A Georgia native, Walton spent most of his life on the road, drifting around the eastern half of the United States and living under a variety of pseudonyms.
Along the way, he killed at least five victims, though the widely-scattered crimes would not be linked until the morning of his scheduled execution, when he signed a brief confession in the shadow of the gallows.
Times were hard for Georgia blacks in the late 19th century, with Iynching mobs and Jim Crow legislation joining forces to create an atmosphere that smacked of slavery once removed. For Walton, freedom lay in travel, but he could not shake the private demons that pursued him on the road.
His first victim, an unknown man, was killed at Blossburg, Alabama, during 1896. Eight years later, in Chicago, Walton shot and killed his "wife" -- one Edith Hannah -- but police paid scant attention to the case and had no real idea of his identity or whereabouts.
In 1906, he murdered a victim named Blue at Shippensville, Pennsylvania, and he would later confess to slaying a woman in Steubenville, Ohio, on November 16, 1907, though police had no apparent record of a body being found.
Walton's final victim, a black woman named Beulah Martin, was killed near Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1908. Convicted of murder and sentenced to hang, Walton penned a confession to his other crimes before mounting the scaffold on July 17.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
SEX: M RACE: B TYPE: N MOTIVE:
MO: Confessed slayer of two men
and three women, including his common-law wife; no motive cited
DISPOSITION: Hanged in W.Va. on
one count, July 17, 1908.