Was payback the motive for the murder of a detective’s 7-year-old son?
January 12, 1984, was a rare midweek holiday for 7-year-old Gary Grant Jr. There was no school because of a teacher’s conference. Gary lived with his mother, May. She and Gary’s father, an Atlantic City, New Jersey Police detective, had been separated for nearly a year. According to May, that morning Gary told his mother that he had an appointment that afternoon:
Around noon, Gary left home. He told May he would be back by 4:00 PM, before it got dark:
When another two hours passed with no sign of Gary, May telephoned her husband. Gary Grant Sr. proceeded to search the neighborhood for his son:
By the next morning, the Atlantic City Police Department had started an all out search for Gary Jr. Regulations prevented Detective Grant from taking part in the official investigation, but as a father, he was unwilling to stand by and do nothing:
The next afternoon the body of Gary Grant, Jr. was found in a vacant lot less than two blocks from his home. He had been beaten to death. Nearby, lay a short length of heavy pipe, probably the murder weapon. The police immediately imposed a radio silence until the boy’s family could be notified. At virtually that same moment, Detective Grant, exhausted and on the verge of collapse, came upon the scene:
The investigation began like all others, with detectives tracing the victim’s final hours and talking to those who knew him best. Carl Mason, nicknamed “Boo”, was a mentally challenged 12-year-old with an IQ of 65. Though Boo was five years older than Gary, he was smaller in height and weight. The two boys were good friends and often played together. According to Rick Murray, an investigative journalist who covered the case, Boo said he was not with Gary on the day of his murder:
That night, Boo was driven to police headquarters by his grandmother. Once there, Boo was separated from his grandmother and led into a small room for questioning. But according to Rick Murray, Boo’s stories were inconsistent:
After three long hours, police believed they had an admission of guilt. A confession was drawn up based on the interrogation. Boo signed the document, but insisted he had not murdered his friend. He was charged with murder and sent to a juvenile detention center. However, Boo still maintained he was not with Gary the day he went missing:
On Sunday, January 15th, Boo was given a polygraph exam. The results were inconclusive. According to Rick Murray, three days later a second test was administered:
A month after Boo Mason was arrested, a hearing was held to determine whether his “confession” was admissible in court. The charges against Boo Mason were dropped and police never came up with another viable suspect. But two years later, it became obvious that someone had not forgotten Gary Grant, Jr. At approximately 3:00 AM, on January 4, 1986, a vandal painted a chilling message on the side of an Atlantic City patrol car that read, “Gary Grant’s dead. I am living. Another will die on January 12th if all goes right.” According to Detective Grant, January 12th would have been the second anniversary of his son’s murder:
A few weeks later, a second cryptic message was scratched on a sidewalk: “Gary Grant Jr. lives. I still killed him. Son of a pig officer. Payback is a M.F.” This second message led to speculation that Gary had been murdered as retribution, possibly for an arrest his father had made. To date, no further messages have been received.
But for May Grant and the rest of the family, there is still hope that one day Gary Jr.’s killer will be brought to justice:
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From what I learnt from some research “Boo’s brother got arrested a few days before the murder, also locals believe Boo’s brother had started recruiting young children to do robberies on his behalf knowing they would get lighter sentences and he could avoid any further arrests. I personally am convinced Boo’s brother had partnered up with one of polices officers In this endeavour and that when Boo’s brother tried to pressure Gary Into joining his theivery gang thinking a police officers son would never be suspected of robbery but Gary either told Boo or this police partner of Boo,s bother what was going on and this appointment was either to go with Boo to meet Boo’s brother or to meet this police officer. Im surewhoever Gary was meant to meet Boo’s brother was the one waiting for him and when Gary said he was gonna tell his father Boo’s brother snapped and beat him to death and the police partner deliberately messed up the murder investigation by not taking fingerprints and other other things to mess up the investigation to hide their own involvement in this theivery gang. This cop Along with Boo covering for his brother as I have no doubt Boo was present during the murder allowed Boo’s brother to get away with killing Gary.
Boo’s brother is now dead so Garys killer will never face justice.
The spirit of the boy told me who did it to him. But for legal reasons I can’t say the suspect or make accusations without physical evidence. It was someone with knowledge of police whereabouts. (Just to graffiti on a cop car is evidence of that.) And the Father had nothing to do with it. In fact that was one of the greatest reenactments they ever had on the show. But it was someone very close to him. When his spirit told me who, I responded “know wonder why they haven’t solved it.” (It was a very inconvenient suspect to look at.)
I really do believe that boo knows who killed Gary grant Jr. I think the killer had probably threatened boo!!!
For the police officer , and his family to loose a child is terrible but to loose a child to murder is so so hard . the said killer if they did leave the note and phone call message , its personal but it does not fully ascertain if he or they were involved or had something to do with the child ‘s death. only the killer or killers who knew info only the police would know on the death of the child would ascertain there involvement in the death of the child. for someone to play a sick joke on the parents of the boy , by pretending to be the killer is so wrong if that was the case . granted some people out there do have an issue with cops esp if they were arrested by them in the past but i don’t think they would kill the police officers son, unless it was really payback revenge on what the officer did as a job to the said person who was more than likely arrested by the childs father at one time. To kill someone , esp to beat a kid to death means no turning back and a violent way to kill a child too means a lot of anger and hate. many killings happen at random ,for stupid things . 2 theories , one is the person or persons who kidnapped his son and killed him knew the boy and his family or 2nd motive is the cop must have arrested the person in the past and the guy had a grudge , or the person was a wanderer who was known to police and had a thing for kids. either way the killer or killers are still not caught. there is no justice for this boy, nor peace for his family knowing who is responsible for there beloved sons murder /death. no parent should ever loose a child . the pain is always there. no matter how long it takes , justice will come on those who did this horrific murder of a child , in this life or the next . R.I.P Gary Grant Jr. hope someone comes forward , with new info. someone knows something , someone must know something no matter how slight .
I know for sure it was boo and his brother who is now dead boo definitely killed Gary sad man
How do you know for sure?
Looking back on the show, how many times do the police “interrogate” or force a confession out of someone with an iq of below 70?? The Johnny dude who they said burned down his grandma’s house, etc. I love how they seperate this poor kid from his grandma and question him alone for hrs. “If you tell us what we wanna hear, you can go home.” It’s sick.
Im sorry for Garry Sr’s loss, and it sucks they have no leads and people are obviously messing with him. I dont buy the 911 call or the graffiti are from the killer(s). How is the confession from a developmentally delayed minor (at the time) the ONLY lead?
here the good link for audio wow im sure they can investigate more thoroughly here
Gary Grant Sr should have gone back to all the arrest he had made and investigate those men and maybe found the killer.
Guy in the recording was just taunting if he did anything at all. Probably got off on it but $10 it was just a prank. We’ll never know. People lie about everything for sport. As for the graffiti, likely pranks too by some idiot but again we’ll never know. Too bad though whatever occurred, but likely some random child predator as they’re everywhere hiding in plain sight. Was rough being a kid in the 80s though.
I was a kid in the 80’s and looking back we now know that the “random child abductions” along with the “Satanic panic” was nothing but nonsense that got innocent people sent to prison, it is not a coincidence that both of these moral panics coincided with the rise of the Regan Moral Majority who now make up the current Christian Nationalism MAGA cult which is a REAL THREAT to our democracy
Lmao, please keep your political derangement out of this.
Jenny from the Block
It always seems peculiar to me that the police can launch an “all out search” for someone, spend hours and hours rooting around in every nook and cranny for miles around with a fine-tooth comb, and then – lo and behold – the missing individual (or their body) always seems to end up within a few blocks of where they went missing. Wouldn’t places like that have already been searched? And if so, why is there no mention of the oddity of finding a body in a spot that had already been tromped through by multiple searchers?
The notes left after the death of this little boy are, more or less, just griping from disgruntled cop-haters who think it’s fitting that a cop’s child should die simply because a cop is a cop is a cop. I would be willing to wager my income for the upcoming year that neither note-writer (or “the” writer, if they were penned by the same person) had anything at all to do with Gary Junior’s death, or anyone else’s for that matter.
Did anything come of the first comment where someone said they knew who killed Gary?
I think it is/was likely a child predator, who was possibly targeting other kids in the neighborhood. Boo is likely repressing the experiences, and it is normal for some kids to do that with traumatic events. He is also mentally challenged, so that makes it even more difficult for him. Gary told his mother he had an “appointment ” and that is just not normal behavior/wording for a 7 year old. The predator was likely forcing him or blackmailing him.
Thing is how do we know any of the calls were legit? How many times has someone did something like that or in the case of a missing child claimed to be that child? People are messed up. Some are just awful people and some perhaps mental problems. In one call a person was named. My guess is the arrest records of Grant Sr had to be checked assuming they were even kept. But apparently the guy named was later convicted of sexually assaulting a child. The article doesn’t name the guy as he’s never been charged with Gary Jr’s murder.
The key here would be to press Mason and try and get him to talk. Though I’m still on the fence if he was even there. Yeah other kids said they say him with Gary Jr, but doesn’t prove he was there the day of. But he might be the key. The guy convicted of sexual abuse, if he’s the guy, clearly cops can’t link him.
Well, it was 1984
Uh, he’s 7 and he wants to go somewhere at noon for 4 hours and not tell you where? Guess it was 1984, no one would just allow that nowadays.
PSYCHIC INVESTIGATORS – 1X02 – Amie Hoffman
Mr. Grant, try to contact this lady, she’s wonderful helping to resolve cold cases. PSYCHIC INVESTIGATORS – 1X02 – Amie Hoffman
I also believe Boo knows who did it. I’m kind of curious if they checked recent arrests or convictions (if it was someone who wanted revenge) and maybe interview family and friends of the recent arrests? Just to narrow down any potential suspects..
i think boo knows who killed him but he’s too scared to tell for obvious reasons. he told police information only the killer would know. i dont believe boo did it, but he was definitely there or at least saw it happen and hes too scared to tell.
poor gary, so young. RIP
Exactly, I was watching this episode and boo gave the details that they didn’t put out there, so he definitely knows something for sure.
Was any voice analyst done on any of the major suspects?
Any updates on this case?
what in The Hell I Mean Come On Really?
I’ve recently watched the episode of UNSOLVED MYSTERIES w/ Dennis Farina on AMAZON PRIME & have a few questions. Did the Atlantic City police ever take fingerprints of the lead pipe that they believed killed the boy? Also, did they take any fingerprints off of the police car where the mysterious note was written by the supposed killer? Were there any handwriting experts to study the note?
NOOOO, I’m sure the COPS never even thought to look for prints. His dad was a cop, but I’m sure that thought never crossed his mind. Really, are you that stupid?
I listened to the 911 audio… the guy sounds so arrogant and casual about it. Surprising that he hasn’t been caught yet with him being stupid and greedy enough to call and try to claim his own Crime stoppers reward.
I couldn’t find the tape. Guess I didn’t understand how to hear it
Yea the police should have press boo more if he didn’t do it witch I think he knows who did from what I got he’s older so he could have boo scared I think more could have been done they got a hand witten they can compare to and voice cases have been sloved off less I hope I meet this guy who killed this boy it want be good for him his a pussy if he had a problem with his father take up with him not a 7 year old
Has there any new info about this case?
An audio tape was released earlier this year: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/audiotape-offers-clue-in-gary-grant-jr-s-atlantic-city/article_284556fe-adc6-11e5-b17b-7b445d3715ea.html
If BOO DID NOT KILL HIM .. My hindsight suggest he knew who DID.. He also knows who is Taunting police
Has their been any promising leads
I know who killed gary
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