The U.S. Postal Inspection Service

1996 Postmaster

On June 20, 1996, Agnes Wright, the Ruby, Alaska, postmaster, was found beaten and shot in her office. A postal money order machine, money orders, and cash were missing. The only clue was that several villagers recalled having seen a stranger near the post office on the day of the murder.

Inspectors and local law enforcement combed the area but did not find any leads for weeks. Then, a refuge manager discovered that a service cabin had been broken into. The items there were similar to those stolen in other burglaries committed by a man named Abram Walter. Three weeks after Wright’s murder Walter robbed the post office in Ester, Alaska. He was found, arrested, and brought up on federal charges for the murder of Wright and the robberies of the Ruby and Ester post offices. He pled guilty to killing Agnes Wright as a part of a plea agreement to take the death penalty off the table. Walter was sentenced on July 25, 1997 to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 30 years.

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After successfully closing the investigation into the murder of Postmaster Agnes Wright, the team assembled at the Ruby, Alaska Post Office: Inspectors Byrne Bennett, Adam Behnen, Mark Grenier, and Karrie Leaverton; and Troopers Burke Barrick, Lantz Dahlke, and Jim McCann.