Murder of milkman solved after 56 years


The Indian River Sheriff’s Office in southeast Florida in the US says they have solved the oldest cold case in their history – the murder of Hiram “Ross” Grayam, a veteran of World War II.

Grayam, who was also awarded the Purple Heart for heroism by the U.S. Army, “felt the horrors of the Ardennes Offensive experienced and the liberation of two concentration camps” before he became “a beloved milkman”, the department said in a Facebook post.

He was killed on April 11, 1968 while delivering milk.

The sheriff’s office says his killer was finally identified as Thomas J. Williams, who was 21 years old at the time of the crime and died in 2016, reports CBS News.

Indian River Sheriff Eric Flowers said Thursday that when Grayam was last seen alive, two men were with him in his delivery vehicle. The truck was later found in a forest. Grayam was found next to the vehicle. He was “killed by execution”, Flowers said. He was robbed of about $70.

The sheriff said Williams became a suspect in 2006 when Grayam’s son Larry Grayam talked to the media about the case. Williams sent a letter to a local newspaper to deny that he was involved.

“At that stage he wasn’t even on anyone’s radar, but he inserted himself into the crime and he became a suspect,” Larry Grayam said on Thursday, according to TCPalm.

The sheriff said that after Williams, a habitual criminal, died, his ex-wife and a friend of his sister came forward independently to say he confessed to them, reports CBS12.

The sheriff said they were “only willing to talk to us because the man, who was so violent, is now dead”.

Flowers said the investigating officers know the identity of the second suspect and hope that someone in the community will come forward with more information.

Larry Grayam, who was 16 years old when his father died, said the loss had deeply affected their family. His mother died three years after his father’s death “due to a broken heart”. He said during a press conference with the sheriff on Thursday that he is “very satisfied” that the case can now be closed.