GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Homicides can go unsolved for years after someone loses their life, but sometimes, even decades later, new leads can be developed and suspects can be found.
The City of Greensboro maintains a database of “cold case” homicides that happened within the city. The city says, “to bring some small degree of peace to the families and to hold offenders accountable for their acts, Greensboro police never close an unsolved homicide case.”
They define cold cases as serious crimes where leads have been exhausted and therefore the cases remain unsolved.
The website goes on to say that, often, cold case homicides are solved because of one tip or piece of evidence that makes the difference in the investigation.
Recently, Reidsville police revealed that new DNA technology used by the North Carolina State Crime Lab helped them move forward with the nearly 30-year-old homicide of Edward Ware, charging a suspect in his death.
The city’s records of cold cases go all the way back to 1969 and are sectioned off by decade. There are six homicides from 1969 to 1979 that remain unsolved and open as listed on the site.
Willie Ernest Grimes
Willie Grimes was a North Carolina A&T State University student who was shot and killed just before 1 a.m. on May 22, 1969, on the school’s campus, between Carver Hall and Ward Hall. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The Civil Rights Digital Library states that Grimes was killed during a “racial disturbance” that he was not participating in. This was the 1969 Greensboro Uprising, where protests on the then-segregated Dudley High School spilled over when A&T students began protests in solidarity, culminating in clashes between students, police and even the National Guard.
It is unknown whether Grimes was shot by police or someone else.
Oscar Wright was found lying on East Whittington Street just after 11 p.m. on July 9, 1970. He had been shot and was pronounced dead on arrival at Moses Cone Hospital.
Greensboro police officers found Anderson Brooks lying at the bottom of the back stairs of a residence on Cottage Grove Avenue around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 4, 1973. He had been shot multiple times.
On Aug. 21, 1976, just after 5 p.m. officers arrived at Burtner Street and found Roy Wishon lying in a wooded area, dead from blunt force injuries.
Around 4:30 p.m. on April 3, 1977, police got a call about a “subject down” inside a home on West Wendover Avenue. When they got there, they found 68-year-old Grace Richardson, who had been stabbed to death.
Police were called to a home on Gorrell Street on Sept. 24, 1978, just after 7 a.m. where they found James Dick lying in the doorway with a stab wound to the leg.