DECEASED Elnora Griffin is highlighted in the new Hulu series Web of Death.
Here we take a look at her gruesome death and the man who police believed was responsible for the crime.
Who is Ed Ates?
A Texas native, Edward “Ed” Ates grew up in rural New Chapel Hill, just east of Tyler, Texas.
On July 23, 1993, the 25-year-old visited his grandmother with his brother Kevin and they spoke about the death of Elnora Griffin – his grandmother’s neighbor who found her just hours earlier.
Only 47 years old, Griffin was found naked and face down on the ground. According to Texas Monthly, her throat had been cut and she was nearly decapitated.
Ates didn’t know Griffin well, but he had worked on her house before. At first he thought nothing of it, except that it was a tragedy.
During the murder investigation, police questioned Ates and later arrested him and charged him with her death, despite having “no physical evidence or motive,” according to the Innocence Project of Texas.
Ates was tried in July 1996, but a judge declared the case a mistrial. He was tried again in August 1998, found guilty, and sentenced to 99 years in prison, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
Where is Ed Ates now?
For years Ates tried to appeal his conviction and continued to claim he was innocent, but it wasn’t until 2015 that people started listening to him.
That year, Ates’ case was picked up by Bob Ruff, host of the Truth and Justice podcast, who believed he had been wrongly convicted.
Ruff turned on the Innocence Project of Texas and together they investigated the case more closely.
Ruff said of his initial arrest in 1996, “There was never strong evidence against Ed. … the jury just couldn’t come to a unanimous decision.”
Fortunately, with the help of Texas attorney Allison Clayton’s Innocence Project, they were able to clear Ates’ name after re-running DNA evidence from the investigation, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
He was later released on parole in 2018 after serving 20 years in prison. Despite being paroled, he continues to fight for full exoneration.
What is Web of Death and how can I watch it?
Web of Death is a docuseries that follows online investigators and how they used digital tools, databases and social media to solve mysteries.
Ate’s story was introduced in the third episode of the series, which premiered on January 19, 2023.
The series can be viewed by anyone with a Hulu subscription. Non-subscribers can start a temporary free trial of Hulu at any time.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7178616/who-ed-ates-murder-trial-web-of-death-hulu/ Who is Ed Ates and where is he now?