Who is Ed Ates: DECEASED In the forthcoming Hulu series Web of Death, Elnora Griffin will play a prominent role. Here, we examine her terrible killing and the man the police thought to be the perpetrator.
Who is Ed Ates?
Edward “Ed” Ates, a native Texan, grew up in rural New Chapel Hill, just east of Tyler. On July 23, 1993, the 25-year-old and his brother Kevin visited their grandmother, where they discussed the death of Elnora Griffin, his grandmother’s neighbor who had discovered her just hours earlier.
Griffin, who was only 47 years old, was discovered naked and face down on the ground. According to Texas Monthly, her throat was slashed and she was close to being beheaded.
Ates did not know Griffin well, although he had previously worked on her home. Initially, he thought little of it other than that it was tragic.
According to the Innocence Project of Texas, during the murder investigation, police questioned Ates and eventually detained and charged him with her death despite having “no physical evidence or motivation.”
In July 1996, Ates was tried, but the court ruled a mistrial. According to the Atlanta Black Star, he tried again in August 1998, was found guilty, and sentenced to 99 years in jail.
Where is Ed Ates Now?
Ates appealed his conviction and maintained his innocence claims for years, but it wasn’t until 2015 that people began to listen to him.
In that year, Bob Ruff, host of the Truth and Justice podcast, claimed that Ates had been wrongfully convicted.
Together, Ruff and the Innocence Project of Texas studied the matter in greater depth.
Ruff stated on Ed’s original arrest in 1996, “There was never substantial evidence against Ed… The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.”
Fortunately, with the assistance of Texas attorney Allison Clayton’s Innocence Project, they were able to clear Ates’ name after retesting the DNA evidence from the inquiry, as reported by the Atlanta Black Star.
After serving 20 years in prison, he was eventually granted parole in 2018. Even though he is on parole, he continues to strive for his complete exoneration.