Police solve 30-year-old murder involving Utah pharmacist

September 18, 2015

Authorities also apologized to pharmacist’s family and a store employee for allowing the case to fall through the cracks.

Police recently solved a cold case involving the murder of a Utah pharmacist more than three decades ago. Authorities also apologized to pharmacist’s family and a store employee for allowing the case to fall through the cracks, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

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Buddy Conti, 45, was co-owner and a pharmacist at Kearns Drugs Store in Salt Lake City. On August 28, 1981, a masked gunman walked into a pharmacy, demanded cash and drugs, and confronted Conti.

Conti and Signa Atwood, a front counter worker, were forced outside the pharmacy and ordered to run. According to police, Conti stopped running, confronted the gunman, and was fatally shot.

According to the newspaper, police identified Clyde Leslie Dudley as a suspected getaway driver. Dudley told police that he was the getaway driver and that Richard David Gill was the shooter.

However, Dudley committed suicide in 1983. Gill was subsequently arrested in Missouri for armed robbery but not brought to Utah to face charges. He died in 2013 from cancer. Neither Gill nor Dudley was ever charged with Conti’s murder.

 

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder conceded that law enforcement dropped the ball in Conti’s case. He said a review of the case found mistakes that had kept the investigation from progressing, and that there was probable cause to charge both Dudley and Gill. 

He apologized to Conti’s family and to Atwood. "[This] can only be described as a failure to pursue justice," Winder told the Salt Lake Tribune.

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