New Orleans Police Officer Victor Gant was a SUSPECT in the killings of 24 people since 1991, including his girlfriend Sharon Robinson and Sharon's friend Karen Iverster . Last I saw of him he was appealing not getting his job back.
...Dr. Peter Filozof testified at the hearing that he was a resident in the emergency room at Charity Hospital, and he examined Sharon Robinson on December 9, 1994 when she presented herself there. Dr. Filozof stated that the patient initially stated she slipped and struck her nose on the bathroom sink. However, he stated she seemed very tearful and anxious, and that the person with her (Victor Gant) seemed very overprotective of her. Dr. Filozof asked Gant to step out during the examination, and at that point, Sharon Robinson stated that she was struck by her boyfriend thirty minutes before the hospital visit. Dr. Filozof stated he included his information in this report, and that he referred her to a battered women's clinic. This information is corroborated on the discharge sheet presented to Ms. Robinson. Ms. Robinson was unable to testify at the hearing in this matter because she was killed on May 1, 1995...
EXCERPTS FROM NEWS AND COURT 1995 - 2000
AUTHORITIES REQUEST MAN'S HAIR SAMPLES
Jun 11, 1995
[Excerpts] LaPLACE - The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office has requested head hair, pubic hair and saliva samples from a New Orleans police officer [Victor Gant] who has been questioned in the death of a woman whose body was found in the swamp along Interstate 55 in April. Detectives are investigating the drowning of Sharon Marie Robinson, 28, of New Orleans, as a homicide, sheriff's Maj. Harold Klibert said.... Detectives have compiled a fair amount of circumstantial evidence in the investigation, but lack any strong physical evidence... Robinson had lived together until recently and had a rocky relationship... Gant was out on sick leave at the time of Robinson's slaying, but he has since returned to his patrol duties...
OFFICER IS SUSPECT IN KILLINGS IN NEW ORLEANS
New York Times
August 13, 1995
[Excerpts] A police officer is a suspect in the killings of 24 people since 1991, including his girlfriend and several prostitutes... Seven of the victims were slain this year... Chief Richard J. Pennington of the New Orleans Police Department said that one of his officers, Victor Gant, was a suspect. The suspicion, he said, was based on the officer's relationship with two of the victims. Officer Gant's girlfriend, Sharon Robinson, 28, a casino coin changer, was one of the victims, killed on April 30 with her friend Karen Iverster, 30. Unlike most of the victims, the women were not prostitutes. Officer Gant, 33, has not been charged and remains on the force...
ROGUE N.O. OFFICER IS SERIAL KILLER SUSPECT
Aug 22, 1995
[Excerpts] In most cities, the specter of a police officer stalking and killing people would stir outrage. But in New Orleans - where four police officers have been charged with murder in the past year - it's just another scandal... John Reed is the attorney for the officer, whom a New Orleans television station first identified as Victor Gant. Reed said his client had nothing to do with the murders. The attorney has challenged detectives to put the officer in jail if they have a case... Authorities released a sketch of a suspect in 1992 after a woman who had been left for dead gave a description of her attacker. The drawing shows a black man in his 30s with a large, muscular build. Officer Gant is black, 33, and muscular... FBI's New Orleans office, Neil Gallagher, said that some of the earlier investigations were "not up to standard"... The officer under investigation has been questioned about a relationship with two of the victims, Sharon Robinson, 28, and Karen Ivester, 30, both of New Orleans, law enforcement officials said. Investigators found tobacco juice near one of the bodies, and the juice is being analyzed to determine whether the saliva matches that of the officer, who chews tobacco, officials said. The city has declined to release officer Gant's disciplinary records... Most neighbors said he keeps to himself. "When he was a kid, his father used to ride around with him until they could find a gang of kids," said a police official who supervises the officer and has known him for 10 years. "His father would make him get out and fight the first kid he could - just to make him tougher"...
A KILLER STALKS/FBI BELIEVES ONE PERSON MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR 24 DEATHS IN NEW ORLEANS AREA SINCE '91
Aug 27, 1995
[Excerpts] The sketch of the ""suspect" from 1992 has been reissued in connection with the current investigation. The woman who provided the description survived an abduction and attempted strangulation, giving investigators a description of a large, muscular man the FBI believes has made a habit of luring people into his car, strangling or suffocating them, then stripping and dumping their bodies... "There's no panic whatsoever,"said Tony Radosti, assistant managing director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. ""I hate to say it, but it falls into the forgotten people, and that's what these people are," Radosti said. ""The system just forgot them"... The watershed event may have been the deaths of Sharon Robinson and a woman reported to be her friend, Karen Ivester, whose bodies were found dumped near each other on the same isolated stretch of Interstate 55 on April 30 of this year. Robinson, an employee of Harrah's Casino at the edge of the Treme district, had until recently lived with a New Orleans police officer named Victor Gant. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has reported that their relationship had been volatile, that Robinson had recently moved out of an apartment she shared with him, and that Gant was seen leaving the Harrah's Casino with her on April 29 at 2:30 a.m. Her body was found in the swamp the next day, still clad in her Harrah's uniform. Robinson had drowned. Gant has not been charged with any crime and remains on duty... Robinson's name shows up as victim No. 23 on the FBI's list. The last victim was Sandra Williams, whose body was discovered May 6 - five days after the formation of the FBI task force...
POLICE OFFICER IS A SUSPECT IN NEW ORLEANS KILLING SPREE
Sep 5, 1995
[Excerpts] ...Now, this city - battered as often by police scandals as by the hurricanes that roar ashore - has learned that a police officer was a suspect in two of the 24 killings, killings that FBI agents have said were committed by one person. The officer, Victor Gant, 33, has denied it, has remained on the job in an administrative post, and has not been charged. DNA tests are underway... This is a city where four police officers have been charged with murder in the last 18 months... [Head of the FBI's New Orleans office Neil] Gallagher said the FBI was testing DNA from Gant's blood and saliva to see if it matched evidence from the sites where the two women's bodies were found...
LAWYER SAYS SILENCE NOT GOLDEN IN CASE
Dec 13, 1995
[Excerpts] ...On Tuesday, The Times-Picayune newspaper, quoting unidentified sources, said investigators have been unable to find evidence to tie Gant to the crimes. Gant's attorney, John Reed, says it is time for police and FBI to admit that publicly. "I think the FBI and the NOPD have some obligation to announce at this time that they do not have any concrete evidence," Reed said. "They shouldn't be permitted to declare someone a suspect" but then not admit that their case goes nowhere. "They have some obligation to say that Victor Gant has been cleared," he said... The Times-Picayune report said DNA tests of saliva found near Ivester's body proved inconclusive...
N.O. OFFICER FILES SUIT AGAINST CHIEF
Aug 10, 1996
[Excerpts] A New Orleans police officer has filed a lawsuit against the police chief who a year ago named the officer as a suspect in two murders which authorities said were tied to a serial killer. The action by Victor Gant, a 17-year police veteran, comes as the Police Department is taking steps to possibly fire him. No criminal charges have been filed against the officer... Investigators said Gant had been seen leaving with Robinson from Harrah's casino, where she worked as a coin-changer, before she vanished on April 29, 1995... On Monday, Gant filed an invasion of privacy suit in state District Court claiming that Pennington named him as a suspect even though the "paucity or lack of evidence linking (Gant) to these crimes was well known by (Pennington)"... The suit was filed as the Police Department accused Gant of four alleged administrative violations that could result in his firing - charges that Gant's attorney called absurd and an attempt to run him out of the department[Excerpts] Some of the administrative violations involve Gant's romantic relationship with Robinson. Gant is accused of reporting Robinson to juvenile authorities for leaving her three children unattended, but not disclosing that he knew the woman... Another administrative charge alleges that Gant told murder investigators that he had once slapped Robinson in the mouth. Gant says he never made the statement, Welcker said. Gant also has been accused of dereliction of duty for his late arrival last year at the Police Olympics in Atlanta... Gant also is accused of carrying his police revolver after being ordered not to do so during the murder investigation... Robinson's mother, Joanne Bush, said her family is waiting for action to be taken against Gant. "We just don't understand why he hasn't been arrested," Bush said. "He was the last person to be seen with her"...
N.O. OFFICER NAMED AS SUSPECT DISMISSED
Aug 24, 1996
[Excerpts] A New Orleans police officer was fired for departmental violations Friday, a year after he was identified by his police chief as a suspect in two murders linked to a serial killer. Victor Gant will appeal the firing, ordered by Police Superintendent Richard Pennington, to the city civil service board, said his attorney, Ronald Welcker... Gant recently filed an invasion of privacy suit against Pennington in state district court. The suit claims that Pennington named him as a suspect even though the "paucity or lack of evidence linking (Gant) to these crimes was well known by (Pennington)"...
FIRED N.O. POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED IN DOMESTIC DISPUTE
Dec 5, 1996
[Excerpts] A fired police officer named as a suspect in two killings linked to a series of murders is now being investigated in connection with a fight with a woman last week... Ex-officer Victor Gant and Karen Thibodeaux filed battery complaints against each other after a Nov. 27 domestic dispute... After appearing in Municipal Court on Monday, both agreed to drop their complaints, and a peace bond was issued prohibiting any contact between the two... Gant was fired in August for a series of departmental violations, including battery against [now-slain Sharon] Robinson stemming from a fight while they were living together. Gant is appealing his firing.
FIRED N.O. OFFICER BOOKED IN ALTERCATION WITH FRIEND
Dec 6, 1996
[Excerpts] A fired police officer named as a suspect in two slayings linked by investigators publicly to a serial killer has been booked with simple battery after an altercation with his girlfriend. Victor Gant was released on $5,000 bond Wednesday after surrendering to police. Gant, 45, is accused of choking and threatening his girlfriend, Karen Thibodeaux, on Nov. 27 at her home. Prosecutors will review the case and decide whether to charge Gant, said Assistant District Attorney Camille Buras...
FORMER N.O. POLICE OFFICER WANTS HIS JOB BACK
May 9, 1997
[Excerpts] A former New Orleans police officer publicly identified by his chief as a suspect in the killings of two women is trying to get his job back. Victor Gant, never charged in the slayings, was fired last year for administrative violations. During an appeal to a city civil service hearing examiner, his attorney said the violations were drummed up after the department could not link Gant to the killings. Gant, an 18-year police officer, has sued Police Supt. Richard Pennington for defamation over Pennington's public statements. After Pennington said Gant was considered a suspect in the killings of Sharon Robinson, Gant's girlfriend, and another woman, the FBI said the slayings appeared to be linked to a series of 24 killings in the southeastern Louisiana area over a number of years. The Police Department said Gant struck Robinson during a domestic incident before she was killed. Gant has denied the investigating officer's account of what he said...
ONE-TIME SUSPECT REINSTATED
Nov 5, 1999
[Excerpts] A New Orleans police officer is back at work, four years after being publicly identified by his chief and the FBI as a suspect in two of 24 killings investigated by a serial murders task force. The city's civil service board ordered Victor Gant reinstated after the city ran out of appeals to keep him away from the department. He returned to a desk job in the department's evidence room this week. The city is continuing to fight the order, but Gant will be on the job until a state appeal court rules... One of the departmental violations involved a simple battery complaint involving Gant's girlfriend, Sharon Robinson. Robinson and a friend, Karen Ivester, were later killed, and their cases were added to the serial killing task force's list... Eventually, the focus of the task force switched to Russell Ellwood, a former cab driver now serving a life sentence for a single killing.
APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS FIRING OF N.O. OFFICER
Jan 9, 2000
[Excerpts] A New Orleans police officer named publicly as a suspect in the still-unsolved killing of his girlfriend should not have been reinstated to his job, a state appeals court has ruled. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a decision by the city's Civil Service Commission to reinstate Victor Gant to his job. The three-judge panel said other infractions, including an earlier beating of his girlfriend, were enough to justify his dismissal... Last April, the Civil Service Commission reduced his penalty to a 30-day suspension. Gant returned to work in November, assigned to administrative duties. But the court, in a decision made public Friday, said domestic violence by a police officer is enough to justify firing. "We're delighted," said attorney Ike Spears, who represented the city. "We think it's absolutely the right ruling, and we're hoping that's the end of the matter and he'll stay off the force...
N.O. TO BRING LAWSUIT TO RECOVER BACK PAY FROM FIRED POLICEMAN
Jan 31, 2000
[Excerpts] The city wants a fired policeman to pay back the $109,500 in back pay he was awarded in 1996. Victor Gant got the money in November after the Civil Service Commission, which had reinstated him, threatened the city with a contempt ruling. On Jan. 5, the state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal reversed that decision. Gant was again out of work, as he had been from August 1996 until his reinstatement. But he had the money. The city is now getting ready to sue for the money...
Court of Appeal of Louisiana,Fourth Circuit.
GANT v. DEPARTMENT OF POLICE
Victor GANT v. DEPARTMENT OF POLICE.
January 05, 2000
Court composed of Chief Judge ROBERT J. KLEES, Judge MIRIAM G. WALTZER and Judge DENNIS R. BAGNERIS, Sr.
Chris J. Doyle, New Orleans, Louisiana, Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellee.Ike Spears, Spears & Spears, New Orleans, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendant-Appellant. This is an appeal from a ruling of the Civil Service Commission modifying the disciplinary action taken against Victor Gant by the Appointing Authority. For the reasons stated herein, we reverse the Commission's ruling and reinstate the termination of Victor Gant's employment...
...As to the case relating to the alleged battery, the Appointing Authority has failed to prove violations of R.S. 14, Article 35 (Simple battery), NOPD Rule 2 Unauthorized Force, or Rule 2.1, Adherence to Law. In reviewing the testimony of D'Juana Robinson, its conflicts and incompleteness are apparent. The testimony also appears rehearsed. The testimony of Dr. Filoz [sic] does not appear that compelling or that he was convinced of his patient's (Sharon Robinson) mental status. The medical record states: “Management · 2) Battered Women's # given and encouraged”... Clearly there was an altercation between Appellant and Ms. Robinson. The record bears out that she sustained some type of injury, but was that the result of a domestic quarrel or an officer violating the law...
...The evidence presented at the hearing of this matter with regard to the alleged battery of Ms. Robinson consisted of the testimony of Ms. Robinson's daughter and the emergency room physician who treated Ms. Robinson on the night of December 9, 1994. D'Juana Robinson, Sharon Robinson's daughter, testified that she, her mother and her two sisters lived with Victor Gant and that her mother and Gant were girlfriend and boyfriend. D'Juana testified that on the night of December 9, 1994, she and her sisters and a friend were sleeping in the bed in her mother's apartment. She stated that she heard Gant and her mother “fussing and fighting,” and she saw Gant lock her mother in a closet. When her mother tried to get out of the closet, Gant punched a hole in the wall. She also testified that she saw Gant throw a television set on her mother, although she admitted she did not actually see the TV hit her mother. She heard her mother scream, however, and she stated her mother received stitches in her nose following this incident.
Dr. Peter Filozof testified at the hearing that he was a resident in the emergency room at Charity Hospital, and he examined Sharon Robinson on December 9, 1994 when she presented herself there. Dr. Filozof stated that the patient initially stated she slipped and struck her nose on the bathroom sink. However, he stated she seemed very tearful and anxious, and that the person with her (Victor Gant) seemed very overprotective of her. Dr. Filozof asked Gant to step out during the examination, and at that point, Sharon Robinson stated that she was struck by her boyfriend thirty minutes before the hospital visit. Dr. Filozof stated he included his information in this report, and that he referred her to a battered women's clinic. This information is corroborated on the discharge sheet presented to Ms. Robinson.
Ms. Robinson was unable to testify at the hearing in this matter because she was killed on May 1, 1995. Sergeant Robert Nelson testified at the hearing that he was assigned to the Public Integrity Division of the Police Department earlier in 1995. Sergeant Nelson testified that on May 1, 1995 he was assigned to assist St. John Parish detectives in their investigation of the murder of Sharon Robinson. During the course of this investigation, information was received from family members that indicated there was a domestic problem between Gant and Robinson. This investigation led to the discovery of the emergency room records from Charity Hospital indicating Ms. Robinson had been injured during an altercation with Gant. Sergeant Nelson further testified that during this investigation, Officer Gant provided a statement to him admitting that he had pushed Ms. Robinson down and she struck her head, causing her to go to the hospital. Sergeant Nelson testified that he also spoke with Ms. Robinson's daughter and other family members, and concluded that Ms. Robinson was a victim of battery at the hands of Officer Gant.
Officer Gant testified at the hearing that on December 9, 1994, he and Ms. Robinson engaged in a quarrel while in the bathroom of their apartment. He stated Ms. Robinson struck him in the mouth with the television remote control, and that he pushed her away from him. He stated she slipped and struck her head on the bathroom sink. Officer Gant testified he never struck Ms. Robinson, nor did he ever pull a gun on her and threaten to kill her...
...Officer Gant testified he never struck Ms. Robinson nor did he pull a gun on her or otherwise threaten her...
...We have carefully reviewed the entire record in this matter and conclude that the evidence overwhelmingly supports a finding that Officer Gant battered Ms. Robinson on December 9, 1994...
...Further, Ms. Robinson's daughter testified over difficult cross-examination that she observed Officer Gant and Ms. Robinson in a fight on Deember 9, 1994... We fail to find conflicts in this young girl's testimony, except insofar as the testimony conflicts with Officer Gant's version of the events. In addition, although Officer Gant attempted to claim the injury to Ms. Robinson was accidental, his credibility was seriously damaged by the testimony of D'Juana Robinson that she saw Gant strike her mother on more than one occasion. Further, the proffered testimony of Officer Riley reveals that Officer Gant pulled a gun on Ms. Robinson and threatened to kill her, both of which Officer Gant denied in his previous testimony.
In addition, the Police Department was called into an investigation of Sharon Robinson's death based Officer Gant's position there...
...Under the circumstances presented here, we find that the Commission erred in failing to credit the testimony of D'Juana Robinson and Peter Filozof...
...The act of domestic violence at the hands of a commissioned police officer under any circumstances is particularly reprehensible and obviously prejudicial to the efficient operation of the police department. We find that the battery committed on Ms. Robinson by Officer Gant, along with the other charges which were sustained by the Commission, warrants the disciplinary action of termination from employment. The Commission abused its discretion in determining otherwise...The original disciplinary action imposed by the New Orleans Police Department ordering termination of Victor Gant's employment is hereby reinstated.
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder UNSOLVED UNRESOLVED TEFLON MAYHEM COLDCASE LOUISIANA state politics]