DiscoverMorbidEpisode 515: The Murder of the Grimes Sisters
Episode 515:  The Murder of the Grimes Sisters

Episode 515: The Murder of the Grimes Sisters

Update: 2023-11-2711


On the evening of December 28, 1956, fifteen-year-old Barbara Grimes and her thirteen-year-old sister, Patricia, left their home in Chicago, Illinois headed for a movie theater in Brighton Park to see the latest Elvis Presley film. When the girls failed to return home that evening as expected, their mother sent the two other siblings to wait for them at the closest bus station, but when they returned later without Barbara and Patricia, she became anxious and began calling their friends, before eventually phoning the police. Three weeks later, Barbara and Patricia’s bodies were discovered on the side of a rural road by a construction worker in Willow Springs, about an hour outside Chicago.

The murder of the Grimes sisters and the investigation that followed remains one of Chicago’s most notorious cold cases and one of the most costly and labor-intensive searches in the state’s history.

Thank you to the incredible Dave White of Bring Me The Axe Podcast for research assistance!


Chicago Tribune. 1957. "Suspect's mom says he's lazy, shiftless bum." Chcago Tribune, January 25: 3.

—. 1957. "Charged with murder of Grimes girls." Chicago Tribune, January 28: 1.

—. 1957. "Dsicloses how 2 girls ditched him and companion in theater." Chicago Tribune, January 27: 1.

—. 1957. "High points of the news." Chicago Tribune, February 3: 8.

—. 1957. "'I knew it!' sobs mother." Chicago Tribune, 01 23: 1.

—. 1957. "Nude bodies thrown beside country road." Chicago Tribune, January 23: 1.

—. 1957. "Rule out sex attack, strangling theories." Chicago Tribune, January 24: 1.

—. 1958. "Slayer of girl, 15, hopes he gets chair." Chicago Tribune, November 19: 1.

—. 1957. "Widen search for 2 young sisters missing four days." Chicago Tribune, January 1: 5.

—. 1956. "Young sisters reported seen in two places." Chicago Tribune, December 31: 6.

Gowran, Clay. 1957. "Re-enacts crime, and shows how he dumped two in ditch." Chicago Tribune, January 28: 1.

Lowry, Shirley. 1957. "Lost girls' mother keeps brave." Chicago Tribune, January 11: 3.

McGill, Nancy. 1957. "Mom denies Skid Row tale." Chicago Tribune, Janaury 28: 6.

Milwaukee Journal. 1957. "Grimes case tiff costs job." Milwaukee Journal, February 16.

Nix, Naomi. 2013. "1950s case gets new look from pro, amateurs." Chicago Tribune, 30 May: 1.

Taylor, Troy. 2015. The Two Lost Girls: The Mystery of the Grimes Sisters. Jacksonville, IL: Whitechapel Press.

United Press. 1957. "Bennie admits part in crime." Daily Chronicle, January 28: 1.

—. 1957. "New suspect is arrested." Daily Chronicle, January 24: 1.

—. 1957. "Two teen-aged girls killed." Daily Chronicle, Janaury 23: 1.

UWIRE. 2019. "'Chicago History Cop' making headway in Grimes sisters' murder case." UWIRE, October 25.

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Episode 515:  The Murder of the Grimes Sisters

Episode 515: The Murder of the Grimes Sisters