Gregory M. Williams
23 Years Old

January 19, 1962 to December 27, 1985

Gregory (Gregg) M. Williams was six feet-two inches, slim, handsome, friendly and charismatic. People gravitated to him. When he entered a room, people stopped and looked-up because he presented such an appealing appearance. Gregg was recruited to be a model because he photographed so well and clothes looked especially good on him. He was always careful how he looked and dressed when he went out...he said “You never know who you’ll meet.”

Gregg loved to dance and music was a favorite. He played piano, cello, violin and French horn.

Gregg was murdered in Manhattan, New York City two days after Christmas in 1985. If he had made it to his next birthday in January, he would have turned 24.

After Gregg’s funeral, his three brothers and close friends made him a birthday party. They did the cooking and baked the cake. It was for the “guys only” to celebrate Gregg’s life and their memories of him. They did not invite us, the parents, because they felt it would be too painful for us to bear so soon after burying their brother and friend. We would have attended, just to listen to their special stories and secrets they shared with him.


The day before he met the tragic end, Gregg worked all Christmas Day catering a party he and a friend took charge of; cooking and serving guests in hopes of starting their own catering business. They were so successful, the hostess tipped them a hundred dollars.

Gregg called his mom the next day because he had to miss Christmas with the family which was his favorite thing. He said he wanted to celebrate the success of the party and his earnings by taking two friends to a ballroom dance in northern New Jersey. It was the last time mom ever heard his happy voice. When the dance hall closed, the three guys went to New York City to locate a dance place there.

Crossing the George Washington Bridge, they drove through Harlem where Gregg had to stop his car to find a restroom. Gregg’s two friends heard shots, jumped from the car and ran around the corner to find Gregg on the pavement saying “They shot me!” They picked him up and drove to the nearest hospital while one administered CPR.

Gregg died in the operating room during exploratory surgery to locate the bullet which had entered through the side of his upper arm and was found in the aorta. By that time, both his brothers and father had arrived at the hospital while mom and one brother remained at home for any phone calls.

Gregg’s two best friends have not been in our home. They feel so guilty we might blame them for not saving Gregg. Since then, one of Gregg’s brothers turned to law enforcement, one developed diabetes and the other graduated the Military Academy at West Point.

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