A fifty year old case into the unsolved murder of a Tallahassee family is garnering new interest, thanks to a team of documentary filmmakers. On October 22, 1966 three members of the Sims family were murdered in their home on Muriel Court in Tallahassee. Local historians say the case changed the city: guns sold out of pawn shops, and residents began locking their doors.
Kyle Jones is leading the team of Florida State University students who produced the documentary.
“It was a very different environment. People left their car keys in the front seat of their cars because you wouldn’t lose them that way. There wasn’t this sense of fear and security and that changed pretty much overnight,” he said.
Fifty years later, the case remains open, and to date no charges have been filed. Crime scene contamination and a lack of evidence plagued the investigation, conducted by then-detective Larry Campbell, who went on to become a long-serving Leon County Sheriff. Filmmaker Kyle Jones says Campbell died believing he knew who committed the murders, but he didn’t have the evidence to make the case.
“I’ve heard it said that every year, he would make a phone call to these two and just remind them the case was still open, just remind them that he was still working,” he said.
The documentary, which reinvestigates the unsolved case and the primary suspects, is screening Thursday at the Moon Nightclub at 8 o'clock.