ID’s Dead Days of Summer is back this week with a stunning new case centering on Debbie Gama, a 16-year-old high school student at Strong Vincent in Erie, Pennsylvania. When the young girl died and her body floated in a stream, the small village was shaken.
Twisted Lessons is the name of the upcoming episode of the program, which is set to premiere on August 11, 2022. The synopsis of the episode is as follows:
“In Erie, Pennsylvania, hunters discover the raped and strangled body of feisty high school student Debbie Gama in a creek, and police questioning turns up nothing until new evidence reveals a dark world of sex, drugs, and bondage,” reads the book.
Debbie Gama who was she?
Debbie Gama, a Pennsylvania native, met a horrible end at the hands of a school teacher who harbored some dark thoughts. Although the perpetrator gave a different account of what happened, the primary reason for her killing and the order in which it occurred remained the same.
Debbie, who was close to her mother, got into a heated argument with her on a hot summer day in August 1975. Little did her mother know that it was the last time her daughter would see her. After Debbie stormed out of her house, she took some time to come back.
Although her family initially believed the teen fled after the argument, her body was discovered a few days later in a creek in Crawford County, Pennsylvania.
She had copper wires around her neck, hands and legs and down her hands and legs. Authorities identified “acute asphyxiation by ligature” as the cause of death. The forensic findings also pointed to violence.
Further investigation revealed that Debbie Gama had been taken to a nearby park while intoxicated on medication, where she had been assaulted and tied up. She was then killed by being strangled and thrown into a stream. The authorities searched in vain for a long time before they finally got somewhere with outside help.
Who Was Debbie Gama’s Killer?
Raymond Payne was found guilty of first-degree murder in the murder of Debbie Gama by Erie County Judges Edward Carney, William Patht and Lindley McClelland.
After the police spent much time pursuing legitimate leads, Debbie’s mother hired a private investigator who uncovered a crucial connection. Police pursued the line after the PI found a connection between Debbie and her high school teacher, Raymond Payne, and uncovered some evidence directly connecting Raymond to the murder of young Debbie.
Almost a year after Debbie’s death, Raymond was arrested in September 1976. The teacher was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder, though he claimed Debbie’s death was an accident and that she gave her consent to being tied to copper wire.
In 2020, Raymond Payne died of COVID-19 after testing positive. At that point he was imprisoned.