Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Will social media help solve an 11-year-cold triple murder?

Victims from left: Margaret and James Barnes, Sylvia Holtzclaw

Victims from left: Margaret and James Barnes, Sylvia Holtzclaw

One victim’s son thinks so. Bank teller Sylvia Holtzclaw’s son David posted a video on Youtube about the case in hopes that reaching out through social media will lead to some new information that will solve the murders.

The video is shown below. In it Holtzclaw asks that all who watch it share it with everyone they know.

On May 16, 2003, Sylvia Holtzclaw and bank customers James E. “Eb” Barnes and Margaret “Maggie” Barnes were shot and killed during the course of a bank robbery at the Blue Ridge Savings Bank on Frontage Road in Greer, S.C.

At the time, police released a grainy surveillance video of what seemed to be a red getaway car an Alero or an Impala, and a sketch of the suspect. The information available to the public is still posted on the FBI’s website.

Emmerson Wright

Emmerson Wright

Police identified Emmerson Wright, aka Emerson Wright, Ernest Wright and Akim Johnson, as a person of interest in the murders,though he looks nothing like the suspect in the sketch, because he was suspected of stealing a red Oldsmobile Alero just 15 days before the murder. They never made an arrest.

In 2005, Wright shot and killed himself after a high-speed chase with Georgia police. In his vehicle police reportedly found a large number of fake IDs, weapons and license plates, but nothing to conclusively link him to the murders.

Wright is still a person of interest in the murders, and Police continue to search for answers. Lt. Eric Pressley, an investigator with Greer police recently told the media, ”We do get information about him from time to time and we have followed up on that. The past year we got a good bit of information that we’re following up on and we want more. We don’t want to forget the victims and we do want to honor them.”

Anyone with information on the crime should contact the Greer Police Department at 864-848-2151.

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