Real Name: Stanley E. Gryziec
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Rome, New York
Date: November 6, 1976
Details: Fifty-nine-year-old Stanley Gryziec lived with his wife, Esther, at their home in Rome, New York. It was attached to a gas station and liquor store that were owned by them from 1957 to 1976. Stanley was in charge of the liquor store while his brothers, Peter and Bernard, ran the gas station. On the night of November 6, 1976, Esther was doing her nightly check of the doors and windows when two unidentified men broke into their house. They, both wearing ski masks, tied her up and then began ransacking the house. She noticed that one of them had a small, pearl-handled gun. Stanley, who was upstairs running her a bath, ran down and was attacked by them. They looked through the house for over two hours before leaving. After they did so, Esther freed herself and found Stanley dead. Their six-year-old grandson was asleep in another bedroom; he was unharmed.
Police searched the house and determined that only two bottles of beer were missing. It was suspected that the men were searching for something hidden by Stanley. The next day, the Gryziecs' children were allowed to enter the house. While looking around, their son, Martin, was shocked to discover a shell casing on the dining room floor, where Stanley had been killed. Somehow, the police had missed this during their search. When Martin called them, a detective came to the house and took the shell casing with him.
The official autopsy report stated that Stanley had died from a single stab wound to the heart. His family did not believe this because of the gun that Esther saw and the shell casing found on the floor. His body was later exhumed and a second autopsy was performed. It was then determined that he had been shot to death by a .25 caliber bullet. His family suspected a cover-up in the case. Sadly, Esther passed away two years later without ever seeing Stanley's killer apprehended.
It wasn't until 1989 when new leads came up in the case. A witness came forward saying that he knew who killed Stanley. The man had asked the witness to break into the house, which he said he had refused to do. The case was soon reactivated and the new investigators found several witnesses who believed that they had seen the killers.
The Gryziecs' neighbor, Amy Scott, claimed to have seen the killers several times before the murder. Two other witnesses also came forward claiming to have seen them in the days preceding the murder. One of the witnesses, Patsy Peck, told investigators that she had given the police this information back in 1976, but the original investigators did not records this.
Police learned that Stanley's brother, Peter, owned the liquor license for the bar that the one witness worked at. The killers were also allegedly seen there around the time of the murder. They have never been identified and the case remains unsolved.
Police would also like to locate a former employee of the bar named Chuck Bucrzinski, who is a material witness in the case. He jumped bail in 1977 while on trial for drug charges.
Suspects: Two composites were made of the suspected killers. One is described as a tall, dark-haired white male. The other is described as a shorter, stockier white male with sandy hair.
Amy Scott told the police that around 11pm on the night of the murder, she had let her dogs outside. When looking out, she saw a man walking through the alley towards the Gryziec home. About a half hour, when she let her dogs back inside, she saw the same man return to a white Lincoln Continental. It then sped down the street, almost hitting her dogs. A few days later, she was at a bank's drive-thru when she looked in her rearview mirror and saw the men again. She left the bank and they followed her for several blocks until she went to the police station.
Amy led investigators to Patsy Peck, a local bookstore owner. She told them that on the day before the murder, two men matching the killers' descriptions came into the store. They appeared to be friends with her husband.
Shortly after the murder, the two men were spotted at a local bar. They had met with another individual at the back. He gave them an envelope with a large sum of money. They then left the bar. The person that gave them the money claimed that they had done a "job" for him and they had to leave town.
In March 1989, a new witness came forward, claiming to know the identity of the person that hired the killers. The informant, an acknowledged drug dealer, stated that in 1976, he was working at a bar in Rome. A few days before the murder, a man associated with the bar asked the informant to pull a burglary. He took the informant to the Gryziec home and told him that they had a large amount of money there. However, the informant refused to help him.
Stanley's family speculates he may have known too much about unsavory activities taking place at a local bar formerly owned by his deceased brother, Peter. It was the same place where the informant had worked and the two men were seen at shortly after the murder. It had its liquor license revoked in 1982 due to onsite gambling and illegal selling of controlled substances. Prior to Peter's death, Stanley had visited him and they had a secret conversation behind closed doors. After the conversation, they never spoke again.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the October 10, 1990 episode.
Results: Unresolved. As a result of the broadcast, investigators received more than 300 tips about the case. In January 1991, thanks in part to the viewer tips, investigators announced that they had a prime suspect in the murder. They believe that the suspect hired the two men to kill him because he knew too much about the illegal activities occurring at the bar owned by Peter. However, the investigators did not have enough evidence to charge the man with the murder, as several of the key witnesses had either moved away or died. The case remains officially unsolved.
- Stanley Gryziec on Unsolved.com
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- Rome Sentinel - May 5, 1990
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- Rome Sentinel - October 19, 1990
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- Sitcoms Online Discussion of Stanley's Case
- Stanley Gryziec on Find a Grave