Cold Case Detective Hopes to Solve 50-Year-Old Murder of Houston 5th Grader

HOUSTON, Texas – The murder of 12-year-old Kirk Douglas Gaskin at a Houston restaurant in 1973 is a cold case that has recently been reopened by the Houston Police Department. Despite the brutal nature of the murder, it was largely overlooked by the public at the time. Now, a cold case detective from the Houston police is determined to bring justice to the case.

The investigation into Gaskin’s murder at the Early Roberts Famous Foods restaurant in Houston’s East End in 1973 was vastly different from what it would be today. According to Detective Darcus Shorten, the authorities at the time did not follow up as thoroughly as they should have. The lack of action from law enforcement has left a lasting impact on Gaskin’s family, who feel that the case was not taken seriously due to their race and economic status.

Kirk’s family has been haunted by the lack of justice for his murder, and the reopening of his case is a ray of hope for them. The Houston Police Department’s Emmett Till grant, dedicated to investigating unsolved murders of Black men from the 1970s, has helped provide the resources and time needed to reexamine Gaskin’s case.

Detective Shorten and the police are hoping to find new leads and witnesses, despite the challenges of reconstructing events from fifty years ago. The cold case detective is determined to uncover the truth and bring closure to Kirk Gaskin’s family, who continue to remember him with love and grief after all these years.

The case file contains very few details about Kirk’s death, and the diner where the murder took place no longer exists. The memories of Kirk, however, remain vivid for his family. If anyone has any information about Kirk’s cold case, they are encouraged to contact Houston police cold case detectives.