Murder for Hire


Posing as hit man Lou Tedesco, ATF undercover agent Lou Valoze (pictured) was able to collect damning evidence against Dr. Carl Drury before the doctor could have his wife, Mary, murdered.

In 2009 Dr. Carl Drury hired a hitman to kill his wife. Little did he know that the hitman was an undercover agent.

It was just another day on the job for Mary Martyn, Mary Drury at the time, working in nursing for the Southeast Georgia Council on Aging. Mary was midway through her shift when a co-worker said some gentlemen in suits had arrived needing to talk with her.

They identified themselves as law enforcement and ushered Mary into a back room where they could talk in private. “My daughter was in middle school at the time, and your first thought when someone in a suit comes in is, this is how they tell people that a child has been killed. When I sat down my stomach just kind of dropped.”

She begged the agents to tell her that her babies were OK.

“They told me, ‘Your children are fine, but you are not.’”

As Mary sat in stunned disbelief, ATF agents told her the devastating truth: her husband had hired a hitman to kill her. Fortunately for Mary, the man Dr. Carl Drury had hired was undercover ATF agent Lou Valoze.

Valoze had first been tipped off to the plot thanks to a fellow agent, a firearms instructor named Steven Whatley. “They were golf buddies,” said Valoze. “Buddies talk, and Dr. Drury mentioned on several occasions he was done with his wife.”

When Drury bafflingly asked Whatley, who he knew to be with law enforcement, to try and find him a hitman, Whatley took his case right back to ATF. Valoze was tapped to serve as the hitman, and to begin gathering evidence. First through phone calls, and then in person.

Sitting in Valoze’s undercover car in a Waffle House parking lot, Drury laid it all out. “He described her, where she worked and I informed him how I do things, saying my preferred method is to make it look like an everyday robbery gone bad. And I told him it’s a lot cleaner for me if he could get me a clean gun.”

Valoze got that gun at their next meeting, a Taurus, M-38, .38-caliber revolver that belonged to Mary. When ATF agents showed it to Mary, she was stunned. “It had been missing for a couple of years. I’d even asked him several times if he’d seen it.”

“The truth is, I’m not a hero. I look at myself as a common man who was placed in uncommon situations. ”

Throughout two meetings and a litany of phone calls, Valoze gave the doctor every chance to walk away. “A big part of murder for hire cases is to give the suspect multiple outs. I’d constantly ask him if he was sure about this,” said Valoze. “He hesitated at one point in the second meeting, saying he had drawn up divorce papers. He told me, ‘If she is willing to sign, I might not go through with this.’”

The divorce papers never existed. But his hesitance signaled the possibility that Drury was shopping around for other hitmen. “At that point, they decided to pull her in for her safety.”

The doctor’s hesitance didn’t last. With the simple request by Dr. Drury to Valoze to “finish up,” ATF sprung into action. Drury was arrested at the payphone where he’d made the call. Agents found a Glock 9mm in his Mercedes.

The ensuing trial was a spectacle, thanks in part to Dr. Drury’s elevated profile as a prominent doctor and former state representative, and in part to his lawyer Eddie Garland. The famed attorney who defended Ray Lewis, Garland tried to frame the whole situation as a setup – positing that Whatley had been sleeping with Mary, that Dr. Drury had been duped into thinking the whole thing was a training exercise. The trial even set precedence in case law — since the cell phone Drury had used pinged off of a cell tower in Jacksonville, it was considered an interstate facility.

But beyond the drama and spectacle of the court case was the tragedy of a wife betrayed, her life shattered into pieces. In the months and years that followed, Mary suffered PTSD and a nagging sense of being followed. She barely left her house except to go work. Then, gradually, she regained herself.

“It didn’t happen immediately. I think the first year I didn’t go a day without crying,” she said. “It’s a loss of dreams. It’s a loss of what could have been. For pretty much the next five years I was just scared he was going to get out.”

But drawn forward to a brighter future by her faith and the promise of helping others, she has found hope.

“I know without a doubt I’m here to help other victims,” she said. “There are people who feel trapped or that they’re not worthy… If I came from underneath the rubble, I know that with God they can do it. It gives you a sense of calm.”

As for her former husband, “I don’t hate him. I don’t. Honestly, I forgive him because it’s not my place to judge him.” 

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Greatest Kids 2019

Nominate your kid this year and tell us why he or she has to be the winner of our South's Greatest Kids contest. Don't be shy — this could be your year!

Greatest Chefs 2019

Behind every good meal is a great chef; they are the invisible artists, working behind the scenes. Nominate your favorite chef for South magazine’s Greatest Chefs contest!
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Events Calendar

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Scenes of the South

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