We’re changing the narrative around cold cases and South Carolina murders through collective impact—join us!

We believe the more resources we can provide to digital volunteers and citizen solvers mean more “citizen detective” communities.

South Carolina Murders

If you would like to look further into specific statistics for the number of murders in South Carolina each year, the websites of various local and county law enforcement and investigative agencies across South Carolina have posted historical and up-to-date records and reports for crime within each jurisdiction. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation puts together and sends out a public Uniform Crime Report (UCR) each year which details the different types of crimes committed, crime data and rates, and the general locations where crimes are committed in most cities and counties in every state in the country.

Law enforcement resources aside, Project: Cold Case, a nonprofit organization, has built and published a public database of nearly 25,000 unsolved murders in the U.S., as well as a page analyzing the number of unsolved homicides and the relative clearance rate for homicides in each state, with the help of The Murder Accountability Project. There were approximately 17,721 homicides in South Carolina between 1980 and 2019, according to the Project: Cold Case website for unsolved homicide statistics. As time passed, approximately 13,853 of those murders were solved, leaving the state with approximately 3,868 unsolved murders in South Carolina as of the last website update.

The 2014 murder of Emery Lorenzo Williams, the 2002 double murder of Zachary Cunard and Michael “”Mickey”” McGraw, the 1978 murder of Norma Lanyon Jackson, and the 1977 murder of Myrtle Jackson, among others, are a few examples of the several murders in northern South Carolina which remain unsolved today. Other types of cases which you can find within various lists and databases put together by law enforcement include many unsolved central South Carolina murders. Some examples include the 2009 murder of Corine Sanders, the 2013 murder of Kevin Holder, the 2013 murder of Christopher Rodgers, the 1975 murder of Willie Ryans, and the 2015 murder of Stephen Smith, among various others.

Additionally, the 1979 murder of Linburg Johnson, the 1980 murder of Margaret Dash, the 1982 murder of Curtis Wayne Sanders, the 1984 murder of Brenda Green, and the 2001 murder of Mia Livetta Milledge, are a few examples of the next category included in lists and databases put together by law enforcement, murders in Columbia, South Carolina, that are unsolved, in addition to the 2011 disappearance of Amir Jennings. Lastly, although sometimes mistaken for murders in Mobile County, South Carolina, some unsolved murders in Richland County, South Carolina, include the 1992 murder of Regina Canzater, the 2004 murder of Silene Eaddy, the 1980 murder of Eugene Carmichael O’Boyle, the 1996 murder of Jack Robinson, and the 2008 murder of Natasha Warren, among others.

Unsolved South Carolina Murders

According to information posted on Project: Cold Case’s unsolved murder statistics website, there are approximately 3,868 South Carolina cold cases that are still unsolved today. In addition to the Project: Cold Case database of unsolved murders, various city and county law enforcement agencies in South Carolina, including those in Greeneville, Charleston, Richland, Beaufort, and Spartanburg counties, have compiled comprehensive lists of missing persons in their jurisdictions.

A few of the many northern South Carolina unsolved murders that are listed on various law enforcement websites include the 2014 murder of Emery Lorenzo Williams, the 2002 double murder of Zachary Cunard and Michael “Mickey” McGraw, the 1978 murder of Norma Lanyon Jackson, and the 1977 murder of Myrtle Jackson. In addition, the 1979 murder of Linburg Johnson, the 1980 murder of Margaret Dash, the 1982 murder of Curtis Wayne Sanders, the 1984 murder of Brenda Green, and the 2001 murder of Mia Livetta Milledge are often found among various lists and databases, categorized under unsolved murders Columbia, South Carolina, in addition to the 2011 disappearance of Amir Jennings.

The final generalized category of unsolved murders South Carolina that you may find within law enforcement lists and databases are east South Carolina unsolved murders. A few examples of unsolved cases you may find within this category include the 2003 murder of James Davis, the 1986 double murder of Alex Pino and Juanito Floyd, the 1999 murder of Kent Williams, and the 2016 murder of Barri Shank, among others.

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

Famous South Carolina Murders

If you are someone with an interest in true crime, chances are that in addition to solved crimes, you also have an interest in unsolved crimes, some of which may be a part of the list of all murders in South Carolina. Within a list of South Carolina murders or list of murders in South Carolina, you can find not only solved and unsolved crimes, but also famous South Carolina murders, notorious South Carolina criminals, famous or well-known South Carolina unexplained disappearances, and even the famous South Carolina serial killers. The 2001 murder of Sherwin Gittens and the 1988 murder of Malakia Logan, as well as a handful of strange disappearances and abductions, including the 1985 disappearance of Jeremy Grice, the 1986 abduction of Jessica Gutierrez, and the 2011 disappearance of Amir Jennings, are just a few of the most infamous South Carolina murders and disappearances that remain unsolved which are often included within these various lists.

Homicide Rate in South Carolina

Based on the information shown in the 2019 Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which was put together by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the violent crime rate in South Carolina was about 511.3 per 100,000 residents. In summary, this means that in 2019 alone, approximately 511 people per 100,000 South Carolina residents were directly affected by violent crime, including homicide, rape/sexual assault, burglary, and physical assault. According to the same report, the 2019 homicide rate in South Carolina was 9.0 per 100,000 population, signifying that about 9 people for every 100,000 people living in South Carolina were killed in 2019.

Columbia, the second largest city and the capital of South Carolina, has a current population of more than 131,000 as of the most recent census. In 2018, violent crime in Columbia, South Carolina, was approximately 738.36 per 100,000 individuals living in the big city. Furthermore, the homicide rate in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2018 was about 11.98 per 100,000 inhabitants. Even though there is currently no accurate way to estimate how many murders in South Carolina 2021 and how many murders in Columbia, South Carolina, 2021, we can estimate based on archived crime reports released by various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that the murder rates in both Columbia and South Carolina as a whole seem to be slowly rising year after year.

Mobile County Murders

Although frequently mistaken, the county seat for the state of South Carolina is not Mobile County, but is instead Richland County. Due to this, any searches for Mobile County murders or murders in Mobile County, South Carolina, will only show you information for murders that have taken place in Mobile County, Alabama. As for South Carolina, currently, the population of Richland County, South Carolina, is over 418,873 residents. In order to get a good idea of the current trend for Richland County murders, we can look through archived Uniform Crime Reports from recent years. For example, there were 16 murders in Richland County in 2015, 26 murders in 2016, 23 in 2017, 27 in 2018, and 21 in 2019. Based on these reports, it seems that the current homicide trend has remained fairly stable over a 5-year time period.

As previously mentioned, any searches for Mobile County murders evidence, Mobile County murders trial, Mobile County homicide trials, or Mobile County murders crime scene photos will only show you information relating to Mobile County, Alabama, instead of South Carolina, so for now we’ll focus on Richland County, South Carolina, instead. Once investigators have collected the sufficient evidence that is usually required to arrest a suspect, the next step is to take them to trial. During a homicide trial, you may see various types and categories of evidence, including DNA evidence, trace evidence, and even digital evidence. Overwhelmingly, the most common items of evidence shown during a trial are crime scene photos, which are shown to give the jury a visual of the crime scene, in order to prove to the jury that their suspect committed the murder.

Columbia, South Carolina, Murders

Columbia, South Carolina, murders seemingly occur more frequently than those in most, if not all, cities in the state, most likely a result of its large size and population. As we can see within South Carolina’s homicide clearance rate, which sits at around 78% according to Project: Cold Case, most of the murders in Columbia, South Carolina, are quickly solved, thanks in part to law enforcement efforts and improvements in forensic technology. Of course, authorities continue investigating the state’s remaining unsolved murders. As with every other state, until all of their murders are solved, Columbia murders discussion will relentlessly continue within various social media platforms. Facebook, Websleuths, and Reddit are among the most popular within the true crime community, where users gather to speculate, share theories and information, and have conversations about every detail of a case, often including examples such as Columbia murders pictures, Columbia murders crime scene photos, and even Columbia, South Carolina, murders autopsy photos.

Thanks to massive improvements and advancements being made in DNA technology, the U.S. has seen thousands of cold cases of every age be solved in every single state across the country. The 2014 murder of Marquail Marvista Hellams, the 1976 murder of Ann Wilson, the 1977 murder of Alma Jones, and the the 1992 murder of “Angel Hope,” a baby Jane Doe, are examples of the several cases in which Columbia murders DNA or DNA from crimes that have been committed in various other areas of South Carolina has been used in order to solve many cold cases.

South Carolina Serial Killers

South Carolina has fought its fair share of South Carolina killers over time, even dealing with their own South Carolina serial killers. South Carolina’s most famous serial killers can be found on any top 10 list or other sort of serial killer list, including lists of serial killers in South Carolina or South Carolina serial killer lists. Some of the state’s most notorious South Carolina serial killers who often appear on these lists include the following: Donald Henry “Pee Wee” Gaskins, Jr., who murdered at least 15 people from 1953-1982, but claims to have killed 110; William Pierce, Jr., who killed at least 9 people from 1970-1971; and Leslie Eugene Warren, also known as “The Babyface Killer,” who murdered 4-8 people from 1987-1990 in South Carolina, North Carolina, and New York.

Crimes in South Carolina

Project: Cold Case, The Murder Accountability Project, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are all fantastic tools for learning more about crime in South Carolina, particularly South Carolina crime statistics and data. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report is perfect for looking into the crime rates and the types of crimes in South Carolina as well as in every other state in the country.

While it may seem like South Carolina law enforcement will never be able to put an end to every South Carolina homicide or true crime story in South Carolina, just think of the progress that they have made in recent years. In summary, there were about 17,721 homicides in South Carolina from 1980-2019. Since then, approximately 13,853 of those cases have been solved or seen resolution, leaving the state with only around 3,868 unsolved homicides remaining in South Carolina. The advances that have been made are mainly due to advances in forensic technology, as well as the efforts and persistence of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, even in the most difficult unsolved cases. Ultimately, investigators from various law enforcement and investigative agencies across the state will continue to investigate the remaining unsolved cases until they can solve all of South Carolina’s true crimes.

Citizen Detective Guide Cover

Get Your Free Step-By-Step Citizen Detective Guide