20 years later: Alvin Ridley's acquittal in his wife's death told around the world

McCracken Poston and Alvin Ridley go to lunch together once a week. (Image: WTVC)

A case that captivated our area more than 20 years ago, is now going worldwide. 20 years ago, Alvin Ridley was accused of his wife's murder in Ringgold. His attorney at the time, McCracken Poston convinced a jury that both Alvin and Virginia were reclusive and suffered from mental illness.

The jury acquitted Alvin of the murder charge and Poston proclaimed him an innocent man on the steps of the Catoosa County courthouse. He says, since the case, Alvin went back into hiding, and even became the victim of a phone scam preying on the elderly. Poston says he resurfaced about a year ago, and since then, the two have gone to lunch once a week, just to keep up with each other.

We found them at the Golden Corral in Fort Oglethorpe. "It's a lot more fun being with him now than it was 20 years ago," Poston says. "He was distraught and grieving and paranoid about people wanting to help him."

Poston says the only way he was able to get in Alvin's home was bringing leftover Thanksgiving turkey from his own family dinner. He said it was that visit where he was able to find Virginia Ridley's writings. Poston believes that convinced a jury of Alvin's innocence. Virginia wrote observations about most of the things that happened in her life. The writings showed she was paranoid, but happy in her life with Alvin.

Poston says Alvin Ridley's story has been told many times in the past two decades in true crime shows. Thursday night, a Japanese documentary aired in Tokyo about the case. Poston said it's the first time Alvin's ever received any money to talk about what happened. Poston says he invites people to lunch with them every week, to help re-introduce Alvin to the community.

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