Two convicted killers have been linked to the cold case murders of two women brutally murdered in 1983.
Amos Robinson, 58, and Abron Scott, 57, are already serving life sentences for the kidnapping and fatal beating of a man they attacked outside a Florida bar in 1983—but authorities now believe the killers also took the lives of Barbara Grams, 19, and Linda Lansen, 41, that same year, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
“These men are serial murderers and rapists, and although they’re already serving life sentences, their crimes against Barbara Grams and Linda Lanson cannot — and will not — go unpunished,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said Thursday while announcing the newest indictments, according to NBC News.
Warren was suspended from office earlier that same day by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in an unrelated matter after he refused to enforce abortion restrictions or restrictions for minors' gender-affirming therapy.
Robert DuBoise spent 37 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of killing Grams, who was killed while walking home from work the night of Aug. 18, 1983. But the conviction was overturned in August of 2020 with the help of The Innocence Project after DNA evidence did not match DuBoise.
After DuBoise was cleared, the state attorney’s Crime Reinvestigation Unit continued to work the case to find the real killer, according to Bay News 9.
In addition to taking a new look at Grams’ death, investigators also re-examined other unsolved cases in Tampa from the same time period and discovered DNA evidence that indicated both Gram and Lansen had been killed by the same two men during what Warren referred to as a “sinister spree of rape and murder.”
DNA samples from both crime scenes were matched to Robinson and Scott through a national database, Fox News reports.
Lansen, a freelance photographer, was killed in July of 1983. Her body was found at the end of Memorial Highway in Town and Country.
“She had been raped, shot in the head and dumped in the bushes,” Warren said.
The next month, Grams’ body was found behind a dental office in Tampa Heights after she had been beaten to death and raped.
Grams had worked at a restaurant called The Hot Potato and had left the night of Aug. 18, 1983 to walk to her Tampa Heights home, the local paper reports. Her body was discovered the next morning.
Scott and Robinson were ultimately convicted of another murder that same year. Carlos Orellana, a 33-year-old office manager, was attacked by the two men outside a bar, where he was beaten until he was unconscious.
After he lost consciousness, Orellana was shoved into the backseat of his car and driven to a remote area, according to reports obtained by the local paper.
Orellana regained consciousness and tried to fight for his life, but he was beaten, choked and then run over with his own car before the men dumped the body in the woods.
They were convicted of robbery, kidnapping and murder and sentenced to death, however, both sentences were later reduced to life in prison.
Lansen’s niece, Linda Sheffield, spoke Thursday about what it meant to the family to have an indictment in the case after all these years.
“This is a day that I never ever thought would come, so to have somebody accountable for what they did, not only to my aunt, but to everyone else and every other family they touched, is beyond anything I would have expected,” she said, according to Bay News 9. “It means everything to me.”
She described her aunt during the press conference as a “strong, determined, warm and wonderful” artist and photographer.
Lansen’s daughter opted not to speak to the media, but did provide a statement that was read on her behalf.
"For me, the loss of my beautiful mother will remain a waking nightmare,” she said. “But I thank them for at least bringing me some closure.”