Police Say A Utah Cold Case Has Been Solved. But With Two Suspects Dead And Not Charged We May Never Know For Sure.

Source: Salt Lake County police; Upsplash

Buddy Conti.

Jul. 20 2022, Published 2:25 p.m. ET

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A pharmacist in Utah and a salesclerk were closing up a pharmacy when a masked man entered the store, demanded money and took both outside at gunpoint. The suspect told them to run and then opened fire and striking the pharmacist and killing him.

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In 2015, police announced that the case was solved. But with two men named as suspects dying before being charged, we may never know for sure.

Buddy Conti, 45 at the time, Aug. 27, 1982, was the owner of Kearns Pharmacy at 4188 West 5415 South in Utah. His murderer was described as a 6-foot-2 white man with straight black hair streak with gray that was nearly collar length, and he has still not been identified.

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According to Deseret News, police had a suspect at the time but never conducted an interview. Police say they believe Richard Gill and Clyde Dudley, who are both now dead, were responsible for the robbery and murder, though no charges were ever filed, and police never interviewed Gill, the suspected gunman.

"We must, frankly, offer an apology to the victims and their families for what can only be described as a failure to pursue justice in a timely and responsible way those many years ago," Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder told Deseret News in 2015.

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According to Deseret News, Conti may have confronted the gunman before running toward a field as he and the store clerk were instructed. Dudley was interviewed by police and admitted that he and Gill had been staking out the pharmacy and planning a robbery. Not long after, Dudley killed himself, Deseret News reported.


However, police had plenty of time to interview Gill until he died in 2013. Dudley took his own life in 1983.

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“Through a series of what can only be described as missteps, Mr. Gill was never communicated with by investigators, although charges were leveled by the District Attorney and follow-up documents were put in the case file, for a variety of reasons, mistakes, Mr. Gill was never formally interviewed, nor was he formally charged,” Winder said in 2015, according to Fox 13.

The District Attorney's Office for Salt Lake County said there was probable cause to charge both suspects with homicide and aggravated robbery if they were still alive, according to Fox 13.

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“There is nothing to suggest anyone else was involved in this murder and the case will now be closed.”

Still, the case sits with no one ever charged in the killings.


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