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Mystery finally solved in Saxonburg police chief's slaying

UPDATE 9 p.m.

A memorial for slain, former Police Chief Greg Adams outside of the Saxonburg Borough Building was lit up Friday night, as an old wound reopened for that community.

There's a sense of closure for the tightknit community as it learned the remains of the fugitive suspected of killing Adams were recovered outside Boston.

"Probably the biggest question mark we've had in this town, so it's nice to have that answer," said current Saxonburg Police Chief Joe Beachem. "It would've been the perfect ending if he had to face justice for what he did."


Police say Donald Webb pistol-whipped and shot Adams during a traffic stop 37 years ago.

Marcie Carlsson, who's lived in Saxonburg all her life, remembers the event as if it had happened yesterday.

"Our feeling of a safe community was gone," Carlsson said. "How could somebody come into historic Saxonburg and do something like this?"

Webb vanished immediately. His remains were dug up Thursday night in the backyard of his ex-wife, Lillian.

She ignored reporters' questions when she returned to her Massachusetts home Friday night.

Prosecutors offered her immunity, meaning they wouldn't charge her for hiding her husband, if she told them where the body was buried.

"Closure's an overused word, but it gives a little bit of finality to this thing," Beachem said.


The remains of a long-time fugitive suspected of killing a Saxonburg police chief have been recovered, the FBI said Friday.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Massachusetts positively identified the remains of Donald Eugene Webb in Massachusetts.


Police said Webb shot Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, Police Chief Greg Adams during a traffic stop. Webb was a career criminal living in New Bedford, Massachusetts, at the time. He disappeared after the shooting.

The remains were recovered Thursday by the Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section, with the assistance of the FBI and Pennsylvania State Police.

Webb’s remains were found buried in the back of a property located in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Investigators have learned that Webb died approximately 17 years ago in 1999, according to the FBI release.


Mary Ann Jones, Adams' widow, told Channel 11 she didn't realize how emotional it would be to relive all of this.

She still has a lot of questions and now doesn't believe she'll ever get the answers.

“I didn't realize how difficult it would be,” Jones said. “At least now they know he's dead, so they can stop looking for him. But that still doesn't answer questions.”

Her lawyer says the wife of the man wanted for the slaying led authorities to human remains that were believed to be his.

Thomas King III says he was told by prosecutors that Lillian Webb agreed to lead authorities to her husband in exchange for immunity in the decadeslong criminal investigation.


The FBI and state police in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania discovered remains Thursday at Lillian Webb's home in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

“She helped him get away with murder just because she did not want to go to jail for hiding him,” Jones said.

Jones filed a lawsuit against Webb's wife and son and says she still wonders if there were people in Saxonsburg who helped Webb get away.

“You just go on with life. That's something I had to do 37 years ago with two babies and that's something I'm going to do now,” Jones said.

Webb had been a fugitive since Adams was shot. He was one of the longest-tenured fugitives ever to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He was added to the list on May 4, 1981, and removed from it on March 31, 2007. He was also the only fugitive in the United States wanted for the murder of a police chief.

“For almost 37 years, the family of Chief Adams and the citizens of Saxonburg have been awaiting news of Donald Eugene Webb’s whereabouts. The FBI is grateful to have been able to play a role in helping to resolve this case.  "Although it’s unfortunate Mr. Webb will never be brought to justice to pay for his crimes, we’re hopeful the family can find some closure in knowing that this alleged murderer has been located,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, in a news release.