Sunday, February 10, 2008

Murder at the Purple Onion

GMW: Murder at the Purple Onion
Last Edited: Friday, 08 Feb 2008, 10:53 PM EST
Created: Friday, 08 Feb 2008, 10:48 PM EST
Reported by Doug Evans

ATLANTA (FOX 5) -- A 26 year-old cold murder case at one of Atlanta's most infamous nightclubs - The Purple Onion – remains unsolved. The family of the victim is still searching for justice.

February marks the 26-year anniversary of the murder. A man opened fire at the bar and killed an innocent employee – Danny Stowe.

Tommy Stowe grew up without a father. Along with an older brother, they were just young boys when their dad was shot to death.

"It was hard to tell them their father died. Even harder to tell we don't know who did it. I remember just asking them into the bedroom and telling them that Daddy went to be with Jesus," said Lou Ann Stowe, wife of the victim.

Danny Stowe's son Tommy said, "I do remember her sitting us down and just telling us. Daddy is gone. I didnt really know what to say. I didn't believe her. Everyday of my life I have just wondered who did it."

Twenty-six years after the murder and Tommy Stowe and his mother still have no answer to that question. For the first time ever they came to the place where it happened more than two decades ago.

"It's creepy I've never been here before. I've just ridden by," said Tommy. "It's weird to see the place where my dad worked and the last place he was alive."

The energy to raise two sons is now the energy Lou Ann Stowe is using to help Tommy find the man who murdered Danny Stowe on February 26, 1982.

"It was rough raising two children on my own," said Lou Ann.

Tommy said, "Let's just work on it ourselves. We can do this."

But they aren't the only ones on the job. So is the Fulton County Cold Case Squad.

"Our hope is to close the case to give them closure," said Scott Clemens, Director of the Cold Case Squad

It is a tough one. At the Purple Onion Night Club on then Stewert Avenue, Danny Stowe was working a part time job as the doorman collecting the cover charge from patrons. A disgruntled customer got into it with a bartender.

"He got into a verbal disagreement with a bartender and was asked to leave. He turned and fired one shot back toward the door and hit Danny Stowe in the chest, killing him," Said Clemens
Police say the Purple Onion was crowded that night. It was a Friday night -- an icy evening but the bar was packed. Witnesses described the gunman, his unusual clothes, and his car.

He was described as a black male 6 feet to 6 feet one inch tall, and weighed about 170 pounds. He was wearing a beige derby hat and ¾ length brown leather jacket.

He had a wide silver braclet about 3 inches wide and a gold ring that nearly covered an entire finger.

The car might have looked something like a 1960's Nova -- black top, orange body.

The Purple Onion was a strip club. Throughout its history it has had a notorious reputation. When it closed in the 1990's the liquor license was granted to Michael Childs who would later become a key figure in the downfall of former mayor Bill Campbell. Childs reopened the club as Nikki's. But after numerous police raids and license revocations Nikki's closed too. The building is currently empty.

Danny Stowe was 28 years old. He was a truck driver by trade and worked the door of the club part time. He was filling in the night he was murdered.

Police believe there were patrons -- perhaps even dancers who were too afraid to come forward -- nearly 26 years ago.

If they were there or if they know the person or heard him talk about it years later, the will feel comfortable now coming forward and talking to us," said Clemens.

The family -- after all these years -- wants closure.

"We need closure. Please come forward. Be a witness. Tell what you know," said Tommy.

If you have information that can help police solve this case call the Fulton County Cold Case Squad at 1-888-old-tips.

To view the video go to


Thursday, January 24, 2008

UPDATE - January 24, 2008

After many years we reached our goal today. We taped an interview with Fox5 News/Georgia's Most Wanted which will bring this case to the publics attention. The segment will air February 8 & 9, 2008 at 10:00 PM. It is our hope and prayer that someone will see the program and come forth with information that will help solve this case -thus bring closure to our family.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


After many years of requesting, and being denied access to Danny's homicide file - I now have it! Thanks to the staff at the State Attorney Generals office in Atlanta. They made it happen. After thoroughly reviewing the file - I discovered that the City of Atlanta investigators had information on where the man responsible for Danny's death was - and did not take the time to pursue it. The man had escaped from jail December 1981. Danny was killed February 1982 and was in Mobile County Alabama March 5, 1982. An investigator from the State of Alabama called Atlanta and told them they had the "trigger man" from the Purple Onion killing in Atlanta, they faxed a photo of the man, the Atlanta investigator made a notation in the file "photo shown to witnesses and met with negative results". I have strong doubts the photo was shown to anyone.

I will never stop investigating this one my own - until the person responsible for Danny's death admits what he did. This person was recaptured a few months later and is now serving a life sentence in the Valdosta State prison. In 1981 he escaped from the Spalding County jail while incarcerated for armed robbery and kidnapping of a grocery store manager in Griffin.

The man's name is Harold J. Laster. For more information on him and his criminal history go to click on inmate information in the left hand column, then click inmate query. Search by his name.

I am working on several leads and will post more information about the results as they happen.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The loss of a husband and father

On February 27, 1982 Danny Glenn Stowe was murdered. The incident occurred at the adult nightclub known as The Purple Onion. A dancer by the name of Pebbles gave the following statement, "The suspect known as Gator was sitting at the bar and I overheard the bartender and Gator, it appeared they were teasing each other." Pebbles was not alarmed because it didn't sound like they were angry. Gator got up and started toward the door and a couple of minutes later Pebbles heard a gun shot and noticed everybody trying to get out. Pebbles stated that she then saw Danny come inside and collapse on the floor. Gator was described as being a black male wearing a derby hat, dark complexion, brown coat, 29 - 25 years of age, average height and weight." The car Gator left in was a mid 1960's Chevelle Super Sport or Chevy Nova, black top, orange body, black tires with raised white letters. Scroll down and view documents from the police, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and others.
Report tips and any information you have to the Atlanta Cold Case Squad
No tip or information is insignificant-please help.

You may email the family at

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Purple Onion
Newspaper Article

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Danny Glenn Stowe 1973 Posted by Hello

Monday, November 29, 2004

1972 Fulton High School Posted by Hello