What Really Happened To "The Lobster Boy"

And why Chase can't stop laughing...

July 11, 2019

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Grady Franklin Stiles Jr. (June 26, 1937 – November 29, 1992) was a circus show performer. His deformity was genetic condition ectrodactyly, in which the fingers and toes are fused together to form claw-like extremities. Stiles performed under the stage name "Lobster Boy".

Stiles was an alcoholic and was abusive to his family.[2] Due to his ectrodactyly, he was unable to walk. While he often used a wheelchair, he most commonly used his hands and arms for locomotion. He developed substantial upper body strength that, when combined with his bad temper and alcoholism, made him dangerous to others.

In 1988 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stiles shot and killed his oldest daughter's fiancé on the eve of their wedding. He was brought to trial, where he openly confessed to killing the man and was convicted of third-degree murder.[3][4] He was not sent to prison as no state institution was equipped to care for an inmate with ectrodactyly. Stiles was instead sentenced to house arrest and fifteen years probation.

Stiles stopped drinking thereafter, and during this period remarried his first wife, Mary Teresa (Teresa). However, he soon began drinking again and his family claimed that he became even more abusive. In 1992, Teresa and her son from a previous marriage, Harry Glenn Newman Jr., hired a seventeen-year-old sideshow performer named Chris Wyant to kill Stiles for $1500.[5]

Wyant was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 27 years in prison. Harry Newman was given life in prison for his role as the mastermind and Teresa was given 43 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.

Stiles' son, Grady Stiles III, disputes the claim that Teresa had him murdered. According to him, his stepmother, Teresa, and father were arguing. Teresa had said 'Something needs to be done.' Teresa's son overheard this, and went to a neighbor and repeated it. The neighbor shot and killed Stiles shortly after.