State Attorney Phil O’Connell Sr. had no bodies, so he needed an eyewitness and offered Lincoln immunity if he would agree to testify against Holzapfel and Peel, which he did. Lincoln was already serving time on a 1958 moonshine-related conviction.
Knowing this, Holzapfel agreed to plead guilty to the murders and Peel realising he would soon be caught twice plotted to have another inmate kill him.
On 30th March 1961, jurors took five hours and 24 minutes to find Peel guilty of accessory to murder. The prosecutor wanted the death penalty, but the jury recommended mercy and Peel was sentenced to two life terms.
He spent 18 years at Florida State Prison in Raiford and the state paroled him in 1979 so he could start serving an 18-year federal sentence for mail fraud related to a phony investment company. Three years later he was paroled for good after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He planned to marry his ex-wife’s niece who had been the flower girl at his wedding, but nine days after his release he died.
Despite his cooperation, Holzapfel was sent to Death Row. His sentence was eventually commuted to life and he died behind bars in 1996.
Lincoln served out the rest of his federal sentence and in 1962 moved to Chicago. He converted to Islam and changed his name to David Karrim. In May 2004 he died aged 80.