Shawn Edwards Murder: How Did He Die? Who Killed Him?

Image Credit: Cynthia Edwards/Crime Junkies

The usually quiet and violence-free city of Middletown in New York was forced to witness a terrifying homicide when Shawn Edwards’ beaten and stabbed body was found outside a local high school. As the victim was just a 14-year-old popular high school student, people had no idea why anyone would want to murder him so brutally. Crime Junkie: Murdered: Shawn Edwards chronicles the horrific incident and reveals how the ensuing investigation tried its best to get to the bottom of the matter. If you are intrigued by this mysterious case and want to know more, we have you covered.

How Did Shawn Edwards Die?

Shawn Edwards was a popular teenager who was adored by his friends and family alike. Apart from being a brilliant student, the 14-year-old was a promising football player and had great aspirations for the future. People who knew him described him as a sweet but lively teen who welcomed everyone with a smile and was always ready to extend a helping hand. Moreover, as Shawn was quite friendly with most people he met, he did not have any rivals, and an immediate enemy did not come to mind after his murder.

On a cold night on January 15, 1986, Shawn’s mother, Cynthia, mentioned that she overheard her son say something about his friend, Rob, being in trouble. Shortly after, Shawn even asked permission to go meet his friend, but Cynthia refused to let him out on a school night. Although Shawn was quite disappointed at being, he went to the living room to watch a scary movie while Cynthia went to bed. Shockingly, that was the last time anyone ever saw Shawn alive, as he was nowhere to be found when Cynthia checked on him around midnight.

Distraught with worry, Cynthia and the rest of her family combed through their house, but there was no sign of the 14-year-old. Thus, without wasting any time, she called her ex-husband, Melvin, and asked him to go out looking for their son. Surprisingly, on the morning of January 16, 1986, at around 6 am, a janitor at the Middletown High School was about to enter the premises when he noticed a human body right outside the building.

The janitor immediately informed the police, and within a few hours, the victim was identified as Shawn Edwards, a junior-high student who was in the 8th grade. An initial examination indicated that the victim was beaten with a blunt object before being stabbed multiple times to death. Later, an autopsy determined that the victim died due to a heavy blow to the head, while the police believed that Shawn was killed about an hour before his body was discovered.

Who Killed Shawn Edwards?

The initial investigation into Shawn’s murder was relatively slow as the police had no leads to pursue. A thorough search of the crime scene revealed a few pieces of glass and a bloody rock, but authorities could not find any clue that could point toward a suspect. Besides, they even conducted several interviews with most of Shawn’s acquaintances and friends. However, all of them insisted that they had no idea when or how Shawn got out that night or whom he went to meet. Moreover, to top it all off, Shawn had a reputation for being quite amicable and did not seem to have any rival capable of murder.

(Timothy Fairweather) Image Credit: Times Herald Record Archives/Eric Krieger/ Crime Junkies

Interestingly, although Shawn’s friends mentioned they had no idea about Shawn’s whereabouts on the night of his murder, they claimed that he had been behaving strangely recently. The podcast claims that in the days leading up to Shawn’s murder, the 14-year-old kept hinting that his life was in danger and even carried a knife on his person. Nevertheless, none of his friends knew the reason behind this fear. Moreover, the police even got a tip that stated how a car was seen idling in a parking lot near Shawn’s house on the night he disappeared.

However, once authorities put out an APB for the car, they realized it belonged to an individual named Mr. Fig, who claimed he had nothing to do with the murder. Unfortunately, with no other leads, the case sat unsolved for years, although rumors kept cropping up here and there. According to a rumor, Melvin was considered a suspect, and the show mentioned that even after being asked to search for Shawn, he allegedly went to have coffee in a nearby cafe.

The suspicion became so strong that Melvin was subjected to a polygraph test, and authorities believed he was not telling the truth when he denied all knowledge of the crime. However, like most other tips that came flowing in, the investigation surrounding Melvin led to a dead-end, and authorities found themselves back on square one. Interestingly, the podcast mentioned that in the months that followed Shawn’s murder, the police had to deal with several speculations, including one that connected a Colombian drug dealer called Nelson to the crime.

Besides, a man named Joey Selgado, who was long suspected of being involved in Shawn’s murder, was arrested because of a nearby home invasion. Yet, the police could find nothing to connect him to the murder. The subsequent interesting development occurred in 1992 when a man named Timothy Fairweather (who was 15 at the time of Shawn’s death) confessed that he was involved in the crime and was present when two of his friends, Joey Selgado and Eddie Devlin, killed Shawn.

According to Timothy, Joey planned the killing as Shawn had allegedly messed up Nelson’s business. Although the case seemed open and shut at that point, the police found nothing to tie the suspect to the crime. Moreover, Timothy later claimed that he had lied in his confession to appease the police. Still, as the only suspect, Timothy was arrested, and law enforcement officials charged him with murder. Yet, his lawyer kept claiming that the confession was coerced and even showed evidence that proved Timothy wasn’t in Middletown on the day of Shawn’s death.

Ultimately, the only suspect in the case was subjected to a polygraph test, which he passed and cleared his name. Since then, there has been no actual development to the case, although a tip that claimed the murder weapon was hidden in a house Joey’s mother used to own turned out to be false. Nevertheless, the police claim that the investigation is still active, and anyone with information related to the homicide is encouraged to approach the Middletown Police.

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