Kidnap, rape, and murder of 65-year-old Martha Roberts by neighbor in rural Tennessee: Hometown Homicide investigates

Close up photo of Doe Roberts
Martha “Doe” Roberts went missing from her home in Tennessee, and she was raped and murdered. Pic credit: Family Photo

The disappearance of Martha Eudora ‘Doe’ Roberts from her home on a 150-acre farm near Eads in Tennessee shocked this quiet rural community in the summer of 1992. Husband Allen had left their home after allegedly receiving a phone call regarding work when he returned he discovered his 65-year-old wife was missing.

Allen received a further call later that afternoon when the alleged kidnapper demanded a $100,00 ransom for the return of Doe Roberts. Additional phone calls followed, and each time the supposed kidnapper claimed to be holding Doe hostage and demanded various amounts of money.

However, for approximately a year, the police focused their investigation on Allen; he was the main suspect in his wife’s disappearance. Thirteen months passed before the mystery caller was identified as Charles Jackson Lord Jr., a neighbor, and former business partner of Allen.

When police began to focus on Lord, they discovered that Doe had been buried in his backyard. He finally admitted to being the kidnapper. Desperate for money Lord had spent about four months planning the abduction.

Lord explained to the police that he tricked Doe into getting into his car by telling her Allen had been in an accident. Once he got her back to his house, he tied her up in the garage and drugged her with sleeping pills, and then he raped her. After phoning Allen to demand a ransom, he returned to the garage where he raped his victim again; he then put a pillow over Doe’s face until she stopped breathing.

Earlier in the day, he had constructed a pit behind his compost pile for burial purposes. Lord’s wife was apparently at home that day yet was completely unaware of her husband’s sordid activities.

Charles Jackson Lord, Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated rape; he received a sentence of life in prison plus twenty years.

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Catch the details of the case in Hometown Homicide at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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2 years ago

,,The sadest thing here is That the hypocrit people of That methodist congreg Blamed him for the murder whitout any kind Of certance or proffs , this man is innocent , pinche gente , That people is evil and hypocrit ,. Good for Allen to sent them go f*** themselfs

Janet Horne
Janet Horne
2 years ago

I saw it on the FBI files on tv. They sure made it look like he was responsible. Out dancing a couple of weeks later instead of grieving. Gives the letter to several of his neighbors before giving it to the FBI. Who does that? Horrible crime font against he and his wife. Unspeakable evil!

Ronnie Compton
Ronnie Compton
8 months ago

Very sad. Glad the SOB is in prison where he belongs! I feel for her husband too. Hard to grieve the loss of your wife when everyone thinks you killed her!

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