Byrd and Melanie Brock Billings were residents of Pensacola, FL. They were known in the community for their seemingly altruistic endeavor of taking on special needs children in a rather bulk manor.They had within 9-14 within the passing years. They were mourned after their murders as pillars of the community. Kind, giving people who were senselessly murdered.
This is far from the truth. Byrd Billings ran a buy-here-pay-here lot. Prior to that he made the bulk of his money by owning a seedy strip club on the west side of town called “the Backseat”. It was on a street known to locals as being the highest crime and drug ridden in area the city. Byrd was now in a different business with the same type of clientele now in the used car business. He was known as being one of the less-than-law-abiding of citizens. In truth, despite his “humanitarian” act of taking in disable kids, he was NEVER the pillar of the community and the kids couldn’t change that perception.
Melanie Brock was one of Byrd’s stripper’s at “the Backseat”. She was significantly younger than Byrd but when they married she had 2 daughters. Ashley & Nikki. Nikki was a disabled child which is probably the reason they took in the other kids. The girls were accepted by Byrd as his children even though he had grown children not in the area as well as an adopted son, Justin that he had full custody of. Ashley, in fact, worked with Byrd at the car lot with her husband, James “Blue” Markham. The family seemed close-knit.
Also there was speculation of exploitation of the children in the household. When there is a person of Byrd’s character and prior deviant acts, putting him in proximity to special needs children, does not leave much doubt he was somehow exploiting them. He made a very public attempt in the early 2000’s to copyright his kids’ names and tried to sue Department of Children and Families for every document mentioning the names of the children. It was eventually thrown out, but this is the man we are dealing with. He also was convicted of adoption fraud in 1989, in an attempt to obtain his son Justin. Somehow he was allowed to keep the child in lieu of his conviction. That remains questionable. This is the pillar of the community that is put on display after the murder. The society of the city wouldn’t have spit on Byrd Billings to save his life then he is murdered and martyred to the country as a philanthropist or humanitarian.