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Nancy Grace

Nancy Grace’s Passion for Justice is Still Fueled by Fiance’s Murder

Gettyimages | Rachel Luna
By Sharon Oliver

Former prosecutor and longtime legal analyst, Nancy Grace, discussed in a recent interview the personal heartbreak and catalyst which propelled her into a life of fighting for victims of crimes. Having hosted a few shows tackling the latest in crime-related headlines, Grace is accustomed to critics attacking her for her brash remarks, sometimes at the expense of her own guests.

“I should have a thicker hide by now,” she chuckled. “But I got that criticism from the get-go when I started trying cases in every way imaginable from mocking me to questioning my ability to try a case to make comments on my clothing or my figure — a million different attacks from every corner. My hair, my accent, the way I talk or walk.”

Humble Beginnings

Mercer University
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"I grew up on a red-dirt road in middle Georgia in unincorporated Bibb County. ... My grandfather dug our well in the back yard. But I did not know what I could do,” Grace said during the interview.

At age 19, she was an English major at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and attended the school to become a Shakespearean literature professor. She was also to be married to 23-year-old Keith Griffin. Nancy Grace was on a trajectory towards a happy life with a new husband and a desired career.

The Tragic Incident That Sparked It All

Nancy Grace
Gettyimages | Dimitrios Kambouris

Sadly, just months away from their wedding day, Keith Griffin was gunned down outside a convenience store by disgruntled construction co-worker, Tommy McCoy. Griffin had been shot five times in the face, back, neck and head.

In an exclusive Fox News interview, Grace said, "If it wasn't for Keith's life and passing on, I wouldn't have been prosecuting cases. I wouldn't be looking at cases at all." Thus, began her decade-long career as a Fulton County, Georgia prosecutor but the mother of twins still didn’t feel quite satisfied. "I thought I was helping these families, but I was actually putting a Band-Aid on me," she said, reflecting on her career, "because in every case, for that moment, I felt better, and then I got the next case."

Sharing Her Pain

Nancy Grace
Gettyimages | Tom Williams

In her interview, Grace said, “Keith’s life ended, and my life exploded. I grieved for Keith for so many decades. After Keith’s murder, I dropped out of school. I was lost. I almost missed the opportunity to have a family, to have children. I just couldn’t let go.”

McCoy was convicted and released on parole in 2006. Grace said she learned about the release after a viewer emailed her. “The man that murdered Keith was caught and tried,” she explained. “I was a witness at the trial, he was put in jail, and yet he was released on parole… It was a shock, it was a blow, almost a mortal blow… I was certainly not prepared to hear that.”

New Show

Nancy Grace
Gettyimages | Noel Vasquez

Nancy Grace is all set to launch a brand new television show called ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace.’ One episode will feature the story of the unsolved murder of Chuckie Mauk, a 13-year-old who was shot to death in 1986 while riding his bicycle in Warner Robins, Georgia.

Grace was not aware of the cold case until her brother had a chance encounter with Chuckie's mother, Cathy Miller. "It was a miracle that I found out about it. My older brother Mac for many, many years was a sales rep for Johnson & Johnson, and he happened to visit a doctor's office and one of the nurses came up and took him by the arm and said, 'Is your sister Nancy Grace?' And he said, 'Yes.' And she said, 'My son was murdered. The case has never been solved. Do you think she would help me?"

Grace got in touch with Miller and began looking into the murder. ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ premieres March 9 on Fox Nation.

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