true crime

Repost: I actually DO know Erin McCay George…

A follow up to my Prison post, when I realized why Erin George had seemed so familar to me. This post originally appeared March 7, 2013 and attracted a lot of comments, as well as traffic.

Yesterday’s post about prison intrigued me so much that I started digging for more information about Erin McCay George.  I found evidence that though she is a few years older than I am, Erin George was at Longwood at the same time I was.  I put out a shout out on Facebook and one of my friends from that era piped up and said Erin was a history major and had been involved in student government.

I asked my friend if she knew where Erin was these days.  Her response was, “My guess?  Prison.”

I thought maybe my friend was aware that Erin George had murdered her husband.  But actually, my friend, who worked with the student government at the time, related a story about how back in the 90s, while editor of our student newspaper, The Rotunda, Erin had allegedly embezzled thousands of dollars given to the paper by the student government association.  The reason?  She had a boyfriend in England…  evidently the very same boyfriend she later married and then murdered for $700,000.  I’m guessing that’s why she apparently never graduated from Longwood.  She would have been kicked out for stealing.  Longwood has a strict honor code.  My friend later told me that Erin left the country while the embezzlement was being investigated.  She also told me that Erin tried to blame the other editor, even when she was caught red-handed.

I did more digging and found a newspaper article from The Free Lance-Star, a newspaper in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  It was a wedding announcement, indicating that she married James George on March 26, 1994.  That would have been about the right time frame.  Their marriage ended on May 24, 2001, when Erin shot her husband in the head in their front yard, depriving their three kids of their father forever.     

Here’s the freaky part.  My husband and I moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 10, 2002.  Erin McCay George was from Fredericksburg and committed her crime in nearby Stafford County.  The trial was going on while I was living in the area and I never knew about it at the time. 

Learning about this other stuff that went on during our college days kind of makes me realize that a lot of times, people who are criminals leave signs to where they’re headed.  Back in the 90s, what Erin McCay George did was relatively small potatoes.  Yes, she supposedly stole thousands of dollars, but she hadn’t taken a life.  But what she did led to a much bigger story.  She stole from the newspaper to finance her relationship with her English boyfriend.  While editor of The Rotunda, she violated Longwood professors’ privacy by publishing their salaries in the paper.  It caused a huge furore.  She gave off signs that she was a troublemaker even back then. 

I’m guessing that Erin McCay George probably has more than a touch of narcissistic personality disorder. In fact, she may even be a sociopath. The attitude that she wants what she wants when she wants it is pervasive. She wanted her boyfriend in England? She stole money to get him. She wanted money from a life insurance policy? She killed her husband in an attempt to get it, forging his signature on life insurance documents. All the while, she comes across as intelligent and talented, perhaps even sympathetic. She certainly does have a talent for writing. I gave her book five stars, despite the fact that I think she’s morally bankrupt.

Ever since I got involved with my husband, I’ve paid a lot more attention to dangerous women.  Erin McCay George is definitely a dangerous woman and is where she belongs.  It’s a shame.  She could have been an outstanding member of society if only she weren’t a criminal at heart.  

I don’t usually share the original comments from my reposts, but I will in this case, since this is such a fascinating post.


  1. AlexisARMarch 8, 2013 at 8:40 AM I attend a world-renowned party school, and even we don’t have anything this exciting going on, not that i would know about it if we did.
  2. knottyMarch 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM Well, remember, I was in college 20 years ago (seems very hard to fathom that). I’m just finding out about all of this right now. I’m kind of surprised this didn’t get more press.

    Going to a small school has its privileges. It makes it easier to meet people. My college was particularly close-knit and friendly, so a lot of the people I knew back then are just as friendly on Facebook. 
  3. Brenda Campbell-HarrisJune 30, 2013 at 8:48 AM OMG….I knew Erin while I was at Longwood College. She was the editor and I was a part time journalist. She always talked about her boyfriend in England. I was searching the internet for years finding out what happened to her, and all I can say is that I am SHOCKED. Who would ever know that would ever happened. I guess now I now where she is. OMG…that is all I can say. Even have old photos of a group of us that used to hang out. 
    1. knottyJune 30, 2013 at 1:27 PM Hi Brenda. If you were at Longwood during that era, you were there when I was, too.  

      If you are still interested, I would recommend getting ahold of Erin’s book. It’s intriguing reading, though she doesn’t really write much about her crime. I get the sense that she still claims innocence. The book is more about what it’s like to be in prison. I sure didn’t know it was her when I read it the first time and was really shocked when I figured it out later.  

      Like I said, I didn’t know Erin personally, I was on the Rotunda staff very briefly, back when Brad Owen was editor (and I hear that he and Erin dated, too). I do remember hearing about her shenanigans quite a lot at the time, though… especially the drama about publishing the professors’ salaries.
  4. Beverley HughesJanuary 14, 2015 at 9:13 PM Hi Knotty. I’m from England and find your thread out of pure curiosity over the outcome of the shooting having recently acquired the True crime bug listening to Serial!
    It took me a while to find the details and I’m grateful to you for your background on it. You see, I’m from England and was working with a member of James George’s family at the time of the incident. It was, as you can imagine, a dreadful shock to his family – to grasp the details all the while being 3000 miles away, their pain was unimaginable. My colleague ultimately took the children (to which you refer) whilst caring for their own young ones, again something that changed their lives for ever.
    I have since lost touch as jobs moved on but I often think of them and how it all turned out. I’m glad she was incarcerated and from your background information, it sounds as though she was manipulative, twisted and possibly as you suggest, psychopathic ( plenty of books around on that topic).
    I don’t think I could bring myself to buy her book, knowing the family affected; I’d be interested to know where the profits go?
    I know I’m posting this way after you wrote up your piece but I hope you get to see this and can see the power of the Internet in linking all this info together. It amazes me now how long www has been around that things that seem like a lifetime ago, can now be traced with a few clicks.
    I have no other info that I could reasonably publish without an invasion of someone’s privacy – just thought I’d add to your piece.

    1. knottyJanuary 15, 2015 at 8:08 AM Hi Beverley!

      I look for new comments every day, so yes, they all get read!  

      How interesting to have a perspective from England. It really does go to show you how one person’s actions can have multiple ripple effects. Of course, when the action is murder, it only makes sense that the ripple effects would extend so far.

      I can only imagine how awful it was for James George’s family when he was killed, and especially the children. If you read this blog, you may have some idea why true crime, especially involving female perpetrators, is a special interest of mine. My husband was once married to a woman who, I think, could be capable of committing a serious crime if someone pushed her hard enough. Fortunately, I don’t think she’s quite as sociopathic as Erin seems to be.  

      I thought Erin’s book was interesting from the standpoint that she’s a prisoner in my home state. When I bought it, I didn’t remember who she was. It wasn’t until I started realizing that we were in college at the same place and at the same time that I started putting the pieces together. But yes, I do wonder where the profits from her book go. She is a talented writer.  

      This post gets a lot of hits from around the world. I think one of the other commenters was from Australia. Ripple effects have definitely scattered far and wide on this case.  

      I appreciate your comments!
  5. Gio GeorgeApril 3, 2015 at 8:19 PM Hello,
    It is difficult to see these things on the internet, of course I know an incident of this magnitude could never be private and it was inevitably going to appear on the web, however I have never wanted to search it up until now. It is interesting to see the different perspectives from other people who actually knew her during her early life. I am sure you will know her better than I ever will, as you had the opportunity to.

    On average one in four american adults suffer from mental illnesses , however I know this is no excuse for her behavior. What she did to James George her husband, a loving father, was unforgivable. Her actions had devastating effects on their family, especially their three children.
    I want to thank you for widening my knowledge on this subject.
    1. knottyApril 4, 2015 at 9:05 AM Hi Gio,

      I didn’t actually know Erin well. I have some friends who did know her through working on the newspaper or in classes. But I only knew who she was because she was editor of the paper at our college.

      You’re right that there is no excuse for what she did and, of course, I have no way of knowing if my speculation about why she committed her crimes has any validity. I can only guess based on the pattern of her actions that she is either narcissistic or sociopathic. For the unaware, she may seem like a perfectly nice, normal person. She does have writing talent, which may have been the source for what seems to me to be narcissistic tendencies.  

      If you haven’t done so already, I would recommend reading up on narcissistic personality disorder. While it can be painful reading for someone who is directly affected by a narcissist, it can also offer some clarity and maybe even a few answers.  
    2. Rebecca WeymouthMay 7, 2016 at 7:12 PM Gio, I knew Erin, spent two years together. While I cannot attest to her mental capacity, I know she deeply loves her children. I would lie awake on nights to the sound of muffled cries on birthdays, holidays or nights that the pain was to bad to hold in. Whether these tears were of guilt and remorse or an aching of the heart or both, I don’t know. But I do know this, she loves her children and spoke so fondly of them and how she would give her own life for just a moment to hold them.