Unsolved murder of grandmother Emmaline Croft investigated on Cold Justice

Police tape

Cold Justice is examining the murder and rape of Emmaline Croft, who was found dead in her home following a brutal attack in Alcoa, Tennessee.

On December 8, 1990, Emmaline’s family became concerned when they couldn’t contact the 80-year-old grandmother. They asked her neighbors to check in on her, and they encountered a particularly gruesome scene.

Emmaline was lying on a blood-soaked couch in a torn nightgown. She had been tortured, raped, sodomized, and stabbed. A bloody kitchen knife from Emmaline’s kitchen lay in the hallway, along with a fork that had been bent out of shape from the force used to strike the victim.

The grandmother of four had defensive wounds covering her hands and wrists as she tried to defend herself from the attack. She was killed by two stab wounds on each side of her neck; one of the wounds reached down to the vertebrae.

The police were stunned by the ferocity of the attack against an older woman who was popular and beloved in her community.

Emmaline was devoted to her family and was an active member at the local church. A lot of people in the small town called her granny. So why would anyone want to kill her?

Alcoa police suspect Emmaline Croft knew her killer

Perhaps most disturbingly, the detectives believe Emmaline knew her killer. The cops stated that she likely let the attacker into her home and it was someone she would feel comfortable being around while in her pajamas. The investigators suspect the killer had been in her home before.

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The police suspect some items may have been stolen from the house, but they don’t believe that robbery was the primary motive.

In 2010, Alcoa detective Kris Sanders told local reporters, “There was a lot of anger, a lot of rage, and you can see that in the photographs of some of the things that were done to her.”

The cops have not made any arrests. They interviewed a few persons of interest, but they all had verifiable alibis and passed polygraph tests. In 2005, DNA samples were sent off to be tested with modern equipment, but sadly that led to nothing.

Alcoa police are not giving up on finding who killed Emmaline Croft

This case has now been rigorously investigated four times: There was the initial investigation in 1990, one in 2005, and another in 2010. And now Kelly Siegler and her Cold Justice team have examined all the evidence.

The police still believe they can solve this case and bring closure to the Croft family. In 2010, Alcoa detective Susan Burcham warned the killer, “Time, you just have a little more time. It might not be us, but somebody is going to … it will be solved.”

Cold Justice airs Saturdays at 8/7c on Oxygen.

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