Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Susan Grund, Oversexed Murderess

Murder Weapon

On July 4, a month before the murder, a 9mm pistol was stolen from the home of David Grund, Jimmy's son.

Coincidentally, Susan had stopped by David's house that same afternoon and questioned her stepson about where he kept his pistol. When David returned from a fireworks show that night, he discovered that someone had broken in and taken nothing but the gun.

It seemed like an odd coincidence when investigators found a 9mm shell casing beside Jimmy Grund's body.

9mm shell casing
9mm shell casing

Investigator Brunson spoke with David Grund, who recalled once firing his pistol at a telephone pole. Police retrieved that slug and compared it to the bullet that had killed Jimmy Grund.

It was a match. David Grund's stolen gun had been used to murder his father.

Within days of the slaying, Susan Grund began the process of trying to collect a $250,000 life insurance policy and to have herself declared executrix of her late husband's estate. Grund's children, David and Jama, filed a lawsuit to block Susan from being named executrix. They found allies in the case investigators, including Jimmy Grund's best friend, Sgt. Gary Nichols, who made it his mission to see that she would never get a penny of Jimmy's money.

In the meantime, Susan had a niggling secret problem: the murder weapon was still in the Grund house.

She knew it would be discovered eventually and that she had to get it out of the house, but she was fearful to the point of paranoia that she was being watched. She needed help.

On September. 2, she confided in her sister, Darlene Worden, and mother, Nellie Sanders.

"I killed Jimmy," Susan said.

She said the murder weapon, a 9mm pistol, was hidden inside a Christmas teddy bear stored with holiday ornaments in the laundry closet.

Worden agreed to go into the house and retrieve the heavy teddy bear. The sisters and their mother then placed the gun at the bottom of a metal pot and covered it with 70 pounds of cement.

They stored the object at a nephew's house. Later, Nellie Sanders got nervous and managed to single-handedly lug the entombed murder weapon up to the attic of her house.

Darlene Worden sat on her sister's secret for two months.

The murder weapon
The murder weapon

On November 2, she bumped into Bob Brinson, the lead investigator on the case for the Indiana State Patrol. Stricken by a guilty conscience, she felt compelled to confess. Within 36 hours, police arrested Susan for murder. The motive, they said, was the insurance policy money.

Police went looking for the concrete-filled pot at the nephew's place, at Darlene's suggestion, but it had vanished. Even without the murder weapon, prosecutor Wil Siders prepared his case for trial in the fall of 1993.

About 10 weeks before jury selection was to begin, Nellie Sanders' conscience provided what seemed to be the final break in the case.

Nellie explained that she had hidden the murder weapon in the attic of her house. Police found it there, just as Nellie said.

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