Fayette County in 2004 was a far different town than it is today. The large shopping center, the Fayette Pavilion, had only been open only six years. Fayetteville’s downtown was still sleepy, and the sidewalks rolled up early.
But in August 2004, an incident occurred on the northern side of the county that garnered national headlines and is the subject of a television show airing March 9 at 9 p.m.
Investigation Discovery’s new show “Twisted Love” explores the tale of two teenagers, Holly Harvey and Sandra Ketchum, who killed one teen’s elderly grandparents and then headed to the beach.
Carl and Sarah Collier were brutally murdered in their north Fayette home, each receiving more than 15 stab wounds.
The girls were subsequently arrested at Tybee Island and transported back to Fayette County.
The Colliers’ granddaughter, Harvey, and her friend, Ketchum, were accused of the crimes and later pled before the trial.
Before the legal proceedings began, the Colliers were laid to rest before an overflow crowd at Fayetteville First Baptist Church on August 9, 2004.
One of the most moving parts of the ceremony was the Colliers’ son, Kevin, and now Holly’s only family member left, playing in the orchestra. Kevin started early taking brass classes at First Baptist in Atlanta, and eventually toured Europe while playing trombone in the church’s orchestra.
With the strings and percussion sections of the orchestra playing in perfect tune, Kevin played his trombone in several of the musical tribute numbers to his parents.
Then as the pallbearers moved to the front of the church to escort the caskets outside, Widor’s “Toccata” played, which had a special meaning for Kevin.
“Widor’s ‘Toccata’ will remind you of the wedding recessional when two are united in marriage. Today, may this melody remind you that mom and dad are celebrating their new union with Christ together,” he wrote in the funeral program.
The double murder had the county reeling, and in April 2005, the girls pled guilty to the killing. During the plea hearing, Judge Paschal English asked Harvey why she killed her grandparents, and she said she did it for Sandy.
Now, 16 years later, the story makes it to national television in the latest episode of “Twisted Love” Monday night.
Attorney Judy Chidester, who represented Harvey, said last week that she never wanted to have another case like the double homicide again.
Chidester was appointed to the case after then Judge Johnnie Caldwell asked her to take the case unless she could think of a better attorney to represent Harvey.
When Chidester couldn’t respond with a better attorney, she got the job and was spun into a flurry of media attention from around the country and world.
“They knew about this case is Utah, and there were even some inquiries from England,’ she said.
Since Holly was 15 and Sandy was 16 at the time of the crimes, a possible death penalty was out of the question.
Chidester said Holly kept asking her if the death penalty applied, but then also asked Chidester if she was going to be able to go back to school in August.
Chidester also visited Holly’s mother, Carla, who was in jail at the time of the crimes. Instead of worrying about Holly, Carla was more concerned if the Colliers’ will had been discovered.
“She also wanted to know about her mother’s wedding ring, since she didn’t think she should be buried with it. She took no responsibility for anything Holly did,” Chidester said.
When Holly was transported to an adult prison, Carla said she then could be helpful to her daughter and teach her the ropes of surviving prison.
Holly eventually got her GED in prison. Sandy is up for parole this year, while Holly’s first opportunity is in 2024.
Chidester said it’s doubtful they will be paroled on their first try. Instead, she said the girls might get out when they are in their mid-40s. If they get out, both girls will have spent more than half their life in prison and greet a new world.
“They won’t know anything about computers, cell phones. Many people who get out have a tough time adjusting to the modern world.”
“Twisted Love-Hell to Pay” airs on ID at 9 p.m. Monday. The episode can also be viewed online via IDGo or the IDGo app.