File Folder Missing

GPD Requests Outside Agency to Investigate

Stacie Bartro
December 06, 2019 - 9:05 am
GPD missing File Folder that could be relevant to the 1975 Looper murders

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The Greenville Police Department is working a real mystery.

In 1975, Lieutenant Frank Looper and his father Rufus Looper were murdered. 

Charles Wakefield believed to be the sole suspect and arrested.  In 2010 he was released on parole.

According to a City of Greenville Press Release, in April 2018, while cleaning out an employee locker in the basement of the Law Enforcement Center, a file folder was found containing a letter alleging that other people were responsible for the Looper murders, not Charles Wakefield. 

Greenville PD's Chief Miller assigned investigators with the Cold Case Unit to review the file to determine if the information therein was properly vetted on a prior date.

The file folder is missing.

A thorough search of the LEC has been conducted, but the file folder has not been located. 

Also this year, in October, a firearm related to the Looper murders was given to a Greenville Detective.  It is currently secured in the Law Enforcement Center. 

Chief Miller has requested an outside agency to come in and investigate the loss of the folder, assistance with the case and to examine the firearm.

Chief Miller commits the Police Departments full cooperation and is reviewing and revising practices in its Investigation Division.

Official Press Release from the Greenville Police Department:

(GREENVILLE)- As a result of media inquiries into different aspects of the GPD case review of the 1975 Looper murders, the GPD has prepared the following statement to share as much information as possible, without compromising the integrity of the review process.
 
In April 2018, Greenville Police Department (GPD) employees found a file folder while cleaning out an employee locker room in the basement of the Law Enforcement Center.

The file folder contained a letter alleging that persons other than Charles Wakefield were responsible for the 1975 murders of Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Frank Looper and his father, Rufus Looper.

The case was originally adjudicated in 1976 and the subject of an appeal many years later. Mr. Wakefield was released on parole in 2010.  

Chief Miller directed investigators with GPD’s Cold Case Unit to take custody of the file folder and to review the Looper case file to determine whether the information contained in the letter had been vetted on a prior date.

Since that time, the file folder has become missing.

A thorough search of all investigator workstations, case files and file storage areas throughout GPD’s section of the Law Enforcement Center has been conducted, but the file folder has not been located.   

The Greenville Police Department remains committed to making every effort to properly evaluate the information observed in the file folder, prior to its loss.  

Separately, on October 31, 2019, a firearm was submitted to a GPD detective for evaluation in this same case.

The firearm is currently being stored in the Property and Evidence Section at the Law Enforcement Center.   

Due to the nature and importance of these matters, Chief Miller has requested outside agency investigation into the loss of the file folder, assistance with the case review and a ballistics examination of the firearm.

He commits GPD’s full support and cooperation in the process and in the interim, is reviewing and revising GPD security, access, and file protocols and controls for its Investigations Division.  

There will be no further comment at this time.

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