• Investigators: Anger, jealousy reasons behind slayings 25 years apart

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    MARSHVILLE, N.C. - Investigators said anger and jealousy were part of the reason a Union County man killed two other men over the course of 25 years.
    A SWAT team arrested Eddie Helms at his Union County home early Tuesday morning on charges of murder and stalking.
    Investigators said in November 1988, Helms hid in the woods while Johnny Griffin was fixing an antenna on his roof, then fired a 12-gauge shotgun, killing him and forcing him off the top of his Peachland home.
    Family members told Channel 9 that Helms was dating Griffin's ex-wife, and Anson County Sheriff's investigators said they considered Helms as a suspect, but never had concrete evidence tying him to the crime.
    "It was pretty much a dead case and we had run out of anything to do with it," said Sheriff Tommy Allen.
    More than two decades went by while Griffin's family waited for answers.
    "It was hell, every day, thinking who is going to get my brother's murderer," said Griffin's sister, Dimples Treadway.
    In August 2012, Union County investigators said a family member discovered Charles Godwin dead inside his Marshville home, shot in the back.
    Investigators said the method was similar to Griffin's murder and began looking at both cases.
    "Both shot from ambush, both shot from hidden positions, both very unexpected," said Sheriff Eddie Cathey.
    Authorities said Helms had been stalking Godwin and a female acquaintance prior to his death, allegedly following them to and from their homes and to their workplaces.
    Cathey said Godwin was jealous and angry, and perceived Godwin as a threat.
    "It was certainly part of the motive," Cathey said.
    After Helms was arrested Tuesday, SBI agents searched his home and said they recovered more than a dozen firearms and ammunition.
    Cathey said ballistics tests will determine if any of the guns were used in either murder.
    Helms is in the Union County Jail without bond and will face a judge in Anson County on Sept. 22, and a judge in Union County on Sept. 30.

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