News10NBC Investigates: Our reporting brings clarity to son of murder victim once linked to Shawcross

News10NBC Investigates: Speaking to the son of Linda Lee Hymes

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For 35 years a man thought his mother was killed by Rochester’s worst serial killer. Then he heard about our investigation from prison. 

It showed that the deaths of at least three women initially tied to Arthur Shawcross 35 years ago are still open cases. One of them is Linda Lee Hymes. 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean traveled four hours, to a state prison in northern New York to talk to one of Linda’s sons. Until our story, he thought his mother’s death was solved. And he thought it was Shawcross. 

Berkeley Brean, News10NBC: “You didn’t know the case was still open to this day?”

Anacin Hymes, son of Linda Lee Hymes: “No.”

Brean: “Because you thought it was Shawcross, and therefore the case was done.”

Hymes: “Yes.”

Anacin Hymes is one of 6 children of Linda Lee Hymes. To meet him, Berkeley and a News10NBC photojournalist drove 260 miles into the Adirondacks, a stone’s throw from Vermont, to Washington Correctional. 

Hymes is serving time for burglary. He gets out in august. 

The backstory

Kristin Beaton and her friend Wendy Malcolm were 19, back from college for the weekend and heading home to Hilton after a night out in the city. But as they approached the canal just before 390, their lives changed. 

Kristin Beaton: “A woman just runs out in front of us and we have to slam on our breaks. She had blood on her and everything.”

The woman was Linda Lee Hymes. Beaton saw a man run after Hymes. 

So Beaton and her friend drove to a pay phone to call 911, but by the time police arrived, hymes had crawled back out onto the highway and was hit and killed by a car. 

Beaton lived with the guilt of leaving Hymes on the highway for 35 years. In May, she talked about it publicly for the first time. 

Beaton: “It’s more than, she got hit by a car. Someone brutally attacked her and that has been kind of not out there.”

Hymes was among the list of 17 potential victims of serial killer Arthur Shawcross. He preyed on prostitutes. Shawcross was eventually convicted of 11 murders.

Hymes was not one of them. 

Showing our reporting to her son

In prison, Hymes did not have access to watch our story. So Berkeley showed it to him.

Brean: “Do you have any idea who that man was who assaulted your mother on the side of the highway?”

Hymes: “I never knew. I was in Rikers Island and my Aunt Gail, my mother’s sister, called and said that ‘Arthur Shawcross killed your mother.'”

Brean: “Really?”

Hymes: “That’s what she said.” 

Anacin Hymes was 19 years old when his mother was killed. 

Brean: “How did her death affect your life?”

Hymes: “Dramatically. Because even though I didn’t see her, it was my mother.”

Brean: “What would it mean if there was justice, your mother’s death?

Hymes: “It would be peace. “You need to know that her murder didn’t get served justice in my humble view. That’s my mother, again. I’m pretty sure she want justice too.”

Why Hymes was dismissed as a Shawcross victim

Shawcross didn’t admit to killing Linda Lee Hymes, and the description of the man on the highway was that he was Black. 

She is one of three women initially tied to Shawcross, but whose cases are still open. There are at least three of those types of cases.

Gail DeRyke was murdered in Brighton in august 1989. That case is open. There’s another one in Gates. 

Berkeley is still working to get information from police there.