Greenville Police Department reviewing potential new evidence in 1975 murder case


GREENVILLE, S,C. (WSPA)- The Greenville Police Department is looking into possible new evidence in the murders of Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Frank Looper and his father in 1975.

Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller said a letter was found that suggests the sheriff at the time, Cash Williams, and his associates may have been involved in those murders and may have framed the man who was convicted.

Williams is dead now, but the man convicted in these murders, Charles Wakefield Jr., is out on parole after serving 34 years in prison. He’s maintained his innocence from the beginning.

Greenville County narcotics investigator Frank Looper and his father were shot and killed in a garage in Greenville on a January afternoon in 1975.

Brad Willis began covering the case 20 years ago as a local reporter. In February, he began detailing the case and in his podcast, “Murder, Etc.” Willis said Lt. Looper was in the midst of investigating some shady characters when he was murdered.

“He was working very hard to fight a lot of the drug dealing and organized crime that was happening here in Greenville County,” Willis said. “Back then, there was there was a lot of corruption in the Sheriff’s Office. It had basically overrun the Sheriff’s Office.”

Willis broke the story about the letter after he obtained audio recordings of Miller speaking at a public meeting of the Greenville Public Safety Citizen Review Board. 7News received the recordings from the Greenville Police Department.

“We have that letter, and it was recently discovered as we cut locks off the lockers in the shared locker room at the Law Enforcement Center…a locker that probably hasn’t seen daylight in two or more decades,” Miller is heard saying in a recording from July.

In the recordings, Miller said the letter appeared to be from a mistress of Williams.

“He had more than one mistress apparently,” Miller said. “And so we don’t know what that letter means, but there was a letter from one who said that he and some of his team members may have been involved in that murder and framed this individual.”

Miller also said it’s possible the information in the letter is bogus and nothing more than a lovers’ quarrel.

“There’s nothing in the case file that suggests that this letter was ever submitted and vetted, which is a big concern and a big red flag,” he said.

Miller said he asked the North Carolina Center for Actual Innocence to work with his detectives on the case. In a recording from an October meeting of the Public Safety Citizen Review Board, Miller said he had three detectives working on the case.

The Police Department has also confirmed they received a gun on October 31 that may be related to the Looper case.

“We are currently investigating this potential evidence and are coordinating any appropriate testing of the firearm,” said Greenville Police Department public affairs manager Donnie Porter in an email to 7News.

Porter declined to comment further, saying the case is under review.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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