Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Susan Grund, Oversexed Murderess

Moving Up

The Grund's home
The Grund's home

In the summer of 1986, the couple moved into a custom-built, contemporary-style home on a wooded lot at the edge of Peru. Grund spent $175,000 on the housean eye-popping price in a region of the country known for its affordable homes. Grund bankrolled a downtown boutique for his wife, Clothes by Susan, and Sue Ann Sanders from the wrong side of the tracks suddenly found herself an arbiter of fashion in her hometown.

The Grunds were a part of Peru society, such as it was. They were guests or hosts of frequent barbecues and cocktail partiesat which, more than a few people noticed, Jimmy Grund often slurped down one too many gin and tonics.

Meanwhile, Susan ascended another step in society in 1989 when she entered the Mrs. Indiana America Pageant in Indianapolis.

Susan Grund
Susan Grund

As she entered her 30s, Susan had maintained a girlish figure, and she showed it off as often as possible. The decorative centerpiece of the Grunds' bedroom in the new house was a nude painting of Susan that Jimmy had commissioned.

She liked to show it to just about anyone who dropped by.

Susan was a dedicated collector of sensual apparel, and she enjoyed showing that off, too. She shot Polaroid photos of herself in her latest acquisitions from Victoria's Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood. She would slip copies of the images into her husband's briefcase, and she always insisted that he take along a couple of the sexy pictures on fishing trips.

But he wasn't the only man to see her racy knickers up close.

Susan never did lose her wandering eye, and Peru was soon atwitter with gossip about her various assignations. Some joked that her seven-year itch had arrived in seven days.

To be fair, the Grunds were a high-profile couple, and not all stories told by jealous or resentful small-towners are necessarily true. But Susan Grund told many of the stories on herself.

She was forever sharing the graphic details of her sexual encounters with confidantes, including her sisters, her mother and her new clique of women friends whose names popped up in the local newspaper society column.

How many lovers did she have? Only she knew for certain, but Susan certainly got around.

There was the accountant in the next town over. The hunky local cop. The holy-roller from the Baptist church. A couple friends of her husband. The pick-ups at this local bar or that, the one-night stands with strangers at Indianapolis hotels or her sister's apartment in Kokomo, the local gay man she tried to seduce into changing teams.

There were even whispers that Susan had tried to seduce Grund's son, David. An adolescent when the couple married in 1983, David had grown into a strapping young man by the early '90s.

Jimmy heard the gossip. In 1990, his own mother confronted him about Susan's reputation. He shrugged.

But as the embers of the relationship began to fade, he spent more and more time in the company of his fishing pals and his gin and tonicswhich increased Susan's opportunities to cat around.