COUSHATTA, La. – A man serving a life sentence in the grisly 1963 murder of a Coushatta woman has died.
Clyde Giddens died Sunday at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, confirmed the Louisiana Department of Corrections. Giddens was 80.
Dennis Bamburg, whose mother, Earline Bamburg, was brutally murdered by Giddens, received notification this week.
“We had mixed emotions,” Dennis Bamburg said of the news in an email to KTBS. “There will never be a chance to ask him face to face why he did what he did to someone we loved so very much. He would have probably lied if we had. On the other hand we never have to worry about opening up the newspaper or getting a call that Giddens has applied for yet another hearing in his quest to get out of prison.”
Giddens was in failing health in 2018 when KTBS reported on his attempt to get out of prison. Giddens, then 78, applied to the Louisiana Parole Board for a medical furlough. His request was denied.
He wanted to be moved to an off-site healthcare facility under the state’s expanded use of medical furloughs for inmates in declining health, which was part of an effort to reduce the state’s prison population.
But a KTBS story about Giddens' request prompted quick action by the Legislature, which within months passed a law excluding convicted murderers from medical furloughs.
Dennis Bamburg testified at the parole board hearing, telling the board how Gidden’s brutal murder of his mother affected the family.
Giddens, a Coushatta native, pleaded guilty to killing Earline Bamburg while on the hunt for his estranged wife. He blamed Earline Bamburg for the breakup of his marriage.
While AWOL from the Navy, Giddens went back to Red River Parish, killed 36-year-old Earline Bamburg, dismembered her body, fed parts to some dogs and set fire to the rest.
He pleaded guilty on Oct. 10, 1964 and was sentenced to life in prison. Earlene Bamburg’s family agreed not to pursue the death penalty.
At the time of the KTBS 3-Investigates story in March 2018, Giddens was almost bed bound and used a wheelchair to get around.
He applied for parole in 2017 and was denied. Dennis Bamburg thought that was the end.
But that’s the same year Louisiana adopted criminal justice reform laws, including one the medical furloughs. Giddens applied and was recommended by the state corrections department.
Red River Parish District Attorney Julie Jones was active in opposing Giddens’ parole and furlough requests.
Giddens never expressed remorse for his crime. He did not accept responsibility for Earline Bamburg’s death during parole hearings, Jones told KTBS in 2018.
“Every time he got a hearing we had to review and relive the horrific details of the brutal way he ended her life. It will take a while for this to sink because for nearly fifty years that has been our life,” Dennis Bamburg said about Giddens’ death.