December 6, 1972
Mr. Reece a prominent Chattanooga restaurant owner, was found shot to death in his home and had been handcuffed and tortured before he was shot.
Investigators who worked the case say Reece's lakeside property was surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. The killer(s) cut a section of the fencing and then forced open a bedroom window. Detectives believe the killer(s) then laid in wait inside the dark house for Reece to return from work the evening of Tuesday, December 5th.
It's believed Reece left his restaurant on Hixson Pike at 11:00 that night and drove straight to his house on Grove Place near Sequoia Nuclear Plant.It appears the attack began in the living room. Reece had removed his shoes and was either seated or lying on a divan. Investigators found blood on the living room floor and Reece's fully loaded sawed off double-barrel shotgun on the divan. A large diamond ring Reece usually wore was found under a cushion of the divan; investigators suspect Reece hid it there before it could be taken from him.
Reece's yellow 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle was apparently used as a getaway car. It was later found at Sequoia Road and Hixson Pike. A witness told sheriff's deputies that a young "hippie" type man with long hair was seen leaving the car and hitchhiking along Hixson Pike.
Herschel Reece was a WWII veteran and had been in the restaurant business for about 25 years. He was survived by a daughter, Sharon, who lived in Sunnyvale, California, at the time of his death.
Anyone having information about a missing person that matches this information can contact the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office dispatch at 423 622-0022, or the Criminal Investigation Division at 423 209-8940.