What Happened To Serial Killer Edward Wayne Edwards' Daughter?

Edward Wayne Edwards was a serial killer convicted of murdering five people, one of which was his foster son. Edwards, born in 1933, grew up in an orphanage and spent his youth in reform schools. He began his life of crime by committing burglaries that later escalated to bank robberies. By 1961 he was on the FBI's most wanted, per E Online. He spent time in prison and claimed that he had been reformed. Edwards even became a motivational speaker after he was released on parole in 1967. He married, had children, and it seemed that he was finally on the straight and narrow, as noted by The San Diego Tribune.

However, that was not the case at all. One of his children, April Balascio, recalled how the family didn't stay in one location for too long. She told People that they stayed only a year at most in each town they lived in, and the only explanation her father gave was that they needed to leave for their own protection. 

"He'd tell us that we had to move in secret because he was protecting us because there were people who wanted to hurt him or us," she said. It was only when she was an adult that she decided to do her own digging and found out that her father was a serial killer.

Edward Wayne Edwards's daughter tipped the authorities

April Balascio always had a suspicion that there was something odd about her father, Edward Wayne Edwards. Apart from the frequent moves they did as a family when she was a child, her father also kept tabs on murder cases by collecting newspaper articles. He had a bad temper, and Balascio's mom was often the target of abuse. As reported by People, Balascio started researching her father in 2009 when she learned about a cold case that was reopened. In 1980, two teenagers — Tim Hack and Kelly Drew — went missing after attending a wedding reception at the Concord House in Wisconsin (via The Cinemaholic). They were later found dead 8 miles away from where they were last seen alive.

Balascio was familiar with the location where the teens went missing. It was where her father worked as a handyman, and the town was one of the places where she lived as a child. She remembered her father telling the family to pack up their belongings just a few days after the crime, as they were going to move somewhere else. 

Balascio's online research combined with her memories led to her suspicions that he was a murderer. "There were dead bodies. Someone was always murdered wherever we lived," she told People. She called the authorities and told them what she knew, and it was confirmed via DNA evidence. Although she had a strong hunch, Balascio still hoped that she was wrong about her father. She said had a panic attack when she learned the truth.

April Balascio continued to look into her father's life

Just weeks after April Balascio phoned in her tip, Edward Wayne Edwards was arrested. He subsequently confessed to five murders, including that of his foster son Dannie Law Gloeckner in 1996, according to Cinemaholic. In 2010 he was sentenced to life in prison for the 1977 murders of Billy Lavaco, 21, and Judy Straub, 18, as reported by Cleveland. Then in 2011, Edwards was sentenced to death for the murders of Gloeckner, Drew, and Hack. However, he died in prison in April 2011, just months before his scheduled execution date. 

Edwards' death didn't stop Balascio from seeking answers and learning more about the secret life her father lived. She believed that Edwards was responsible for more crimes than the five murders he confessed. She teamed up with journalist John Dean and in 2019, the podcast titled "The Clearing" was released. It focuses on Balascio's search for the truth about her father. It took years for Balascio to talk publicly about Edwards, but she finally agreed by creating the podcast. In an interview with Refinery 29, she was asked what prompted her to tip the authorities about her father. She said, "I just made the conscious decision to make the right choice."