OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A man entered a couple’s home in the early morning hours of a hot Florida day. The bodies of the victims were found when the man did not show up for work. What happened during that time? This is the story of Frank Walls.
WKRG News 5 is looking back at the crimes that shocked the Gulf Coast. Frank Walls’ story is the twenty-fifth in the series.
It was the early morning hours of July 22, 1987, when Frank Walls entered the mobile home of Edward Alger and Ann Peterson. An attempt to wake the two up by deliberately knocking over a fan worked.
Alger and Peterson got up to see what the noise was and that’s when they were met by Walls. Walls forced Alger to lie on the ground and made Peterson tie him up. She tied his hands behind his back and his ankles together. Once Alger was tied up, Walls forced Peterson to lie on the ground and he tied her up the same way.
By that point, Alger had gotten loose from his bindings and started to attack Walls. Walls tackled Alger and forced him to the ground, that’s when Walls cut Alger’s throat. Alger kept fighting Walls, eventually biting him on the leg causing Walls to drop the knife. It was then that Walls pulled out his gun and shot Alger in the head three times.
Walls then returned to where Peterson was lying on the floor. Peterson was lying on the floor crying and attempting to talk to Walls. Walls couldn’t understand her, so he removed a gag from her mouth. She asked Walls if Alger was ok and Walls responded saying Alger was not ok and that he had attacked Walls.
“He attacked my ass, and things just happened,” said Walls.
Walls untied Peterson and started wrestling with her when he pulled out his gun and shot her in the head. That shot, however, did not kill Peterson. She continued to scream until Walls forced her face into a pillow and shot her a second time, killing her.
During the killings, a neighbor heard loud noises coming from the home. When Alger didn’t show up to work at Eglin Air Force Base his superior officer went to Alger’s home. The officer walked into the home where he found a nude woman lying in the front bedroom. The officer left the home immediately and called 911.
When detectives arrived, they found the nude female in the bedroom and a nude male’s body in a second bedroom. Detectives were able to identify the two as Peterson and Alger.
Detectives were able to get a search warrant for Walls’ home due to information given to officers by Walls’ former roommate who lived across from the victims. Court documents claim multiple items were found during a search of the home that connected Walls to the crime scene. Walls received 10 charges but some were dismissed at the end of the trial.
Walls pled not guilty and filed multiple pretrial motions. He also filed a motion to “determine his competency to stand trial.” Five experts testified with three finding him incompetent and two finding him competent. The judge agreed that Walls was competent and the trial went on.
At the end of the trial, the jury found Walls guilty of all the charges and recommended life in prison for Alger’s murder. They recommended the death penalty for Peterson’s murder.
Walls’ conviction didn’t last long and was reversed before a new trial was ordered. The retrial was moved from Okaloosa County to Jackson County because of all the publicity. The new jury also found Walls guilty as charged. They, again, recommended the death penalty for Peterson’s murder.
The judge sentenced Walls to five years for burglary of a structure, 20 years for armed burglary of a dwelling, 20 years each for two kidnapping charges, and two months for petty theft. Walls also received life for the murder of Alger and the death penalty for Peterson’s murder.
Walls was also found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for an additional first-degree murder charge from May 1987.
In February of 2023, the Florida Supreme Court denied another appeal by Walls.