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Convicted killer charged in 7-year-old's 1984 death

Posted June 8, 2010
Updated June 11, 2010

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— A man serving a life sentence in prison for kidnapping and killing an 8-year-old Chapel Hill girl in 1985 faces new charges in connection with a similar case from a year earlier.

A grand jury indicted George Richard Fisher, 61, Monday on murder, first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree arson charges in the killing of 7-year-old Carrie Wilkerson.

Wilkerson was found strangled and sexually assaulted inside her burning home in Rocky Brook Trailer Park in Carrboro on Feb. 22, 1984.

George Fisher Police arrest suspect in 1984 cold case

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said during a court hearing Tuesday that Fisher had been a suspect in the case after the death of 8-year-old Jean Fewel a year later but that authorities could never link him to the crime.

Fisher, serving his sentence at Maury Correctional Institution in Greene County, was convicted in 1985 of attempted rape and murder in Fewel's death. She was kidnapped in Chapel Hill while walking to school and was later found hanging from a tree near Finley Golf Course.

Investigators received new information several weeks ago that prompted them to reopen Wilkerson's case, Woodall said. The State Bureau of Investigation and the Carrboro Police Department linked Fisher to the crime using DNA testing that was not available during the original investigation.

Rebecca Lowery, Wilkerson's mother, said she had lost hope that the case would ever be solved, and that, while relieved, the arrest has stirred painful memories.

"It's eaten me. I'm so thankful now," she said. "I want to see him – and for him to see me – and know this has not been forgotten and to know he is not getting away with this."

Wilkerson's stepmother at the time, Norma Shivers, called the arrest a "start of closure" for the family.

Fisher, she said, was her best friend's husband.

"We knew who it was. They just didn't have the evidence," Shivers said. "I've known it all along."

Fisher will remain in the state Department of Correction's custody at Maury Correction Institution, DOC spokesman Keith Acree said.

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  • moiramolpe Jun 9, 2010

    I was born a year after Carrie was murdered. I never got to meet her. Norma Shivers is my aunt, therefor making Carrie my cousin through marriage. Its a sad thing that we were never able to get close. Also just a fun fact, my father was almost charged for this murder because they couldnt think of anyone else who Carrie would have invited into the house. After they finally let my dad go, they realized that Norma's husband's best friend (Fisher) was someone they wouldnt have even thought of, until he did the same thing to the other little girl a year later. Today I called my sister who was best friends with Carrie before the tradegy, and she cried when I told her they finally charged Fisher with Carries murder. She was so overwhelmed especially since Fisher use to drive the two of them to school. My sister could have been among the murdered little girls and I am thankful she wasnt. We wish Carrie was still here with us, but we will always remember her and Thankfully our family can

  • poolsnake Jun 9, 2010

    He shouldnt be able to take another breath of air ! We should put this sick, waste of space ,into a place where he can not enjoy the sight of the sun rising ! 6 feet under . Even better idea , let those girls family get to him and give them free a free pass to do what ever they want ,with no consequences for their actions .

  • IhearttheBeatles Jun 9, 2010

    I would be okay with Life over Death for these people, but it should be Life with no chance for any kind of release whatsoever, and feed them bread, water, and bologna everyday for the rest of their life. If they get sick with a major/terminal illness, don't treat them for it, just let nature take it's course. Also no TV, books, or recreation. The ones they killed are not getting anymore of those things. It should be a Hellish experience, not free room and board, hot meals, medical care, free education, tv, weight room, basketball. I would rather face execution that a life like that.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 9, 2010

    DNA Rules.

  • Jh5230 Jun 9, 2010

    I'm so heartbroken for this little girl. You can tell in the picture of the two of them that she is trying to sit as far away from him as possible. What a sick human being.

  • OSX Jun 9, 2010

    wakeresident... I know exactly what you are saying about the cost and than somebody is going to have to kill this guy. There is nothing wrong with you that you wouldn't want that responsibility. I on the other hand, would have no problem doing it. "Good night you sorry piece of junk, you'll never hurt anybody again" "Oh, is that a tear popping out of your eyeball"

  • twc Jun 8, 2010

    wakeresident, the tons of money you speak of is because of all the appeals for the most part. Why do those who mention those statistics fail to understand that non-death penalty inmates also appeal--maybe more so. Plus--they get to eat, health care, security, laundry, etc.

    Besides, it's not about cost, it's about justice. And in some cases--such as this one--vengeance!

  • this is fdup Jun 8, 2010

    If the state can not do what it right in this case I have lost all hope there is never a clearer need for the death sentence.
    If it is a cost concern I will do it for free.

  • twc Jun 8, 2010

    I was just doing a little calculating. If that had been my child, I would have served my time AND parole by now. He would still be dead!

  • wakeresident Jun 8, 2010

    OSX, my only opinion is who decides which deserves death. Most people believe murder means death penalty, but I have read comments like you have. People also think most any crime deserves the death penalty. When you start picking and choosing who dies, it is a dilema. While I certainly wouldn't shed a tear if this man got the death penalty, I also wouldn't want to be the person who flipped the switch. Since I wouldn't do it myself, I wouldn't demand someone else take his life, either. Also, it sucks, but mistakes are made (doesn't sound like it in this case, though). Since the system isn't perfect, it's harsh for me to say one man has to die that is innocent because of 999 other rotten awful people. Keeping them in prison until they die at least removes them from society, and saves us a ton of money. It's a lot of money. Just google the statistics and decide if you want to spend that much money. It's hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are already removed from society.

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