Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Tanya Flowerday: Snuff Victim?

'New Information'

Grimsley contacted Insp. Steinhöbel, saying that he had new information that he wanted to share with her. He wanted to tell the truth about what happened to Tanya Flowerday.

As a long-term drug addict, who had undergone rehabilitation on five occasions without success, he had built up an amount of debt with his dealers. Since he didn't have the money to repay them, he had made a deal with them.

Tanya Flowerday
Tanya Flowerday

On the night of June 13, Tanya, whom he had met only days previously, had phoned him to pick her up at Julian's Bistro. He did and they left after a short while. He then took her to a house in Fontainebleau, where they met up with two Nigerians. Grimsley had sex with Tanya on camera and then the other two men took over. They raped her, beat her, murdered her and recorded the whole thing.

They made a snuff movie, Grimsley told Insp. Steinhöbel. He gave them Tanya and, in return, they cleared his debt.

Afterwards, they had used Grimsley's car to dump Tanya's body on the pavement in Darrenwood.

At least some of the evidence supported Grimsley's claim. It was a substantiated fact that he was a drug addict, and drug addiction is a powerful motivator to do that, which might seem unthinkable.

Tanya's injuries were also unusually severe. She had scratches on her face, neck and back. In fact, the forensic pathologist found that she had abrasions and contusions over most of her body, and she had been beaten in her face and on her arms, legs and buttocks with a blunt object. There were injuries to her head and her eyelids were swollen. Contrary to the portrayal in popular crime shows, Drs Vincent and Dominick DiMaio, in their book Forensic Pathology, state that the majority of rape victims do not exhibit genital injuries or any clear signs of rape. In Tanya Flowerday's case, however, the genital trauma was pronounced and it was clear from the tearing that she had been sodomized as well. Finally, she had been strangled.

It was quite obvious that Tanya's final moments, however long those were, had been brutal and violent. Some did not believe it possible that one person alone could have damaged her to that extent.

Obviously, if Grimsley's claims were true, the best evidence would be the recording itself.

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