What Happened at 511 Foreland Street?

PittsburghPennsylvaniaUnited States

  • 1978

    Stiles "Lobster Boy" murdered his brother-in-law Jack Layne. || Murder and a circus sideshow performer || He started performing as a child and as an adult brought his two youngest children into the “Lobster Family” act. The life of the real-life lobster family was grim. By 1978, Stiles and Mary Teresa had divorced, and he had married a woman named Barbara. Described as pretty and petite, the ninth-grader had fallen for Jack Layne, 18, a high school dropout who lived at nearby 1041 Peralta St. He carried that hate so badly. But he was a very violent person.” He was disliked by his fellow circus performers. She called her father from there. Then, I’m going to kill [Layne],” Stiles told her, according to the Post-Gazette. The girl then threatened to live with Layne if her father wouldn’t consent to her marrying him. The day before the murder, a friend of Layne’s saw Stiles pull a gun from the left side of his wheelchair, point it at Layne and say, “I will kill you before you marry my daughter,” according to news accounts. When they returned to the Stiles home, Stiles was in the living room without his wheelchair. Don’t laugh about it,” Stiles told Layne. Layne walked outside, mumbled, “He shot me,” and collapsed on the sidewalk in front of Donna. When the police arrived, Stiles said, “Take me. Stiles quickly gave his confession to police. He claimed self-defense, saying Layne had lunged for him, but the jury didn’t buy it. Then Ireton did something he didn’t usually do and entered the judge’s chambers to say. The judge contacted state prison officials, who responded that their facilities couldn’t accommodate Stiles’ special needs. After the trial, Stiles moved to Florida, where his ex-wife lived in Gibsonton, a carnival wintering town near Tampa. Stiles ran his own carnival shows and was known as a shrewd businessman. Subsequent investigation led to Mrs. Christopher Wyant, the teen-age triggerman, was released from prison in 2009. Stiles was buried in at Sunset Memory Gardens near Tampa.


  • Last updated 4 years ago

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