20-year-old cold case murder: Who killed Mary Brooks?

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s been more than 20 years since a blind woman was brutally attacked inside her home in Mobile.

The case has been cold for decades, and now her family is sharing her story in hopes someone comes forward with information.

“This is very gruesome… Something like this. A person that is frail, and blind, and can’t even defend themself,” said Howard Waters, grandnephew of Mary Brooks.

Twenty years later, the thought of what happened inside the home in Mobile on May 5, 2001, doesn’t get any easier.

“It was just a horrible scene. There were big slashes on the bed where they had attacked her with a machete,” said Theresa Burk, niece of Mary Brooks.

Brooks was 77 years old at the time and lived on Mill Street with her son, George. Investigators say the attack happened early in the morning — both Mary and George violently assaulted with a machete.

“You could see the chop marks on the bed. She was also injured quite badly — they chopped her arms, where she put them up and her fingernails were broken, and she was slashed across her face and it cut her tongue and everything,” Burk said.

A friend found the pair after going to check on them in the morning. George had his throat cut so deeply, he couldn’t speak or provide investigators with any leads.

While George survived the attack, Mary passed away about a month later. Her body was then taken to Malcom Baptist Cemetery to be buried. Mary rests alongside George, who died several years later. With both now deceased, the family just wants answers about what happened that terrible day.

“I’m hoping that someone has heard about the case and has the information that could help us catch the person that did this. This was a cruel, cruel crime to attack a poor pitiful lady that was blind, and she probably weighed 78 pounds,” Burk said.

All these years later, the motive is still unclear. George told detectives he had been a victim of an attempted mugging a night prior and thinks the suspect could have followed him home. The family believes Mary just happened to be an innocent victim to whatever the intended motive was the day she was attacked.

“I think the only reason why they did Aunt Jane like they did was because the fact they didn’t want any witnesses,” Waters said. “Although she is blind, she could still recognize voices if they found some suspects.”

The family says it’s been hard to grieve, not knowing why this terrible tragedy happened to their family.

“Somebody knows something, somewhere, somehow, someway, somebody knows something,” Waters said. “As Hell’s Angels are famous for saying, ‘Three can keep a secret as long as two are dead.’ Well two of them are dead, and that’s my great aunt and my cousin. There’s still a third party out there that knows who perpetrated this crime.”

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