Officers arrested Gary Grant Jr. (34 years, Richmond) for a no-bail felony warrant.
In 1984, seven-year old Gary Grant Jr. lived in Atlantic City with his mother, May Grant. Gary’s father, Gary Grant Sr., was a local police detective who had been separated from May for nearly a year. On January 12, Gary told his mother he was going out to play in the neighbourhood and that he had an “appointment” with someone at 2:30 PM, though he wouldn’t share any specific details. Gary did not return by nightfall and was reported missing. Two days later, his body was found in a vacant lot next to a warehouse located only two blocks from his home. He had been bludgeoned to death after being struck across the head multiple times with a short length of pipe, which was found nearby, and his body was covered with a rug. When police canvassed the neighbourhood for information, multiple witnesses recalled seeing Gary on the afternoon he went missing with a friend named Carl “Boo” Mason, a mentally disabled 12-year old with an IQ of 65. However, when Boo was questioned by police, he denied being with Gary that day. This discrepancy compelled police to bring Boo down to the station for questioning, which started shortly after midnight. Even though Boo was accompanied by his grandmother, he did not have an attorney present and his grandmother was not in the room during the first few hours he was questioned. At around 3:15 AM, Boo finally admitted to hitting Gary in the head with a pipe. While police read Boo his rights, they convinced him and his grandmother to sign a statement waving his rights. After nearly five more hours of interrogation, police finally typed up a statement in which Boo confessed to fatally striking Gary. Both Boo and his grandmother signed the confession and he was formally charged with Gary’s murder. However, Boo would soon recant his confession and claim he only signed the statement because he was exhausted and police told him he could go home and sleep if he said he did it. There was no physical evidence linking Boo to the crime, as his fingerprints were not on the pipe, and while two drops of blood were found on Boo’s clothing, they were too small determine if they belonged to Gary. A hearing was held in juvenile court to determine if Boo’s confession could be used at his trial, but it was thrown out by the judge, who believed Boo’s constitutional rights had been violated. With no other evidence to implicate him, the charges against Boo were dropped. Gary Grant Sr. always speculated that Boo might not have killed Gary himself, but was present when the murder took place. Boo’s brother had been arrested on robbery charges a few days before the murder and Gary Sr. heard rumours that the brother was planning a scheme to recruit young kids like Gary to break into houses for him. On January 4, 1986, some cryptic graffiti was discovered on a patrol car which read: “Gary Grant’s dead. I am living. Another will die on 01-12-86 if all goes right”. The two-year anniversary of Gary’s murder passed and nothing happened, but a few weeks later, a second cryptic message was found scrawled on an sidewalk which read: “Gary Grant Jr. lives. I still killed him. Son of a pig officer. Payback is a M.F.”. This caused speculation that Gary’s murder was revenge from someone his father had arrested in the past, but Gary Sr. claimed he could not think of any suspects who stood out. By 2015, Gary Sr. was retired from the police force, but still did his own investigative work on the case. While converting some old audio tapes to MP3 format, Gary Sr. came across a recording of a 911 call he’d never heard before that took place on March 8, 1986, which would have been Gary’s tenth birthday. The anonymous caller asked if he could collect a reward on himself for the murder of Gary Grant and said: “You’ll never be able to catch me”. The tape also contained a second 911 recording from an anonymous caller who claimed he heard Gary’s killer confess to the crime and say he killed Gary because of his father. The caller actually named a suspect, who had pled guilty to charges of sexual contact with a child younger than five and child endangerment in 2013. Gary Sr. actually recognized the suspect’s name, but did not recall ever having any serious problems with him. In spite of a public plea for information, the two 911 callers have never been identified.