The Tragic Death Of Lobster Boy

Grady Stiles Jr., also known as "Lobster Boy," was shot to death by a hitman hired by his wife, Maria Teresa Stiles, and his stepson Glenn Newman, in 1992. As sinister as that sounds, the family claims it was done to end the cruel reign of the 55-year-old, who they accused of being a mean and nasty drunk with a long history of physically and verbally abusing them (via Casetext).

Stiles was called Lobster Boy because of an inherited condition he and many in his family were born with. Ectrodactyly, or in easier-to-pronounce terms, split hand/foot malformation, is a congenital birth defect that gives the appearance of having claw-like appendages (via NORD). He and his family worked the deformation into a livelihood in the carnival circuit, with Stiles being added to the show when he was 7 years old in the mid-1940s and the family billing themselves as the "Lobster Family," per find a death

But Stiles was retired by the time his 18-year-old neighbor, Christopher Wyant, walked into his trailer while he was watching TV and "...fired and fired and fired and fired until he held up his end of the bargain," The Tampa Bay Times reported. Wyant was paid $1,500 to take the Lobster Boy out. 

Lobster Boy was no stranger to murder

The murder-for-hire-plot was planned weeks in advance, but it doesn't seem like much was planned in the way of getting away with it. It's as if they mostly cared about having him gone. According to All That's Interesting, none of the people involved denied their part in Lobster Boy's murder. His wife testified about his years of abuse during the trial, where his wife spoke at length of his abusive history, saying, "My husband was going to kill my family. I believe that from the bottom of my heart."

She was probably justified in that belief. In 1979, Stiles was convicted of murdering his daughter's boyfriend. The Associated Press reported even though he was convicted, he was only sentenced to 15 years of probation because of his poor health and the inability of the prison system to adequately care for him. Per the AP, Donna Miles said she heard her father shoot the man she hoped to marry, then he stuck his head out of a window and smiled. He said, ″Better him than me."

Gunman Wyant served 27 years in the Florida Department of Corrections and was released in 2009. Mary Teresa Stiles served 12 years and was released in 2000. Harry Glenn Newman, the stepson, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree, premeditated murder, but according to the FLDC, he died in prison in 2014.