Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Susan Grund, Oversexed Murderess

Blood on Her Husband

A brand-new widow dialed 911 in Peru, Indiana, a few minutes before midnight on August 3, 1992, to report that her spouse had a problem.

She told an emergency operator, "It's my husband...There's blood on him."

The operator got answers to who, what and where, and soon phones were jangling in the small world of lawyers and law enforcers in Peru (pop. 13,000), an hour's drive north of Indianapolis.

Peru, Indiana
Peru, Indiana

The victim, James Grund, 47, had been shot through the left eye, and he was dead. This was big news in Peru.

Jimmy Grund
Jimmy Grund

Grund, known as Jimmy, was former county prosecutor. He and his young wife, the slinky and alluring Susan, 33, were notables among the town's cocktail-and-barbecue set.

Cops who had been to their spacious country home as party guests, now found themselves treating it as a crime scene.

As police and EMTs arrived that night, Susan Grund told them it seemed obvious that her husband had surprised a burglar. The contents of two suitcases were hurled about. A walk-in closet had been ransacked and a jewelry cabinet plundered.

Yet other clues made burglary unlikely.

Grund's body was on a bedroom sofa in front of a coffee table where he liked to work while watching TV. On the table before him were bills and checks, case notes, and the TV remote control.

One hand clutched a tissue, as though he were about to blow his nose.

It seemed that the burglar had surprised Grund, not the other way around. Something wasn't right. Why would a burglar stalk in on Grund and shoot him?

It occurred to Dean Marks, an Indiana State Police forensic technician, that the disarray in the house seemed staged.

Susan Grund
Susan Grund

As law enforcers carefully padded about the house, Susan Grund nattered on about her burglary theory, as though she were some kind of crime expert.

But she was, in a sense.


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