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Family helps bring murderers to justice

Book gives chilling details of mother and daughter’s fight to survive

D. Kevin McNeir | 9/5/2013, 9 a.m.
It started out like any New Year’s Day evening in 2006, when Lilly Ann Pauley, 56 and her daughter, LaToya ...

It started out like any New Year’s Day evening in 2006, when Lilly Ann Pauley, 56 and her daughter, LaToya Pauley, 30, both of Richmond, VA, were doing things like recuperating from a fun-filled party at a relative’s home the night before and throwing away rumpled paper from Christmas gifts. Lilly Ann says she was exhausted and was therefore more than a bit perturbed when her daughter showed up with two strange men at the Chesterfield County [a suburb of Richmond] apartment that the two women shared together.

What followed over the next six days — almost one week of fearing for their lives — has been chronicled in a just-released book entitled, “Killers in the House” [written by T.D. Faison and The Ghost and available on Kindle].

LaToya had just started dating a young man, Ray, 28, whom she had met through a girlfriend, Ashley Baskerville. Ray, she says, was a quite man and had brought his uncle Ricky, also 28 — a more gregarious man with cornrows and a gentlemanly demeanor. But soon it would become clear that neither man was whom he appeared to be.

“There had been several brutal murders in our community — entire families — and it was being reported on the news every day as the manhunt continued,” LaToya said. “I remember joking to myself and saying, ‘I hope these guys aren’t the ones that killed those people.’”

Startling revelations

According to LaToya, one night she and Ray were talking and he confessed to her that it was his uncle that was the mastermind behind the series of home invasions and murders — and that he had helped.

“I listened but didn’t know exactly how to respond,” she said. “But I didn’t want to die and so I had to convince Ray and his uncle that nothing had changed — that I wasn’t afraid. I was just hoping that they would leave our place soon so that I could call the police. I found out that they had murdered Ashley too and her parents. It all seemed like a terrible dream. But it was real.”

Ashley says she prayed a lot and finally found the courage to tell her mother the kind of danger they both were facing. Six days later, the two murderers headed towards Atlanta. LaToya called the police and the men were apprehended. They remain behind bars today.

A sweet potato pie saves the day

Lilly Ann says as she looks back over that week, she finds it hard to believe she survived. But the six-day incident has left her with a lifetime of scars.

“My whole life has changed — I stay in my room most of the time and I’m terribly paranoid. Sometimes I wake up and feel like I’m reliving the entire thing. When they first showed up something told me that something about them was all wrong. But I couldn’t put my finger on it. I believe that a sweet potato pie actually saved our lives.”

Lilly Ann had baked a pie for Ricky who had, in just a few short days, grown to love her cooking. Her asked her for a knife to cut the pie but her instincts, she says, kicked in.

“I just gave him the entire pie and said I had made it just for him,” she said. “It was like no one had ever done anything nice for him or showed that they cared about him. I think it was that act of compassion and love that saved us.”

The book will be available in hardcover later this fall. Co-author Faison describes it as “a journey into evil.” Both authors, along with the Pauley women and a criminologist will begin a book signing tour on October 1st.