Some had ‘issues’ with gay slay victim
A teacher in Wisconsin, Clyde Peterman looked to Grand Junction for a fresh start.
Here, he was murdered in a case that has baffled detectives for 32 years.
Peterman, 45, was found in the bathtub of his apartment at 246 Belford Ave., Unit 6, on March 19, 1979. The Grand Junction Police Department initially told a reporter that Peterman’s death likely was a suicide, despite the fact an autopsy showed blunt-force trauma to the head.
Peterman had a series of other wounds, cuts and bruises, said Police Cmdr. Mike Nordine, who heads up the department’s detectives.
“It was a real difficult case because of his lifestyle,” Nordine said.
Peterman was a janitor for a local hotel. His boss found Peterman’s body after traveling to Peterman’s apartment when he didn’t show up for work.
Peterman was a recovering alcoholic, as was his roommate, and a client at the time of Bridge House, a former rehabilitation facility. All of Peterman’s known acquaintances were associated with the facility.
He was also openly gay, very effeminate in manner, Nordine said.
“There were several people we interviewed who had issues with that,” he said, adding some had open confrontations with Peterman, while others expressed concerns about his lifestyle.
Neighbors did not report hearing anything unusual from the apartment around the time Peterman was found.
Peterman’s roommate gave an alibi to police that still stands: He traveled by bus to Kansas City several days before Peterman was found dead, then flew back to Grand Junction on March 31 to be interviewed by detectives.
While reports say biological evidence was collected from the crime scene, Nordine said it hasn’t been examined recently by the department.
“I can’t say whether or not it is in a condition that would do us any good,” he said.