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Columbia County cold case dates back to 1978

Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 7:41 PM
Last updated Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 2:05 AM
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Chronicle begins an occasional series on unsolved deaths in our region.

Agent Mike Seigler of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (right) talks to an unidentified West Lake security guard following the 1978 slaying of security guard Craig Fallaw.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Agent Mike Seigler of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (right) talks to an unidentified West Lake security guard following the 1978 slaying of security guard Craig Fallaw.


Columbia County sheriff’s investigators might never know what happened to Craig Fallaw outside a West Lake security booth Oct. 6, 1978.

Senior Investigator Wynn Howard said most witnesses, any possible suspects and the officers who worked the case could be dead.

“It’s still open,” Howard said of the case. “A murder is never closed until it’s solved and then adjudicated.”

Fallaw, a 34-year-old security guard at West Lake subdivision, had walked over to investigate a man crouching in the bushes 10 yards from the gate entrance off Stevens Creek Road about 2 a.m. when he was shot in the head with a .38-caliber gun.

He had been a security guard off and on but had just been hired full time two weeks before the shooting.

Fallaw’s partner told police he heard him yell at someone. Two shots rang out, and then Fallaw’s partner saw someone run away. A knit ski mask and a bag of tools were left behind.

It was 1982 before police discovered the possible murder weapon along with a military duffel bag and ammunition. Construction workers found the rusted gun in a canister, along with two knives and a camera, buried two feet below ground in hard clay.

“It’s in bad condition,” Howard said of the gun.

Police never were positive it was the gun used to kill Fallaw. Ownership was traced to an Augusta man who had died before Fallaw, but the gun had been confiscated by a judge before the owner’s death.

Security personnel at West Lake indicated they obtained possession of the gun after it was confiscated, but it was stolen from them about 10 days before Fallaw was shot, according to a 1982 Chronicle article.

Howard said no link to an assailant was ever made.

Howard has been handed the three unsolved homicides in Columbia County to put a new set of eyes on them and use new technology, if possible, to close the case with an arrest.

UNSOLVED CASE

WHO: Craig Fallaw, 34

WHEN: 2 a.m. Oct. 6, 1978

WHERE: Stevens Creek Road entrance to West Lake

INVESTIGATING AGENCY: Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

CAUSE OF DEATH: Shot in the head by a .38-caliber gun

HAVE INFORMATION? Call Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 541-1044 or 541-2800

Comments (13) Add comment
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GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 09/01/14 - 03:20 am
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Sounds like a inside job

For a security guard to be killed with a weapon stolen from the security company he worked for 10 days before he was killed? Sounds like astronomical odds of a coincidence to me.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/01/14 - 04:22 am
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Wasn't there also a murder of

Wasn't there also a murder of a MP at the gate to Ft. Gordon in the 70s that was never solved?

nocnoc
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nocnoc 09/01/14 - 07:25 am
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While the AC is at it

What about the murder of the young couple in Belverdere in the early/mid 70's by the pond .

nesbitda@ix.netcom.com
6
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nesbitda@ix.netcom.com 09/01/14 - 07:50 am
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Murder at Doctors Hospital

How inactive is the investigation into the death of Dr. Y Mouna in the Doctor's Hospital parking lot around the same time?

nocnoc
47281
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nocnoc 09/01/14 - 09:08 am
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Did they solve

the SAM's Murder that happen back the later 1980's early 1990?

Where they killed the shop mgr.?

dwb619
101103
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dwb619 09/01/14 - 11:46 am
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NOCNOC@8:25

I will not mention the young girls name, but I know her two older sisters and her father.
She was killed at Sudlow Lake tailrace and her friend was shot.
Several years later an elderly couple was killed during the robbery of their store on Highway 19 between Aiken and Trenton. This case was solved, and the .22 rifle used in the killing was recovered. The authorities matched this rifle to the Sudlow Lake murder.
I don't know if the killer confessed to the Lake killing or was convicted.
The ironic thing, he was a "person of interest" in the lake killing, but his grandmother lied and gave him the needed alibi.

specialist
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specialist 09/01/14 - 03:17 pm
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Gate one Fort Gordon

I do not know when it happened, but an MP was shot at the entrance to fort Gordon, and the entrance to the Fort was then named McKenna gate. I do not know who or why the gate lost its name to honor McKenna, but yet really should be renamed in his honor. As it is now there is not even a plaque in honor of this young man. Shame on somebody !

specialist
209
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specialist 09/01/14 - 04:35 pm
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Fort Gordon McKenna gate

Did some more research. You may find Robert McKenna on the Officer Down Memorial Page. Incident occurred 22Feb 1966. Both shooters were apprehended. He was shot in the face. One defendant was sentenced to life and the other was given 25 years. The gate WAS named in his honor and the name should be re-instated. What say you Fort Gordon Commander?

GnipGnop
12692
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GnipGnop 09/01/14 - 08:35 pm
1
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The SAM's murder

was solved. It involved a cashier and a few of her criminal buddies. I believe one of them was involved in the murder of the Columbia County couple that owned the liquor store on Kissingbower Road. They were murder in their Columbia County home. I think the killers believed them to have a large amount of cash in their home.

flipa1
2755
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flipa1 09/02/14 - 07:23 am
1
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The are several unsolved

The are several unsolved murders here in the CSRA and the body count is stacking up. That means there are more and more Murderers running free who have little to lose by murdering again. We need you to share this with everyone before they do. If you think you have any clue as to how to solve any of these unsolved murders please call the POLICE, Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, or TEXT/EMAIL your tips to TIPS@AugustaCrimeStoppers.org. Where you remain anonymous and un-murdered.

nocnoc
47281
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nocnoc 09/02/14 - 08:37 am
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dwb619 & GnipGnop - Thanks

I remember those murders that buffled the police for a long time.
I am happy to hear they were solved. They had stuck with me a long time.

Just like the name Lindale Hunter (sp)
that reaped havoc in the Augusta area back in the early 70's that RCSD/APD spent weeks trying to capture/

nocnoc
47281
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nocnoc 09/02/14 - 08:39 am
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What does the Post commander say.

About returning the name of Gate 1 to the soldier that died guarding it?

GnipGnop
12692
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GnipGnop 09/02/14 - 08:01 pm
0
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I was in 3rd

grade when the Hunter case was headline news. I remember years later there was a similar case involving a guy named John Arthur Jefferson that was robbing and raping women at beauty salons. The police circulated a drawing of him around Augusta and he was eventually caught.

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