Slater Huff was 35 years old when he was murdered. His body was found inside his home in Ensley, Florida, more than 30 years ago, and the person responsible for his death has yet to be brought to justice.
In the early hours of Oct. 25, 1987, Huff picked up a woman from the Grand Hotel at Guillemard and Cross streets. They returned to his house in the 8000 block of Fab Street and went into his bedroom, where an argument ensued.
He then told her to get out of his house.
Huff’s then-38-year-old sister, Claudia Wright, who was living at the home, told the Pensacola News Journal in 1987 that she was asleep when she was awakened by the noise.
She said the woman “came into my room and asked me if he [Huff] could use my car to take her back to the Grand Hotel. I told her I couldn’t let her have my car. I didn’t know her. I’d never seen her before.”
“The woman kept screaming,” Wright added. “She wanted a ride. My brother told her to get out. He told her he didn’t care if she got a ride or not.”
Huff and the woman continued their bickering on the porch. Then, moments later, there was a gunshot.
Wright said when she heard it, she screamed out her brother’s name as she knew “something terrible had happened.”
She saw him in the doorway with his hand over his heart, and there was blood emitting from his mouth. As he was walking to the sofa, he managed to utter his last words: “I’m dead. She shot me.”
Then he collapsed.
Wright said his “eyes were half-closed. I told my little girl to keep calling his name. Then I grabbed the phone and dialed 911. They got here fast, but it was too late.”
Emergency first responders pronounced Slater Huff dead at the scene.
Huff was a Tate High School graduate and a landscaper who was originally from Vredenburgh, Alabama, but he had been living in Ensley, Florida, for 31 years.
Cpl. Kent Vancil of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office stated that “we don’t know who she [the suspect] is. He apparently knew her, but no one else did. After the shooting, she just vanished.”
In October 1987, Florida authorities released a composite sketch of what the suspect looked like. At the time of the crime, she is believed to have been in her mid-20s, between 5’2 and 5’5 feet tall, and weighing between 120 and 130 pounds.
The suspect had short hair and a chipped tooth. She was last seen wearing a gray sweater, blue jeans, and a painter’s cap.
In May 1988, police received a lead in the case.
After a man known as a transvestite was arrested in the Fort Lauderdale area, he admitted to police that he was at the Grand Hotel on the morning Huff was killed.
He said he left town the following day, but he denied having anything to do with Huff’s death.
Investigators worked diligently to find Huff’s killer, but ultimately, his case turned cold.
Anyone with information regarding the unsolved murder of Slater Huff is encouraged to contact the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9199.