Monday, April 17, 2017

Mystery Monday: Update on Tara Grinstead

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



A little more than a year ago, I detailed the mysterious disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and teacher who vanished from her home in 2005.



To sum up the story, Tara returned home from a barbecue late one night and was never seen again. Her car was found in the driveway and the clothes that she'd worn that day were found on her bedroom floor.



I cover quite a few unsolved mysteries here with no resolution. This is one of those cases where there has been a resolution...finally. I feel that even though we don't have all the information, there are a few things we can learn from the recent arrests in Tara's case.



In May of this year, Ryan Alexander Duke (above) and Bo Dukes were arrested for the 2005 murder. Ryan is believed to be the murderer, while Bo was arrested for unlawfully concealing Tara's death and destroying physical evidence in connection with the death. Both were former students at the high school where Tara taught.


Most of the details are still under wraps, but prosecutors have stated that Ryan killed Tara with his hands and removed her body from the premises. We also know he's charged with breaking into her house--although it's still unclear whether he broke in to rob her and she surprised him or he intended to murder her all along. Authorities have been searching a pecan grove for her remains. The pecan grove is part of Bo Dukes' uncle's farm.



The most surprising thing about these arrests? Neither of these men was ever on anyone's radar during the full decade of investigation and speculation. Since these arrests, I've realized that no matter how many theories we devise for mysterious disappearances, the answer is likely something we've never even considered.



Have you ever been surprised by the outcome of a mystery?

30 comments:

  1. Goodness, what a tragic tale! I'm wondering what the motives were and how the suspects were finally apprehended.

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    1. Burglary was one of the charges against Ryan, but someone told me that doesn't mean anything. I thought maybe it meant he'd broken in with the intent to rob her and she'd come home and caught him. It COULD mean that, but it could also just be an add-on charge.

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  2. The kid who murdered her doesn't look the type at all. Looks like a clean-cut football player bound for college. Lesson learned - it could be anyone.

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    1. That's what I thought! There's not much of a history with Ryan, from what I could find, but Bo Dukes has served jail time. Ryan seems pretty clean.

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  3. Awesome that there is a resolution to this one. And amazing that they were never investigated before. Finding the killer(s) is so important for the grieving family to have some closure on a senseless death.

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    1. They sat there for a full decade while everyone speculated about other people. Amazing that they might have gotten away with it. A guy named Payne Lindsay came to town and started stirring things up for a podcast he was doing and people think that was what got people talking.

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  4. Well, you just gave me ideas for my WIP (which starts out with a murder because...GHOST!). My Hero won't take a decade to solve it, though. Hopefully it won't take me a decade to write it! :)

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    1. That's awesome! Truth is stranger than fiction, right? I find a lot of inspiration in the stories I hear...too bad I don't write mysteries!

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  5. Many of the outcomes of cases like that have not surprised me.

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    1. Usually the perpetrators are fairly straightforward. It was often someone who knew the victim.

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  6. It would be interesting to know what prompted the killing.

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    1. I'm waiting to hear what that was. Maybe he had a crush on her? Or just saw her as an easy victim, since he could have easily found out she lived alone.

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  7. I wonder if she gave them a bad grade or if he had a crush on her and she nicely rejected them but he couldn't take it. Hopefully the family will get more answers now.

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    1. Could have been...the fact that Ryan was the one who killed her and he had no criminal history tells me there had to have been some sort of personal reason? But that's not always the case. He could have just snapped...

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  8. Scary stuff. I'm reading Stephen King's Duma Key (for the third or maybe fourth time) and I'm reminded of one of the wonderful quotes from the character Wireman: "God punishes us for what we can't imagine."

    N is for Operation Northwoods

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    1. Pretty deep! I can't remember if I've read that one or not.

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  9. Hi Steph - how really unfortunate - you certainly don't expect to have that sort of ending ... yet they can't find her body. Collusion of two brothers ... I hope they find more soon ... Hilary

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    1. They weren't related--it's funny, but all reports felt the need to state that over and over again!

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  10. Although it's still sad circumstances, the resolution makes me feel better.

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  11. Its so sad, looking a her Tara was such a beautiful women with so much promise ahead of her.

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  12. That is crazy that they weren't part of the original investigation!

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  13. I tend to agree with your other readers that believe there may have been a 'crush' involved here.

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  14. I'm usually surprised by many murder mysteries. I guess that's why they're called mysteries. I just hope that after a decade this horrible murder case can come to a conclusion.

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  15. I'm sure her family is happy to finally have this solved and resolved.

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  16. Good to see there has been arrests. Makes me wonder if Ryan may have been or wanted to be romantically linked to the victim. I hope for her family's sake they find her body soon.

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  17. At least her family has some answers now. Such a sad story. I don't understand how people can murder others. It's a crazy world. Thanks for the update.

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  18. Twelve years is a long time, but hopefully the family will be able to recover the remains now that the killers have been nabbed.

    In almost all cases, with the exception of serial killers, the victims knew their killers.

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  19. At least there is some closure to this, but I can't help wondering what would possess kids she was in school with to do something like this. I worked at a YMCA when I was a kid(about 14) for the summer, and we all had a serious crush on the maintenance man who had this really sexy smile. He was also really nice to all the kids with a great sense of humor. By the end of the summer when the job was over, we were all told that Monroe was actually "The Gold-Toothed Bandit". Yep. This super nice guy had been robbing banks for quite some time before eventually being caught. You just never know, right?

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  20. Such a sad story. What a terrible ordeal for her family. That's something one can never get over. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Wow, you never truly know! I'm glad they figured it out! So sad!

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