Byrd Billings is know by many around Pensacola, Florida as "Bud" Billings. Reports are that Bud Billings owned an "adult entertainment" business in the 1990's. Billings opened the Backseat Lounge in Pensacola and sold the club in the mid-1990's. See 8-10-09 update below.Interesting video here featuring a former employee of Byrd "Bud" Billings' strip club. Arety Kapetanis, who is now the owner of Arety's Angels praises both Bud and Melanie Billings for their professionalism and empathy:
Bud and Melanie both were very, very empathetic, caring people who really just wanted to be treated the way they treat other people and they treat other people with such great respect.
Whatever comes up with this investigation, I think it's important that people know that Bud and Melanie were probably two of the most generous, loving, considerate people with a lot of integrity.The Billings also owned Worldco Financial Services and Purshu Autos.
To some, the business background of Byrd Billings added fuel to the speculation fire. He was a used car dealer and owned a finance company. He bankrolled nightclubs and was a partner in at least one adult entertainment club in Pensacola, the Back Seat, which has long been closed.According to the Pensacola News Journal, Byrd "Bud" Billings is a native of Mississippi. He later lived in Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois and Greenville, MS, where he got into the used car business with Vince Gardinia who became a life-long friend and eventually moved to Pensacola to continue a business relationship there.
In Pensacola, Billings developed interests in a variety of businesses. Over the years, he staked claims in numerous bars, night clubs and used car dealerships — places that dealt heavily in cash.He later expanded into the three prongs of the used car trade — finance, sale and repossession, and later opened Worldco Financial Services, which offered loans to people and businesses who otherwise couldn't get credit.Ashley Markham, the Billings' daughter has also worked in the family car business, and took over the managment when Bud Billings retired a few years ago. She said her dad was "a very smart businessman," and all the business were kept within the family. From Ashley:
Being in both the financing and repossession businesses has drawn suspicious eyes from some critics, but Ashley said the business always was above the board."We are a registered financial company," Ashley said. "The loans were all documented. We've been in business for 12 years. We had an audit done a few years ago, and every thing was fine. My dad worked from 6 in the morning to 8 at night Monday through Saturday," Ashley said. "He wasn't a spender. My dad would drive a 1980 truck off the (dealership's) parking lot and wouldn't think twice about it.Ashley Markham is the biological daughter of Melanie Billings. Update 8-10-09: Another arrest has been with possible links to the Billings' murders. Henry Cab Tice owned Byrd Billings $10,000 and Billings had filed a complaint against Tice in May 2008 for grand theft. See Henry Cab Tice is Byrd Billings Arrested Debtor: Tice Billings Mexican Mafia? Background and related: See Henry Cab Tice is Byrd Billings Arrested Debtor: Tice Billings Mexican Mafia? Byrd and Melanie Billings Murders Contract Hit? Billings Murders Tails of Trial Runs Rakeem Florence is Teenager charged in Billings Murders Byrd Billings Human Trafficking? Patrick Poff is Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr.: Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. Profile Kathryn Colbert is Billings Murder Tipster: Colbert Denied Reward Pamela Long Wiggins Bail, Billings Murders: Pamela Wiggins Multiple Marriages? Pamela Long Wiggins is Arrested; Billings Safe Found? Pamela Laverne Long is Person of Interest in Byrd, Melanie Billings Murders Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. is Byrd, Melanie Billings Murder Organizer Byrd Billings, Melanie Billings Murdered: Billings Parents of 16 Children Byrd Billings, Melanie Billings Murder Arrests: Three Arrests in Billings Murders (video) Byrd, Melanie Billings Murders:Fourth Arrest Made, New Details