carolyn’s cousin, Patricia Mann, was was kidnapped and strangled along with David’s best friend, Jesse McBane. No one has ever been caught in connection with the murder, which likely occurred between Durham and Orange counties after a Valentine’s Day dance in 1971.

The Spiveys and others have been working for the past several years to reopen the cold case; Carolyn Spivey said she wants to do everything she can for the memory of couple who was taken from this world too early. But before their untimely deaths at the ages of 19 and 20, respectively, Mann and McBane set up another twosome whose relationship has lasted longer than the late couple likely ever imagined.

“I met David through [Mann’s] boyfriend, Jesse,” Spivey said. “They were best friends. ... It’s been a great 42 years for us, and we are just forever grateful to Pat and Jesse for getting us together.”

The family never put it out of their minds, Spivey said, and recently starting working yet again with detectives from one of those agencies, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, to take a fresh look at the case.

“They deserve justice,” she said. “They deserve this mystery to be solved and deserve their memories to be honored.”

Spivey said the detectives have gone above and beyond the call of duty, putting in untold hours off the clock combing through “thousands and thousands” of pages of paperwork on the case. But that alone won’t make a difference without an outside spark, she said, imploring anyone who might remember anything possibly related to the case to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

For more on this story, see the accompanying Wes Platt column from The Herald-Sun of Durham.