The Trail Went Cold – Episode 55 – Gary Grant Jr.

January 12, 1984. Atlantic City, New Jersey. Seven-year old Gary Grant Jr., the son of a local police detective, leaves his home after telling his mother he is meeting someone for an appointment. Two days later, Gary’s body is discovered in a vacant lot after he has been bludgeoned to death with a pipe. A 12-year old friend of Gary’s named Carl “Boo” Mason soon confesses to the murder and is charged with the crime, but since Boo has a mental disability and a low IQ, his confession is thrown out and the charges are dropped. Over the next three decades, Gary’s father would be taunted by cryptic graffiti and also uncover a recording of an anonymous 911 caller confessing to the crime. Was Boo Mason involved in the murder of Gary Grant Jr. or was someone else responsible? On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we examine the incredibly tragic unsolved murder of a police officer’s son.

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.

3 thoughts on “The Trail Went Cold – Episode 55 – Gary Grant Jr.

  • Regarding why Boo might have lied about being with Gary–if Gary wasn’t allowed to play with Boo–Boo might have lied so he and Gary would not get into trouble for hanging out together. I do wonder why Gary’s mom forbade him from hanging out with Boo…being that it was 1984, I can’t help think it’s because of his disability… Even now, people think that people with mental disabilities of any kind or dangerous, or they make them uncomfortable…. The stigma of having mentl problems screws a lot of people over.

    Though maybe if we knew her reasoning….it would provide some insight. I agree that it does sound a lot like Boo saw what happened and was too scared to say so. I wish we knew more about his brother. Though if the brother *were* recruiting for child thieves (the idea of which is kind of random, but who knows) even if he did not want to recruit Gary, maybe Gary had seen him talking to other kids and didn’t want him to tell his dad. Or maybe the brother had roped Boo into it–he seemed pretty easy to manipulate, especially by someone he likely loved and trusted–and since Boo hung out with Gary, he didin’t want Boo to tell Gary th wrong thing.

    I really hope this one gets solved… : /

    • That’s a good point. With his intellectual capacity, I wonder if Boo could even register what he saw or understand the implications if he witnessed Gary get murdered. But he would understand that he could possibly get in trouble if someone found out he was playing with Gary when he wasn’t allowed to, so that’s why he lied about it.

  • A couple details concerning Boo stand out, I think. On Charlie Worroll’s Crimelines (formerly In Sight) podcast, one of her sources mentioned that a friend brought Boo over to May’s apt. either the day Gary went missing or after they found his body, saying that he had some information. He was apparently too scared to come in, and just stood there shaking before saying “I didn’t see him.” That, combined with the detail he gave about Gary being strangled that no one else but the police knew, and even the polygraph results indicating he was truthful about not killing Gary but untruthful about not being there, seem to indicate that he knows something. Perhaps Gary’s father’s theory about Boo’s older brother holds some weight. Then again, in the Unsolved Mysteries episode, Gary’s father mentions that people on the boardwalk told him they had seen Gary there early on Friday, the day after his disappearance, so he could have simply have been abducted as well.

    As for the 911 calls, the first one asking about the reward sounds very smug, as do the graffiti messages, so I think they all might be related there. Sounds like someone who just hated the AC police force, though, because I agree if it was the killer playing games to get noticed (as many of them do) they probably wouldn’t have abruptly stopped and never picked it back up again.

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