The following news story appeared in the
on March 21, 2002:
GOLFER MURDERED DURING ROBBERY, POLICE
The body of Jerry Ray Taylor, 61, was found
Tuesday at the Fred Enke Golf Course by players looking for their
A food salesman who played golf nearly every
day after work apparently was killed at Fred Enke Golf Course during a robbery,
Police are not saying what was taken from Jerry
Ray Taylor, 61, who was found dead Tuesday afternoon by other
Several people at the golf course, 8251 E.
Irvington Road, "thought they heard something" like gunshots that afternoon,
said Pam Drake, the course's head golf pro.
Golfers were not alarmed because they
frequently hear shots from the nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's small-arms
Police are not saying how Taylor, a dairy
product and frozen foods salesman, was killed. His body was found shortly after
2 p.m. Tuesday in desert brush in a chipping area. The golf clubs and bag were
found some distance from his body, police said.
"There probably were five or six people out
there, and when they were looking for their golf balls they discovered the
body," Drake said.
A 92-year-old golfer went to the pro shop to
call 911, Drake said.
Drake, 34, said that in the seven years she has
worked at the golf course, "I've never felt unsafe working here, and I don't
The course was open as usual yesterday, with
golfers enjoying a sunny and warm first day of spring.
Golfer Dan Way, 66, a retired Air Force
colonel, agreed by added, "I'm concerned that things like this happen in the
first place, period."
More than a dozen members of Taylor's family
gathered in the back yard of his modest East Side home yesterday to plead for
information that could help police find the killer.
"He was the best husband, father, grandfather
there ever could have been," sobbed his wife, Beverly Taylor, 57. "We want to
know why he was killed. Please help us."
"We need to have some justice; we need to know
how he was killed, " said Cheryll Witz, 39, his eldest daughter.
"I would like to basically make a plea for
anyone to come forward who has seen this man," Witz said, holding up a
photograph of her father.
Taylor's youngest daughter, Rene Mattingly, 38,
listened as Witz described her father as an avid golfer who went to the Enke
golf course nearly every day. Tuesday he went to the course between 1:30 and
2 p.m., Witz said.
"He was home every day by 3; when he didn't
come home, we knew something was wrong," Witz said.
Beverly Taylor said she heard on a 5 p.m. news
broadcast Tuesday that a body had been found on the Enke golf
"I just had that feeling it was Jerry, and then
the police came to tell us he was dead," she said.
Witz said her father had had cancer and seemed
to have beaten it.
She said the family had found out just a week
ago that her father had a kidney problem.
Jerry Taylor's German Shepherd-Rottweiler,
Bernard, "cried all night long" Tuesday, said the victim's 17-year-old grandson,
"He's like a human. He knows what's going on;
he knows he's gone," Ryan Witz said.
Jerry Taylor was born in San Gabriel, Calif.,
and was raised in Thermopolis, Wyo. He attended San Bernardino Valley College
in San Bernardino, Calif., and served in the Army as a surveyor from 1960 to
Several of Taylor's immediate family members
live out of state and are having a difficult time finding affordable airfare to
Tucson on short notice, said Gail Leland, Homicide Survivors'
director. "Homicide Survivors is helping. However, our
funds are limited, and additional funds are needed," Leland said. The support organization has established a fund
for the family's travel and emergency needs. Those wishing to offer help can send a
tax-deductible contribution to Homicide Survivors, Taylor Fund, 32 N. Stone,
11th floor, Tucson, AZ 85701 or call 740-5729 Taylor's killing was the city's 19th homicide of the year and the
metro area's 21st.
The county attorney's 88-CRIME anonymous tipster program is offering a
reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a
suspect in the slaying.