Bound by blood? Were cop and killer father and child?
Would a cop with an otherwise clean record of service cover up a double murderer if he knew that murderer was his own flesh and blood? That's what Staunton Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Robertson is on a mission to discover as he investigates whether 1967 High's Ice Cream killer Sharron Diane Crawford Smith and Davie Bocock, the Staunton police investigator who Smith says helped her elude arrest, might have had a bond stronger than Bocock's commitment to the law.
In November, Smith confessed on her deathbed to killing of her co-workers Connie Hevener and Carolyn Perry on the night of April 11, 1967 and told police just two weeks before her death in January that she gave her .25 caliber pistol to Bocock and that the two of them buried it on Bocock's farm in Staunton on Barterbrook Road.
In a February 26 cover story, the Hook proposed one hypothesis: that Bocock–- 18 years Crawford's senior and a lifetime Staunton resident–- might have actually been Smith's father.
No father was listed in Smith's obituary in the Staunton News Leader, nor did any of Bocock's children immediately return the Hook's calls for comment. When the Hook reached Smith's mother, Delphia Bradshaw, at her present home in Salem and asked her who Smith's father was, she hung up the phone.
Now, Robertson says new information has come to light that has caused him to look into the matter further.
"After she died, someone who was close to Sharron Diane Crawford Smith came to me," says Robertson, "and said, 'I can't say for sure, but I do know that around the time Sharron was born, [Smith's mother] Delphia Bradshaw lived on Frontier Drive just around the corner from Bocock's farm on Barterbrook Road.'"
With that, Robertson said he immediately went to Staunton Circuit Court Judge Humes Franklin to get the okay to exhume Bocock's body from its final resting place in order to collect DNA to see if it matched up with Smith's. Once getting the go-ahead, Robertson contacted Reynolds Funeral Service and Crematory in Waynesboro to get the details on Bocock final resting place after his July 30, 2006 death.
"Wouldn't you know it," says Robertson, "that the son-of-a-bitch had himself cremated?"
Nevertheless, one possible means of getting a definitive answer to this burning question remains.
"I spoke with a lab in Roanoke," says Robertson, "and they say that DNA from Bocock's children would be just as good for testing."
Unfortunately for the investigation, Robertson says he's exhausted all of his legal options.
"I can't charge a dead man with a crime," says Robertson, "so there's no way for me to compel any of his children to submit DNA, and the judge won't order it."
Still, Robertson says he's confident the truth will come out as the case continues to get exposure.
"Somebody out there knows something," says Robertson. "It's just a matter of whether they want to give me an answer."
One woman who isn't talking is Delphia Bradshaw. Robertson says that when he contacted her by phone, he had no more success in coaxing Smith's mother to talk than the Hook had.
"I told her who I was and what I was investigating," says Robertson, "and she hung up on me, too."
Nevertheless, the Hook called Ms. Bradshaw back the evening of April 9, and before hanging up, she said the following, "He wasn't her father. That's my business who the father is, but he wasn't her father."