“This is a horrible, horrible day for someone to experience that much tragedy at one time.”
The “day” Phoenix Police Sgt. Derek Elmore is referring to is Sept. 6, 1982. At 10 p.m., near 16th Street and Dobbins, a man returned home from the hospital where his 9-year-old daughter had just died after drowning in a bathtub. When he walked in the house, he found his girlfriend and her two young daughters murdered.
Valerie Pride, 33, and her daughters, 8-year-old Shontia and 4-year-old Duana, were all stabbed to death. Because of trace evidence left behind, investigators believe the killer left through the back yard and climbed over the wooden fence to escape. Valerie was an Arizona native and came from a large family. She had five sisters and one brother. She went to South Mountain High School and Arizona State University.
“She worked at Palo Verde Nuclear plant as the first black female electrician there,” said Elmore. “A pretty remarkable accomplishment for her at that time.”
Valerie loved to rollerblade and spend time with her friends and kids.