Butler Co. execution-style double murder remains unsolved decades later

The family hopes for closure after a difficult 36 years.

Family pleading for answers in unsolved 1985 double-murder in Middletown

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - More than three decades after two people were murdered in Middletown, the case remains unsolved, prompting relatives of one of the victims to plead for answers to help with their healing.

In March 1985, Nancy Abrams was working at what was then the King Kwik store on S. Briel Boulevard in Middletown, when police said she was shot and killed execution style.

According to investigators, a man named John Francis, who was a customer in the store, was murdered that same day in the same way and left in a separate storage room.

Initial reports called the crime a “murder robbery.” In the years since it happened, the killer has never been identified.

For Abrams’ family, it has been a difficult 36 years. Abrams’ sister, Carolyn Allen described Abrams as a mentor who was the oldest of her siblings: four sisters and one brother.

“She was very nice. She was firm, but she meant what she said. She was a lot of fun,” Allen said.

Abrams, a 33-year-old mother, worked overnight, which Allen said seemed dangerous at times.

“It was scary, the midnight shift, because you just never knew who was coming in,” Allen said.

Allen said investigators have exhumed Abrams’ body and even tried hypnotizing people to get new information in the double murder case, but nothing has worked out thus far.

Many of Abrams’ relatives have hope though that even more than 30 years later, there is a chance the case could be solved.

“It’s been a long time, so it would be closure for the family,” Allen said.

Early reports described John Francis as a press operator who owned a second-hand jewelry store at the time of his death.

Middletown Police have not shared any new updates on the case.

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