Barrow County native Billy Sunday Birt, who was part of the notorious "Dixie Mafia" and was sentenced to life in state prison for the murders of three people, has died.

Birt died sometime overnight Thursday, according to his son, Billy Stonewall "Stoney" Birt.

He was 79.

Stoney Birt said Friday night he will be planning funeral arrangements Saturday.

Billy Sunday Birt was convicted of the 1972 murder of his former "Dixie Mafia" associate and Winder resident Donald Chancey as well as the 1973 slayings of an elderly couple in Wrens. He is reputed to have been involved in more than 50 murders during the 1960s and 1970s.

Stoney Birt has authored a book about his father that he plans to share more widely after Billy Sunday Birt's death.

For the full story, see the April 12 issue of the Barrow News-Journal.

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