Any murder represents a level of greed, lust, or stupidity abhorrent to most humans, but when a child murders another child, the depravity reaches a new low. It is a sign of a rip in our society’s moral fabric when a teenager thinks murder is the best way to handle a petty fight with his friend. I do not like to read or write stories about kids killing kids, but I also do not feel it is acceptable to look the other way. The problem won’t simply disappear if we ignore it. Two horrible incidents of teen murderers have occurred in Alaska in the last few years, and in this episode, I will profile one of them.
12-7-2016. Docs: Alaska teen was walked into woods, shot execution-style. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/david-grunwald-docs-alaska-teen-was-walked-into-woods-shot-execution-style-suspect/
5-24-2018. The details in the Grunwald killing fell into place one early December day in 2016 – Investigators lured suspects to a Palmer hotel, found the 16-year-old’s body, and arrested the first teen charged with the killing – all in the same day, according to testimony. Anchorage Daily News. https://adn.newsbank.com/doc/news/16C1DF6C34370508?Search_terms
12-27-2018. Deliberations begin in murder trial of second teen charged in Grunwald slaying – Was Dominic Johnson the catalyst that triggered the killing, or was he not even in the car that drove David Grunwald to his death? Anchorage Daily News. https://adn.newsbank.com/doc/news/17090E308AECB8f0?search_terms
Hollander, Zaz. 10-1-2019. Teen on trial for murder of David Grunwald recounts moments leading up to shooting. Anchorage Daily News. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2019/10/01/teen-on-trial-for-murder-of-david-grunwald-recounts-moments-leading-up-to-his-death/
10-8-2019. Jury delivers 8 guilty verdicts in Alaska teen murder trial. AP News. https://apnews.com/article/e60bbefa195a47129048307f499f8d9c
Hollander, Zaz. 10-9-2019. Third teen convicted of murder in David Grunwald’s 2016 killing. Anchorage Daily News. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2019/10/08/third-teen-convicted-of-murder-in-david-grunwalds-2016-killing/
Clark, Taylor. 2-5-2020. Fourth suspect in David Grunwald murder case pleads guilty to murder, kidnapping. Alaska’s News Source. https://www.alaskasnewssource.com/content/news/Fourth-suspect-in-David-Grunwald-murder-case-pleads-guilty-to-murder-in-second-degree-567600251.html
Hollander, Zaz. 11-20-2020. First defendant sentenced in Palmer teen’s 2016 murder gets 45 years during emotional live-streamed hearing. Anchorage Daily News. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2020/11/20/first-defendant-sentenced-in-palmer-teens-2016-murder-gets-45-years-during-emotional-live-streamed-hearing/
Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, Karluk Bones, and Massacre at Bear Creek Lodge. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.
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