Lou Griffin

Lou Archie Griffin was identified as the lead suspect in the August 12, 1986 rape and murder of 22-year-old Lisa Holstead in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Holstead’s body was found by construction workers near what is now the Ken Euers Nature Park in Green Bay. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. She was last seen and getting out of her boyfriend’s car at around 2:30 am after leaving a family gathering.

A DNA profile of the suspect was obtained from semen recovered from the crime scene. There is currently no information on who conducted the FGG investigation. Police performed surreptitious sampling of Griffin’s DNA using a beer can and a cigarette butt that he discarded.

The case against Griffin is pending in Brown County Circuit Court. At first, he admitted that the DNA is his, and that he had sex with the victim, but he denied killing her. He stated to police that he was drunk and high on cocaine at the time. In September of 2022, the defence was permitted by the court to introduce evidence of an alternative suspect, which is reported to be Holstead’s boyfriend at the time she was killed.

However, on January 28, 2023, Griffin changed his plea to no contest in return for the charges being reduced to homicide by reckless conduct, a Class C felony. Griffin’s trial was to begin on January 27, 2023. He reached a plea agreement with prosecutors whereby he would plead no contest to a charge of homicide by reckless conduct. His sentencing is scheduled for March 27, 2023.

Griffin has previously been convicted of a sexual assault on a child and was on parole for this offence at the time of the murder.


Kerhin, Brian. “Judge Allows Evidence of Alternate Suspect in 1986 Murder Trial.” WLUK News, September 2, 2022. Accessed January 13, 2023. https://fox11online.com/news/local/judge-allows-evidence-of-alternate-suspect-in-1986-murder-trial-lou-griffin-lisa-holstead-green-bay-ken-euers-nature-area-dna-match-sexual-assault.

Mathew, Benita. “Forensic Genealogy Led to Racine Man’s Arrest in 1986 Homicide of Lisa Holstead of Green Bay.” Green Bay Press Gazette, November 2, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2020. https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2020/11/02/lisa-holstead-cold-case-forensic-genealogy-led-arrest-green-bay-killing/6122555002/.

Mathew, Benita. “Hearing Set for Racine Man Accused of Killing Lisa Holstead in Green Bay in 1986. Green Bay Press Gazette, December 10, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2020. https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2020/12/10/green-bay-cold-case-racine-man-faces-hearing-lisa-holstead-death/3889357001/.

Reid, Alice. “Exclusive Interview: Arrest in 1986 Cold Case. Lisa Holstead’s Son Speaks Out About the Arrest.” NBC 26 News Green Bay, October 30, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2020. https://www.nbc26.com/news/local-news/green-bay-police-announce-arrest-in-1986-homicide-cold-case.

Reid, Alice. “Green Bay’s Oldest Cold Case: Suspect in Lisa Holstead 1986 Homicide Pleads No Contest.” WGBA NBC News, January 27, 2023. Accessed February 10, 2023. https://www.nbc26.com/news/local-news/suspect-in-lisa-holstead-1986-homicide-case-pleads-no-contest.

Thomsen, Sarah. “‘He Wasn’t on Anybody’s Radar’: Police Arrest Man in Green Bay’s Oldest Cold Case.” WBAY News, October 29, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2020. https://www.wbay.com/2020/10/29/arrest-made-in-green-bays-oldest-cold-case-murder-investigation/?fbclid=IwAR0hpHuTPpsyQrlHClGIS72S_LgKKZsXlJsOmUI1o-puiOBq6XJawbqT9zE.

WBAY News Staff. “Man Convicted in 1986 Killing of Lisa Holstead in Green Bay.” WEAU News 13, January 27, 2023. Accessed January 28, 2023. https://www.weau.com/2023/01/27/man-convicted-1986-killing-lisa-holstead-green-bay/.


First Name Lou
Last Name Griffin
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2020-10-29
IGG Org nd


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1428 Lisa Holstead 22 1986-08-12 Green Bay, WI Green Bay PD; WI DCI; Racine CSO Non-Negligent Manslaughter Guilty plea entered by defendant Brown CO CIR CT

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.