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Clifford Backmann

A 56 year old man is murdered while at a construction site in Jacksonville, FL

  • Last updated: March 12, 2024
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • October 10, 2009

Overview of Clifford Backmann

Clifford Backmann was an avid reader, a Civil War buff, and a devoted Florida Gator fan.

He loved dogs and classical music, and had one son. Though his relationship with his son, Ryan, was notably strained, prior to his death their relationship was flourishing, as the men worked to heal past wounds. Clifford worked as a superintendent in the commercial construction industry in Jacksonville, FL at the time of his death.

“I was never closer to my dad than the day he was murdered.” - Ryan Backmann, Clifford’s son.
Clifford Backmann

On Saturday, October 10, 2009, Clifford visited a construction site to get some work done.

He goes to an office complex that is under construction on Bonneval Road in Jacksonville, FL by himself to clean the site up and make sure everything is going smoothly. Around noon, Clifford is shot once in the lower left side of his back. The suspect stole his wallet before fleeing the building. Clifford, after being shot, was able to dial 911 and relay a short description of the suspect to the dispatcher before losing consciousness. According to reports, Clifford described the man as a black male wearing a red shirt and possibly red shorts. He later succumbed to his injuries in a local hospital.

"The suspect in the case, we believe, just walked in, confronted Mr. Backmann, robbed him and shot him once in the back. I doubt anyone heard it.” - Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Detective Mark Gupton.

Clifford’s son, Ryan, takes action.

In April of 2011, eighteen months after his father’s murder, Ryan met with authorities, who informed him that they have no more leads to investigate and that his father’s case is officially considered to be cold. Though discouraging, this meeting pushes Ryan to take action.

In March of 2013, Ryan, along with Senator Aaron Bean, drafted a bill which would push for legislation to create a Cold Case Task Force. The bill was passed in April of 2015 by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The bill includes plans to have 19 members pulled from law enforcement and local victim advocacy groups to lead their task force. The group would be tasked with evaluating policies and procedures which are used by law enforcement agencies to investigate unsolved homicides and cold cases, along with establishing best practices for these policies and procedures.

Project: Cold Case is launched.

In March of 2015, Ryan Backmann, Clifford's son, launched Project: Cold Case, a non-profit organization and website which publicizes and brings awareness to unsolved homicides in the United States. According to their website, “Project: Cold Case works closely with surviving family members and law enforcement, educating both parties on the struggles of living with an unsolved case and why these cases are incredibly difficult to solve.”

"As the son of an unsolved homicide victim, I can see how a case gets forgotten and without somebody to fight for that victim to constantly keep them in the public eye, they just slowly disappear.” - Clifford’s son, Ryan Backmann.
Project Cold Case's founder, Ryan Backmann, tells the organization's story.
“There comes a point where the police don’t have any more leads. They don’t have anybody to look for. They don’t have any evidence. They don’t have anywhere to go. And that’s a hard thing for a family member to realize, that no one is looking for your loved one’s killer anymore.” - Ryan Backmann, Clifford’s son.

Where the case stands today.

Today, it has been more than 13 years since Clifford was murdered and his case remains cold. Since 2013, the bill created by Ryan and Senator Aaron Bean has been passed, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has put together and published a website containing information about more than 400 unsolved homicides, and Project: Cold Case has gathered and published information for more than 25,000 cold cases across the United States.

"My struggle was how to make sure these unsolved victims are not forgotten, that the families know they're not forgotten and, most importantly, that the killers know they're not forgotten. I know that means more to them [survivors] than anything else I can do." - Ryan Backmann, Clifford’s son.

If you have any information regarding Clifford’s murder, please contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at (904) 630-0500 or in an email to JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org or submit your tip to First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS (8477). There is currently a $11,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for Clifford’s murder.

"This is a brazen act in the middle of the day -- middle of the morning. We're hoping that somebody either saw something or has some knowledge that occurred after the fact. This $11,000 is enough to generate somebody talking.” - Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief Tom Hackney.


  1. Date Found:October 10, 2009
  2. Date of Death:October 10, 2009
  3. Birthday:April 25, 1953
  4. Age at Incident:56
  5. Race:Caucasian / White
  6. Gender:Male
  7. Height:6'
  8. Weight:220 lbs
  9. Hair Color:Dirty Blonde

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