In May of 1970 the Georgia Pardons and Parole Board released Junior Pierce from prison after he had served only seven years on a 10-20 year sentence for a variety of charges, including burglary, arson, receiving stolen property and attempted prison break. He was released despite the report from the prison psychologist that said Pierce's "test scores reveal the possibility of sociopathic disorders. This individual may be dangerous to himself or others. Pierce claimed his first victim a month later, killing at least nine persons before his arrest, on March 8, 1971. Three months later, he was formally charged with the August 21, 1970, slaying of Virginia Maines, a 20-year-old housewife in Gaston, North Carolina. On June 5, he was indicted for the August 10, 1970, murder of James Sires, a service station operator in Beaufort County, South Carolina. According to authorities, the drifter's seven other victims were dispatched in separate incidents in June and December 1970, and in January 1971. On March 8, 1971, Pierce was arrested in Louisville, Georgia for failing to pay for some gasoline. Shortly afterward, Appling County Sheriff, J.B. Carter charged Pierce with the murder of Mrs. Vivian Miles, sixty years of age, who had been robbed and shot in her country store about eight miles south of Baxley on Jan. 26. Eventually after being interviewed by authorities from North and South Carolina, they charged Pierce with nine murders, four in Georgia and South Carolina and one in North Carolina. Pierce was repeatedly convicted of murder and given life sentences. One of Pierce's victims was a thirty-two year old Jeff Davis County store operator who had been abducted Jan 22, 1971. Pierce led police to the woman's skeletal remains two months later. The woman had been tied to a tree in the woods not far from Hazelhurst and hanged with a piece of short, stout cord. The cord was so tight around the woman's neck that her neck had to be taken apart before they could remove the noose. Even in advanced decomposition of the corpse they could see that the woman was nude from the waist down.