Louisiana cold case has striking similarities to Gainesville student murders: Part 6

While investigating the student murders in Florida, investigator Don Maines was sent to Shreveport, Louisiana, where Scott Grissom’s father, sister and son were killed in 1989.
6:22 | 04/13/21

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Transcript for Louisiana cold case has striking similarities to Gainesville student murders: Part 6
Me and the devil Florida are locking their doors now and banding together. Five college students have been murdered in Gainesville this week alone. University officials are beefing up security and advising students to be extra careful. This story just really grabbed national attention, and attention that lasted for years, because there was just the horrifying idea that five young people go off to this -- supposed to be this great moment in their lives. Starting college life. And they don't even get past the first week. They're gone. They're killed. And there was just something about that cutting down like a scythe went through the place, that it just really gripped people. They immediately knew that something was up. This is the one no community wants. We still have a killer or killers loose out there, and we certainly want to app remend. We knew we had a monster on our hands and wanted to catch him. Then there appears to be a break with the case with the arrest of Ed Humphrey. 18-year-old Edward Lewis Humphrey is being held on $1 million bond. Police call Humphrey the best suspect they have for the The murders stopped. Maybe we do have the right guy. I wanted it to be him. I wanted to think that that person couldn't do that again. During the first week, an FBI representative came to help us. The FBI has a program called vicap, violent crime apprehension program. The investigator fills out information about the victim, the crime scene. When you have something similar to that that's been reported somewhere else in the nation, it kicks out. They actually got a hit in Shreveport, Louisiana. Shreveport, Louisiana, was a laid-back town. Country people. It wasn't uncommon for people to leave their house unlocked when they would go out, leave keys to their cars under the front seat. In early November 1989, there was a horrific crime. Triple murder, the Grissom family. Investigators found 55-year-old William Grissom, his 24-year-old daughter, and 8-year-old grandson stabbed in their home. My name is Scott Grissom. My dad Tom Grissom, had a sister, Julie Grissom, and my son, Sean Thomas Grissom, were all murdered on November the 4th in 1989. Knowing what happened, I can't erase that out of my mind. And nobody should have to go through that. Sean was 8 years old. He was actually over at dad and Julie's house celebrating his birthday. We got married the week before the murders, and then everything changed. It was the first Monday I was back at work after our honeymoon. Got a call that I needed to go to the management office. When I walked into the management off -- I knew something was wrong. They were murdered on November the 4th but were not found until November the 6th by a neighbor who noticed that their vehicles hadn't moved all weekend. Their case was cold at that point. Their case was a year old. They didn't have any suspects. State police sent an investigator, don Maines, up to Shreveport to look at the evidence. I was greeted by the Shreveport police department, and we started to compare our respective crime scenes. What was of interest to the Gainesville investigators is that the body of Julie Grissom was laid out almost identical to that of Sonja Larson. She was staged on the edge of the bed. Her body was laid back on the bed, arms above her, feet on the floor. And her hair was fanned out on the bed. With a towel underneath her feet, and with some cleansing material. It was vinegar used in that case. A knife was used to kill Julie, just like a knife was used in all of our crime scenes. Duct tape was used to bind the victim, just like ours. But more uniquely, after the incident, the duct tape was removed. And so few of these details had been released publically that investigators knew that they couldn't be dealing with a copycat killer in Gainesville. I felt as though the similarities between our crime scenes was uncanny. Don Maines came back from Shreveport, saying "My gut tells me this is it. This is a match. We have the same killer from Shreveport to Gainesville." But there were people on the task force that really -- that disputed that. At that point in time, there was a suspect. And this particular suspect had nothing to do with Shreveport. In the Shreveport case, Julie Grissom, our victim there, she had been bitten on her left breast. And knowing that our perpetrator was a "B" secretor, the decision was made to take the physical evidence and send it to the FBI lab. And we were able to determine that the perpetrator in Shreveport was a "B" secretor. That was a revelation. Just one more piece of evidence that I could take to the officers in charge who had grave doubts about Shreveport being involved in this case. But the police were about to get another tip, and this one would even more conclusively tie the student murders in Gainesville back to the murders

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