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. Their home was attached to a gas station and liquor store that was owned by the Gryziec family 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. The men, both wearing ski masks, tied her up and then began ransacking the house. She noticed that one of the men had a small, pearl-handled gun. Stanley, who was upstairs running her a bath, ran down and was attacked by the men. The men looked through the house for over two hours before leaving. After the men left, Esther freed herself and found her husband 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 Gryziec's children were allowed to enter the house. While looking around, their son Martin was shocked to discover a shell casing on the floor of the dining room, where Stanley had been killed. Somehow, the police had missed this during their search. When Martin called the police, a detective came to the home and took the shell casing with him.
The official autopsy report stated that Stanley had died from a single stab wound to the heart. The 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. The Gryziec family suspected a cover-up in the case. Sadly, two years later, Esther passed away without ever seeing her husband'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 hired killers.
The Gryziecs' neighbor, Amy Scott, claimed to have seen the two men 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 at the bar around the time of the murder. The killers have never been identified and Stanley's murder remains unsolved.
Police would also like to locate a former employee of the bar named Charles "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, the Gryziecs' neighbor, told 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. The car 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 rear view mirror and saw the men again. She left the bank and the car followed her for several blocks until she went to the police station.
Amy led investigators to Patsy Peck, a local bookstore owner. Patsy told them that on the day before the murder, two men matching the killers' descriptions came into the store. The men appeared to be friends with Patsy's husband.
Shortly after the murder, the two men were spotted at a local bar. The men had met with another individual at the back of the bar. This person gave the two men an envelope with a large sum of money. The two men then left the bar. The person that gave them the money claimed that the two men 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 Stanley's 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. The man took the informant to Stanley's house and told him that the Gryziecs had a large amount of money in their home. However, the informant refused to help the man.
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. This bar was the same place where the informant had worked and the two men were seen at shortly after the murder. The bar 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, the two 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 of 1991, thanks in part to the viewer tips, investigators announced that they had a prime suspect in Stanley's murder. They believe that the suspect hired the two men to kill Stanley because he knew too much about the illegal activities occurring at the bar owned by his brother Peter. However, the investigators did not have enough evidence to charge the man with Stanley's 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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- Stanley Gryziec on Find a Grave