Spartanburg Co. sheriff pleads with public for answers in 1993 triple homicide

Local News

CLIFTON, S.C. (WSPA) – The Spartanburg County sheriff pleaded with Clifton community for answers in the 1993 triple homicide Friday morning.

On Jan. 9, 1993, Clifton, a small mill town in the Upstate, drastically changed.

“Up to that date, the Clifton community was a very laid-back community. Nobody locked their doors, there were no streetlights, things like this. The next day everything changed,” said Pastor David Moore, ID Clifton Church.

That’s when a horrific scene was discovered.

Thomas Johnson, 81, Mary Johnson, 77, and David Johnson, 43, all residents of the small mill town, were murdered inside of their home located at 270 Cedar Street.

“I don’t understand sometimes when people do things like the way they did to this family, and nobody talks.” said Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright.

For 29 years the case has remained unsolved.

“There was always that question in our mind of is it somebody that we know, is it somebody we talked to today, is it somebody we talked to last week? And there was always that mistrust of everybody,” said Tammy Dimsdale, great niece of Thomas and Mary Johnson.

Since the incident in 1993, the county has seen new leaders take office. Sheriff Chuck Wright and his team of investigators have taken over the county and this specific investigation.

The sheriff’s office said with the advancement of DNA technology, they have evidence being examined by SLED that will help give them new information.

“We have new technology now that will get through all of the what if’s and should-have, could’ve would-haves,” explained Sheriff Wright.

He says investigators are working tirelessly to find who is responsible for the death of the beloved family.

“I certainly believe there are some witnesses in the community and it’s still possible that the killer or killers are walking around right here,” said Sheriff Wright.

For the remaining family members, they have hope they will soon find closure.

“I watched so many of my family members pass away and I watched them on a daily basis wonder and pray that they would find out what happened,” said Dimsdale. “There is somebody out there that knows something, there has to be.” 

“If you remember something, say something”, said Sheriff Wright.

The family is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the prosecution of the person responsible for this crime.

(Source: Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office)

Anyone with information about what happen in January of 1993 is asked to contact Investigator Diane Lestage at (864) 503-4556 or email her at dlestage@spartanburgcounty.org.

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