After 20 years, mother of murder victim still hopeful

  • Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2012 1:13 a.m.

SALISBURY — Thelma Wisecarver can see her son dressed in his Army uniform.

Twenty years after Byron Montgomery “Monty” Wisecarver’s murder, it’s how she still envisions him.

At 67, Thelma Wisecarver knows she’ll probably never see the killer caught and given the death penalty.

But, she said, she’ll always hope for justice.

“They say it gets easier, but it doesn’t,”?Wisecarver said.

Monty Wisecarver’s case was one of 13 selected by detectives for reinvestigation as part of a cold case campaign started earlier this year.

“It gets me all excited,”?Thelma Wisecarver said. “It just gives me hope that they’re not going to bury it.”

Wisecarver was gunned down by an apparent assailant in wait outside a home on Oct. 23, 1992. The 26-year-old was shot just after starting his Chevrolet truck for work.

He struggled into the Sherills Ford Road home, which was owned by his wife’s stepsister, and was alive when officers arrived.

Wisecarver died of his injuries as he was being placed in a helicopter bound for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Detectives have revisited Wisecarver’s case over the years but with little success. They were never able to identify the driver of a motorcycle a witness heard speeding away from the scene.

Wisecarver served with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Airborne “Nightstalkers” stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.

He also helped capture the dictator and drug runner Manuel Noriega in Panama in 1989.

Following his discharge from the Army in 1990, Wisecarver began working overtime at Hoechst Celanese to earn a little extra money.

When his estranged wife left him for the third time in 1992, she signed custody of the children over to him.

Thelma Wisecarver said that just before he died, Monty was able to tell an EMS worker, who was also a friend of his, to tell the children he loved them.

When she left the hospital, Thelma Wisecarver followed detectives to the Sheriff’s Office and began working with deputies.

She said she never expected her son to die from the gunshot wound. She also never expected the case to go unsolved.

Twenty years later, Thelma Wisecarver sees the case is cold.

“I think they’re going to get away with it,”?she said.

Even so, the reopening of her son’s case has given her some hope.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.