Who is Lou Archie Griffin? Convicted sex offender claims rights violation as DNA ties him to 1986 cold-case murder

Investigators were able to get his DNA from beer cans and a cigarette butt after they followed him and it matched the sperm found on the victim's body


                            Who is Lou Archie Griffin? Convicted sex offender claims rights violation as DNA ties him to 1986 cold-case murder
Lou Archie Griffin was charged with first-degree intentional homicide on October 2020 (Green Bay Police Department)

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN: A convicted sex offender in Wisconsin, Lou Archie Griffin, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in a cold case from the year 1986, on October 2020. The case involved the murder of a 22-year-old woman by strangulation. Griffin has now written a letter to WBAY Local 5, a local television station, where he claims that his rights were violated. The Daily Mail reported that in the letter, which was four pages long and handwritten, Griffin writes that his "civil rights and constitutional rights" were violated by police and prosecutors and that DNA from a "third party" was ignored.

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Who is Lou Archie Griffin?

In October of 2020, Griffin was charged with "first-degree intentional homicide" in the case that saw the murder of 22-year-old Lisa Holstead. Her body was found by construction workers in a marsh near Peat's Lake and Duck Creek, a "few miles" from Griffin's home at the time on August 12, 1986. The last time the victim was seen alive was by her boyfriend named John Sot who had revealed that Holstead had run away after they had argued while driving home from a family gathering. They used to live together, but Sot told police that his girlfriend did not come home that fateful night. The publication reported that a criminal complaint reveals that investigators were able to get Griffin's DNA from thrown beer cans and a cigarette butt after they had followed him in Racine. The DNA matched the DNA that was found on Holstead's body.

The letter that Griffin wrote calls out police for making false statements to obtain "a false complaint" and that they had falsely accused him of murder. As for the third party, Griffin said that the autopsy of Holstead's body found sperm that belonged to another man (third party) who was not identified. The sperm did not belong to Holstead's boyfriend or Griffin. The letter, as reported, also lists a "series of questions" that Griffin said he wanted to be answered, one of which includes the DNA of a third party that has not been identified. The other questions in the letter speak about where the victim's blouse was, the one that was used to strangle her, and also the time at which Griffin's DNA was discovered, which was 35 years after the murder was committed.

Griffin also brought up the fact that he is 65 years old and has "ties to the community with family ties for more than 40 years". He added that he also has an issue with the $1M bond that has been set for him. The Daily Mail reported that Griffin ends the note telling WBAY, "I am very sure that I will interview with you in the near future." He also adds a pre-condition that the reports should be able to pose the questions he's asked to Brown County District Attorney David Lasee while on camera.

Police further revealed that their murder suspect Griffin did have a history of violence against women, with the publication revealing that this included strangulation. Griffin had moved to Green Bay one month before Holstead's death after he was released on parole for committing second-degree child sexual assault. Police have said that their murder suspect had sexually assaulted the victim and strangled her with her own blouse. While at first Griffin had said that he didn't know who Holstead was, he later changed his mind saying that he must have slept with her after police showed him the DNA evidence they had uncovered. But Griffin denied that he had murdered Holstead. As per Griffin, on the night that Holstead had died, he was "high on cocaine and drank alcohol". He further added that he had gone to the bar, stopped at the fast-food joint McDonald's, and then drove home. 

How did Griffin become a murder suspect?

The murder of Holstead is Green Bay's oldest case, and police said that in September 2020 they have reached a breakthrough due to "forensic genetic genealogy". The Daily Mail article revealed that while Griffin had no connection to the young murder victim, investigators used "reverse family tree" along with DNA from the crime scene to identify him as a suspect. The process of reverse genealogy sees the research of a family tree in order to find out who the suspect's relatives are. The publication reveals that investigators from Green Bay were able to send the DNA sample found on the victim's body to a testing company in the year 2018. It was through this that they were able to create a profile of who the victims' killer was.

Detective Graf revealed last fall to reporters, "It came up with more genetic info than just what a crime lab could come up with. Then using that, we're able to identify the person's hair, where they're from, and using some of the common websites we identified some relatives." The search was brought all the way to Griffin because police say that they used "familial research and characteristics from the suspect’s profile" and found out that Griffin had lived near Holstead back then in Green Bay.

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