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The Story of Lobster Boy, who was Murdered By his own Family

Antonia R.Antonia R.
Lobster Boy
Image: Historicmysteries

Grady Stiles was born in 1937 with the rare genetic disorder ectrodactyly, which is characterized by the absence of the central digits on the hands and feet, while the other digits are elongated and twisted in the shape of a lobster claw. Hence Grady's nickname - "Lobster Boy".

Even though the condition is rare, several members of the Stiles family had ectrodactyly and in the mid 20th century they decided to create their own traveling circus show called the "Lobster Family". While touring the state of Pennsylvania they attracted large audiences.

Although often called freaks, they were generally met with curiosity and applause, the crowd knowing that they were not dangerous. But this long-held opinion changed after little Grady grew up.

As their show grew, besides members of the Stiles family, there were also others who began to work for and help maintain the circus. One of these employees was Mary Teresa.

Lobster Family
Image: Youtube

As a teenager, she ran away from the family home and joined the circus. She lacked any acrobatic skills but her proper outer appearance earned her a job assisting the acrobatic artists.

She fell in love with Grady and just several months after they met, the 2 of them were married. They had 2 children, both of whom, like their father, had lobster-like hands and immediately joined the family business.

The family had never had any serious misunderstandings until Grady's daughter, Donna, fell in love. Grady did not approve of him and threatened her on several occasions - to either leave him or else.

Despite the threats, Donna became engaged to her beloved, with this eventually bringing out the dark side of Lobster Boy. On the eve of the wedding, Grady took up his pistol and cold-bloodedly murdered his future son-in-law.

Even though he was convicted of the crime and proven guilty, due to his condition he was not sent to prison but was instead given 15 months probation. With this, Grady's home transformed into a real hell. Lobster Boy began drinking heavily and abusing his entire family.

Grady Stiles

Mary Teresa divorced him, while he married a 2nd time several months later and had another 2 children. At that point his alcoholism grew into outright aggression and he began to abuse his loved ones both physically and mentally, eventually causing his 2nd wife to leave him as well.

When Mary learned that her ex-husband was once again single, she decided to forgive his old mistakes and give him a second chance. But what she discovered was a drunken deadbeat, who tried to take out her intrauterine coil during an argument, in an attempt to strangle her with it. Since Grady had already dodged prison once, Mary Teresa resolved to take justice into her own hands.

Together with her 17-year-old son Glen, they settled on the decision to kill Grady and shot him in cold blood one evening. In court, they admitted to the crime but witnesses came out who confirmed their stories of systematic abuse and fights, essentially saving them from a prison sentence.

No one was present at the funeral of Lobster Boy, and no wonder, as he was nothing but a spiteful parasite toward his relatives and society during his final years. He left the world without anyone shedding a single tear for him.