SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Shauna Rae Christensen always wondered about her grandfather.
Her mother never told her much when she was growing up.
“All I remember is that my grandfather had died while he was working as a taxicab driver and I didn’t know the city,” Christensen said. “I didn’t know the city. I didn’t even see a picture of him.
But it was Salt Lake City, in 1966 when her grandfather Grant Strong was gunned down in his cab.
Strong was one of six people who died during the killing spree in Salt Lake County.
In 1966, the ABC4 archives had this exchange with a reporter and authorities: Reporter: “Do feel it was somebody familiar with the Salt Lake area?”
Police: “I think it is probably their chief base of operation. I would feel he is working out of Salt Lake and going east and west both.”
Reporter: “Do you have any suspects in mind?”
Police: “Not at the present time. No.”
Reporter: “Do you feel something like this could happen again?”
Police: “It’s happened twice.”
Police and government officials held emergency meetings. The acting governor urged Utahns to report any suspicious activity.
As police continued to hunt for the killer or killers, owners of businesses armed themselves.
On the fourth day, there was a report of trouble between a cab driver and customers.
Dispatch called for backup. But before they could arrive, their fellow cab driver was dead.
Again from ABC4’s 1966 archives:
Reporter: “What was the other cab driver’s explanation of the scene?”
Dispatcher: “Well he said, yes Mr. Strong is here. He is either dead or bleeding to death right now.
The cab driver was Grant Strong, Christensen’s grandfather. He was among the victims of two men who were cousins, Walter Kelbach and Myron Lance. They would eventually be captured, imprisoned, and sentenced to life in prison.
Christensen never knew the story.
“I asked about grandpa and (mother) said he died,” recalled Christensen. “He was a taxi cab driver and he got shot and killed on the job. That was it.”
But in 2009, Christensen got a letter from the Utah state prison. It was from Myron Lance. Wednesday, the story continues on the Justice Files.