“I blew her brains out.” That’s what Danny Eugene Moulds said about Gail Nix.
Gail was our neighbor in the late ’60s and early ‘70s. By the time this happened, we had moved to another house.
When Gail and her mother and my family were neighbors, our houses backed up to each other with an alley in-between. Our house fronted on a very quiet cul-de-sac, while their house fronted on a very busy two-lane thoroughfare.
The most frequent times I ever spoke to either of them was on a Saturday when I would be out doing yard work.
They invariably followed the same routine on their weekly visit to the grocery store. When they finished shopping, Gail’s mother came driving down the alley with Gail on the passenger side. When the car stopped, Gail got out and opened the double gate of the chain link fence for Mrs. Nix to pull the car into their back yard.
That’s when I had my best conversations with Gail. She was petite, maybe five feet and 100 or 105 pounds, a quiet, low-key person, 25 to 30 years of age. On these occasions she wore minimal makeup, jeans, a shirt, and tennis shoes. I never saw her dressed for work. I do believe she would have been very attractive.
As soon as her mother exited from the car, she almost ran over to coerce a reluctant Gail out of the alley into the house. Mrs. Nix’s paranoia led me to believe my entire family, including our dog Charger, was infected with the bubonic plague. I don’t know the number of times all of my family tried to be friendly, but Mrs. Nix was always the same. Curiosity was constantly there about what soured Mrs. Nix on life.
That was really a shame, because I do believe Gail would have been a very good neighbor, and might have even visited in our home. The thought never entered my mind that one day we would be invited to Mrs. Nix’s house
I thought Mrs. Nix might only treat our family like that, but Charley, our wonderful neighbor who lived on the same street as Gail and her mother, two doors down from them, said Mrs. Nix treated him the same way.
Charley was not married, and if Gail’s father existed, I never saw him. Maybe Charley might have wished for more than a passing friendship with Mrs. Nix, but she shut him down as she did us.
I never asked, but I’m quite certain Mrs. Nix had at least four locks each on the front and back doors of her house. I do remember if Mrs. Nix was ever in the back yard alone, her glance over my way seemed to point to the fact I was the one who would break into her house.
How the circumstances of February 12, 1979 developed, I’ll never know. Mrs. Nix passed away some years ago. Even if I had seen her on the street somewhere, I would have never asked her.
Mrs. Nix’s paranoia presentation was the very thing that would have prevented Gail from being in that circumstance, yet inexplicably it happened.
The William Teller withdrawal unit mentioned in the court reporter’s accounting of the crime was in back of the First National Bank, a very bad location for anyone using it at night. This murder caused the bank to move the William Teller unit to the front of the bank afterwards, in plain view of the Green Springs Highway, and much less likely that this crime could be duplicated.
I had occasional business in the bank, and recall being there late one afternoon. The William Teller area was well-lighted, but the bank parking lot around it had some shadows where a lone car could almost hide without being seen. That’s where Moulds’ car must have been when Gail drove up.
Below is the Criminal Court of Appeals accounting of the events of that night. Cold, unexpressive words portending the cold-blooded emotions of the killer Moulds, his wife, and another individual. Moulds appeal was denied. The Moulds’ residence mentioned was in Lipscomb, more a suburb of Bessemer, Alabama, than Birmingham. I’m not sure how they were caught, probably some type of surveillance at the bank or the department stores.
“The sufficiency of the State’s evidence is not raised on appeal. Therefore, a lengthy recital of the facts is unnecessary. Briefly stated, Ms. Gail Nix, the victim was abducted by appellant (Moulds) around 7:18 p.m. on February 12, 1979, at the Green Springs branch of the First National Bank of Birmingham. The victim had just made a ten-dollar withdrawal from her checking account by using her “William Teller” card at the bank’s automatic teller system. Bank records demonstrated that Ms. Nix’s “William Teller” card was used twice more during the next two hours. Eighty dollars was withdrawn from Ms. Nix’s checking account at the Century Plaza branch at 8:46 p.m. and ten dollars was withdrawn at the Center Point branch at 9:13 p.m.
Charles Edward Vanderford, who was with appellant (Moulds) when Ms. Nix was abducted, and appellant’s wife, Christine Moulds, also used the victim’s credit cards to purchase clothing at Penney’s and Zayre’s department stores that night. After making the clothing purchases, Vanderford and Mrs. Moulds returned to appellant’s residence where they met appellant and the victim.
Appellant removed certain rings the victim was wearing, took her back to her car and instructed Vanderford and his wife to “follow him.” Appellant drove the victim to the Graysville area on Highway 78, pulled off the side of the road and summarily shot her in the back of the neck with his pistol. Appellant later admitted to State witness George Curtis Burnett, Jr. that the victim “was sitting there begging me for her life” and “I blew her brains out.””