FORT MILL, S.C. (WOOD) — A small town not far from Charlotte, North Carolina, bordered by peach orchards and horse pastures, is now home to a serial killer from West Michigan.
Neighbors and police said they were unaware that Alpine Manor Nursing Home killer Catherine Wood would be living there until after Target 8 reported on her release.
Wood, 57, who spent more than 30 years in prison for her role in five murders at the nursing home, has settled into her sister’s home in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Target 8 tried to get an interview with Wood on Friday as she left her sister’s car in the driveway of her tidy, two-story home. She went inside without talking.
Fort Mill police spokesman Maj. Brian Zachary said the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, which has agreed to supervise Wood, usually notifies police when a paroled felon moves in, but that didn’t happen.
“I haven’t received notification from them as of this time,” he said.
He said his department has no plans to keep a close eye on Wood.
“We do not have the official responsibility for that,” he said.
Wood is living in the Suttons Mill Homeowners Association, a neighborhood of two-story, upper-middle-class homes with two-stall garages built about three years ago on the outskirts of Fort Mill.
“No kidding,” Suttons Mill Homeowners Association President Tom Carter said after learning a serial killer had moved in around the corner from him.
Wood and Gwendolyn Graham were nurse’s aides at Alpine Manor Nursing Home in 1987 when they killed at least five elderly patients — perhaps, police said, as many as a dozen — for fun. Wood claimed she was the lookout, but police believe she was more involved than that.
Graham got life in prison without parole. Wood got 20 to 40 years in exchange for her testimony and was released on parole after serving more than 30.
Conditions of her parole show she’ll live with her sister in Fort Mill instead of moving back to Michigan.
“It seems like it should be something that would be useful information,” said Carter, the homeowners association president.
While the sex offender registry shows 57 sex offenders living in Fort Mill, there is no list of serial killers.
The homeowners association president said he plans to reach out to board and the board’s attorney.
“I don’t know what our options are, if any. We have a neighborhood Facebook page. That might be something that we could put that information out on, but on the other hand, that may be judged as harassment,” Carter said.
“That is a little concerning, but 30 years is a long time, too, so people do change, I guess,” he continued. “I’m not going to make a rash judgment, but it’s good to be aware of it.”