Former Coosa County resident recalls 1976 murder in memoir

Gabrielle Jansen / The Outlook

Author Mary Hicks-Gunn flips through her memoir about the 1976 murder of her husband, James Edward Hicks.

The widow of a Coosa County murder victim from 1976 is speaking out with her new memoir.

March 29, former Coosa County resident Mary Hicks-Gunn published “Grave Secrets,” about her late husband, James Edward Hicks.

“After his death and everything, I always wanted to write about that,” Gunn said. “So it took me years to get the courage to put that on paper.”

Gunn said she and Hicks dated for two years and were married for two years when he was killed. Gunn said her husband and others related to a local reverend were all killed.

“My book is about the times leading up to my husband’s murder,” Gunn said. “ It’s just a cold case that I wish would be opened back up and the murderer would be found or to confess.”

Gunn said the coroner could never identify how Hicks was killed. Gunn said she and her daughter want to know what happened to him.

“His death is unsolved,” Gunn said. “They couldn’t even tell what happened to him even after they did an autopsy.”

Gunn said it took her 40 years to write the novel and it published on her husband’s birthday.

“Eventually it all came together and I finished it,” Gunn said.

Gunn said she wishes she had closure on her husband’s murder.

“I want (readers) to take away the pain that I had to endure for all of these years, and I hope that they have the empathy to realize that it’s painful when your loved one is taken away from you in the prime of their life and nothing is done about it,” Gunn said. “It’s like he was born to be killed with no one to pay for his murder or no one to try to find out who did it.”

“Grave Secrets” is available on Amazon.