This weekend marks the 45th anniversary of one of the darker moments in the history of the city of Tallahassee.
This is what happened on the night of Oct. 22, 1966:
"While while many residents were watching Florida State University and Mississippi State play football, someone attacked Robert Sims, his wife Helen and their daughter in their modest brick house on a cul-de-sac.
All three were bound, their mouths stuffed with stockings. The two adults were blindfolded. Robert Sims, 42, a top official with the state Department of Education, was shot in the head. Helen Sims, 34, was shot twice in the head and once in the leg. Joy, 12, was stabbed six times, then shot in the head. Her panties were found pulled down, and there was evidence that she was molested."
The case still remains officially unsolved and the Leon County Sheriff's Office still has a file on its website asking for anyone with information to call them. The problem in solving the case is that no murder weapon was ever found, nor was there any signs of forced entry or robbery.
The murder remains a pivotal point in Tallahassee history because it in some ways forever changed the town. Panic gripped the small city, Halloween was nearly canceled and soon suspicion for the murders would fall on the charismatic preacher at the head of the First Baptist Church of Tallahassee.
From a story I wrote about the case five years ago for The Miami Herald:
"We just woke up one morning in Tallahassee and we were part of an evil world," said Rocky Bevis, who was 16 at the time and was one of the first at the crime scene because his father ran a funeral home and ambulance service. "It's disturbing to go to sleep knowing someone is still out there."
You can read the full story here.
The Tallahassee Democrat this weekend touched on the case with a piece that columnist Gerald Ensley wrote on Pastor C.A. Roberts and his legacy.