SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It was a letter from the Utah state prison that got Shauna Rae Christensen’s attention.

At first, she had no idea who Myron Lance was. But after reading it, she knew she had to respond.
In 1966, her grandfather Grant Strong was killed in Salt Lake City. That’s all that her mother ever said about Strong.

The letter was from his killer. What Christensen didn’t know was that her grandfather was one of six people who died by two serial killers, Myron Lance and Walter Kelbach.

“There was a sadness or a darkness I thought I saw in him more so than Kelbach,” Christensen said. “It just made me wonder what was going on.”

Growing up she always wondered what happened to her grandfather, Grant Strong. Her mother offered little information.

The letter from Lance was the most she had ever come across.

Lance wrote: “I was alone in the cab. I only shot and killed your grandfather because he reached out and tried to take the gun from me. Yes, we were using drugs and we were also drunk. Even so, I’ve never used that as an excuse. There was no excuse for what happened.”

Lance said her family wasn’t the only one victimized by the murders … his family also suffered.
He said he grew up in Salt Lake and his family was dysfunctional.

In that letter, Lance said he and Kelbach were cousins. and that Kelbach was gay. Lance said he was straight.
He wrote that he didn’t want to make excuses and didn’t expect forgiveness.

“I had a job, a family, a typical life, and all hell broke loose,” he wrote. “Why? I don’t know and really, I’ve tried to make sense of it but there isn’t no excuse. I am truly sorry.”

What she didn’t know at the time of the letter was that Lance and Kelbach were serial killers.

She then learned from the internet of their killing spree in Salt Lake County. They were finally arrested and spent the rest of their lives in prison.

But something was still missing. She had never seen a picture of her grandfather until ABC4 emailed one to her.

“I was so grateful,” said said as she became emotional. “I was happy to see a face with a name.”

A year after Lance wrote the letter, he died in prison. Christensen wondered if he knew he was about to die and was seeking forgiveness.

“I don’t think it’s our place to forgive anyway so if that’s what he needed to hear, I think I can forgive him,” she said.

Christensen’s grandfather, Grant Strong was buried in Alpine. Her lifelong journey to learn who he was, had ended.