New England's Unsolved: Final secrets of police chief killer found in backyard grave

For 37 years, New England mobster Donald Eugene Webb was one of the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives.

Webb made that infamous list after he shot and killed Pennsylvania Police Chief Greg Adams during a December 1980 traffic stop in Saxonburg.

Donald Webb had ties to the Patriarca Crime Family. Investigators believe he was in Pennsylvania looking for jewelry stores to rob.

Donald Webb's blood-splattered rental car was found in Rhode Island two weeks after the Police Chief's murder, but Webb himself completely disappeared.

In July 2017, everything changed. And Webb's grisly secrets finally began breaking.

Donald Webb's widow, Lillian Webb, cut a deal to avoid prosecution and to avoid a civil lawsuit brought by the police chief’s family.  In return, Lillian told Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, and Massachusetts State Police what happened to her husband.

To this day, it remains a shocking story.

Lillian Webb told investigators Donald spent the last nineteen years of his life, living in the basement of two homes: one in New Bedford, the other, a few miles away in Dartmouth.

In both homes, a secret room was constructed, where Donald would take his meals, and where he would hide if any visitors stopped by.

In 1999, Lillian told investigators Donald suffered a massive stroke in the Dartmouth house, but he could not be treated. Instead, Donald instructed Lillian to dig a hole behind a backyard storage shed where he wanted to be buried.

Lillian told authorities she followed her husband's instructions, digging her husband's grave in the frozen December soil.

Just before New Year's 1999, Lillian Webb told investigators, a second stroke killed Donald Webb. She said she placed her husband's body in a plastic container, dragged it out of the house, and buried it in the hole she recently dug.

In July 2017, Lillian brought police to the very spot. Drawing a line in the dirt with her foot, Lillian told police, "He's right there."

Almost immediately, the digging began.

Pennsylvania State Police Corporal Chris Birckbichler told Boston 25's New England's Unsolved, "The first hour and a half was very slow and methodical. Documenting. And we were able to find a knee. That was the first thing we came to. That was confirmation for me."

Saxonburg Police Chief Greg Adams' widow, Mary Ann Jones, lives in Florida now. Over the internet, Jones watched detectives work in Lillian Webb's backyard.

News that Donald Webb had been located, 37 years after her husband's murder, was a huge relief.

"I  still cannot believe that one human being could do that to another human being. Just bury them like a dog in the yard," Jones told New England's Unsolved.

Donald Webb's grave yielded one more final secret.

When authorities laid out Webb's skeleton on the ground, they could see his ankle was badly broken.

For years, investigators believed Chief Adams shot Webb in the leg during that fatal 1980 struggle. The leg and ankle injury proved Chief Adams used his military training and violently kicked Webb's leg just before he was killed.

"I can see Greg doing that," the Chief's widow told New England's Unsolved.  "He was just a scrappy guy. He would fight. He wouldn't back down."

For Corporal Birckbichler, whose father worked with the Chief Adams, finding Webb's body buried in Dartmouth, Massachusetts was an honor.

And knowing the truth about Webb spent his final years in pain was gratifying.

"I take satisfaction in knowing that every step Webb took for the rest of his life, he remembered Greg," Birckbichler said. "And he remembered that fight. And Greg took that fight to him."