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 http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=5724658&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.1.1
Labels: Murder Atlanta Cold Case