Buffalo, New York is known for several things; the cultural diversity, the sports, and of course, the hot wings. In general, it’s a nice 200-year-old town, with a multitude of good people in one of the most beautiful places in the Northeastern United States.
But in 1983, a heinous and horrific event occurred which shook the town to it’s core…
Featured Photo Credit: us.pressfrom.com
Ed the Hero
Ever since he was a child, Edmund Schreiber had always wanted to be a hero. Born in 1897, just before the turn of the 20th century, Edmund wouldn’t get his chance to actually be that hero until the First World War broke out in 1914. When America finally joined the conflict in 1917, the 20-year-old joined the army without a second thought.
War Breaks Out
World War I was one of the largest global wars in the history of the planet. More than 70 million soldiers, generals, and other assorted military personnel, 60 million of which were Europeans, fought between July 28, 1914 and November 11, 1918: and Edmund Schreiber was one of them.
Edmund went through basic training and eventually found himself among the U.S. Army’s 28th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Keystone Division, because the original unit was comprised initially of Pennsylvania National Guard members. Before long, Edmund Schreiber found himself in France.
A Century Hence
In 1918, Schreiber was fighting the Germans in the battle of France. That was nearly 100 years ago and during the ferocious battle, Edmund found himself hit by machine gun fire. He fell at the battle but awoke at a field hospital some time later, the bullets excised from both his thighs. He had survived.
When he returned home, Schreiber received a Purple Heart for being wounded in battle. These coveted military decorations demonstrate that a soldier has been wounded or killed in service to their country. They were first introduced in April 1917 and have been used since that time. Approximately 320,518 Purple Hearts were given in WWI alone.
Eventually, Edmund Schreiber returned to his home in upstate New York and started a family. By 1983, the 92-year-old veteran was living by himself in the suburbs. It was a peaceful life but one that was soon to be upended by a situation he never envisioned, even while on the battlefields of France…
It was 1983 and 17-year-old Saundra Adams lived in the same suburban neighborhood as Edmund Schreiber, the same street in fact. Because Schreiber lived alone, Saundra offered to help clean the house, get groceries, and run various errands for him.
Saundra’s help around the house was invaluable and whenever possible, Edmund would offer her compensation for her services. Eventually though, Saundra contrived to do something dangerous, something that anyone who knew her would have never expected…
With the help of an accomplice, Saundra Adams planned to break into the elderly war hero’s Buffalo, New York home and kill him. Perhaps it was because she wanted to rob him, perhaps it was because he had been cruel to her in some way. Whatever her reason, Saundra contrived a terrible way to enact her plan.
Life in her Hands
Once they had broken into his home, Saundra Adams tied the old man’s hands with his neckties and strangled him with several more of the ties. Despite having survived one of the most pitched battles in the history of war, Edmund Schreiber died at the hands of two punk kids…
Found by Friends
Edmund Schreiber died on June 23, 1983 after a young woman he trusted invaded his home, attacked him in his bed, and took his life. He was found by his friends the next day. Unfortunately, by the time the police found out about the killing, there was very little chance they’d be able to track down the killer.
Saundra knew what she had done, as did her accomplice, but she wasn’t about to tell the world. An initial investigation found the 17-year-old’s fingerprints all over the residence and Edmund’s belongings, but that all made sense. After all, she had been his helper and housekeeper, she was there often…
Case Gone Cold
Eventually, it became clear that no matter how hard the Buffalo Police Department worked to find the war hero’s killer, they couldn’t hone in on any suspect enough to secure an indictment. The case remained cold for the next 34 years.
Unsolved for So Long
Then, in 2016, the Cold Case squad opened up the box with Schreiber’s file in it and re-examined the evidence for trace DNA. Unsurprisingly, the DNA found on the neckties, along with the already clear fingerprints, once again linked Saundra Adams to the murder. They finally had her…
Saundra Adams, who is now 51 and living in Buffalo with two kids of her own, was working in the library of the college where she was taking classes when the police came rolling up to the school. She was read her rights and taken into custody, but declined to speak until she’d seen a lawyer.
Of course, even after being arrested, Saundra’s family came out to support thier daughter and espouse her innocence to the public. Her father, Ernest Adams, explained that the fingerprints meant nothing and went on to reiterate that, “My daughter cleaned the house for him. She’d go get groceries for him. She ran errands for him.” He couldn’t believe she’d done it…
Eventually though, Saundra Adams realized the futility of fighting against the now overwhelming evidence. She stood in front of a Buffalo courtroom and pleaded guilty to the now reduced charge of manslaughter. But, reduced or not, she now faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison.
This plea, luckily for her, came only a single day shy of the year anniversary of her previous arrest. Apparently she had been arrested though not charged on a second-degree murder charge in 2016. Meanwhile, her accomplice in Schreiber’s murder has long-since died and could not be charged. Nevertheless, the case was finally closed…
Today, Edmund Schreiber’s family can rest easy knowing that their hero grandfather can finally rest in peace. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn has come out to the media as saying the family is “feeling fantastic” because Saundra Adams is finally being brought to justice.
This story is ultimately one about two people who have left very different legacies for their children. One, a hero whose ignominious end is eclipsed by his heroic deeds in life and whose children can rest easy knowing what a wonderful man he was. The other, a desperate woman who is now paying for her heinous crime and whose children must live with the fact that their mother is a cold-blooded murderer.