January 13, 2020 | By Alyssa Fort
This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class. The student credited above wrote this story as a class project.
Carolyn Whitney Antrim was born in Pasadena, Texas. Her father was recruited by NASA and worked at the Houston Space Center. As a child, Whitney loved flying with her father, and she traveled the world with her parents and younger brother Timmy.
Whitney was 15 when Timmy was born and loved him more than anything. Timmy had Down Syndrome. According to her close friends, Whitney loved bringing him everywhere and was incredibly proud of him.
Whitney spent much of her childhood growing up in New Jersey, where she would meet Carol Greening, on of her closest friends.
“I met Whitney at the pool when I was five,” Carol said. “Whitney won a contest for the nicest doll and we were friends ever since.”
One of Carol’s fondest memories with her best friend is ski club. They joined the club in tenth grade and had a lot of fun. Carol also joined Whitney on family trips. They visited her mother’s family in Mississippi. “Everyone [in New Jersey] thought she had a Southern accent because of her relatives in Mississippi,” Carol said. “Once she moved to Pensacola, people thought she had a funny Jersey accent.”
When Whitney was 16, her family moved to Florida. She soon started working at Showbiz Pizza as a hostess. She quickly moved up in position at her job, where she excelled at planning special events. She ultimately became the Showbiz Community Relations Director.
Whitney and Carol were soon reunited. Carol moved from New Jersey to Pensacola to live with Whitney, and even started working at the same restaurant.
Everyone seemed to love Whitney. “She was just a friend to everyone,” her friend Jen Erickson recalled. “Very supportive, fun, and always had a smile on her face.” She was able to succeed in the restaurant business, making friends and having regular customers.
On July 28, 2007, police found the body of Carolyn Whitney Antrim decomposing near the west side of the city. Whitney’s mother had reported her missing a week prior. Newspaper clippings from the time stated that Whitney had suffered from 12 injured ribs and that her skull had been smashed. Police later concluded that she was sexually assaulted as well.
Police have not been able to identify a suspect in this case.
Whitney Antrim had two young sons, Danny and Tony. After her murder, the boys went to live with their grandparents, Janet and William Antrim. Mr. Antrim passed away four years later.
A few years ago, Carol traveled back into town to attend a wedding. She made a point to visit Whitney’s mother and children. “Those two boys remind me a lot of her,” she said with a smile.
Numerous comments have been left on online obituaries for Whitney. Common words people used when describing Whitney are love, laughter, and smile. In photos of a ceremony held in her honor, people are seen in the room doing just as Whitney did – laughing and smiling. Whitney clearly left a positive impact on every person she encountered.
One comment under her obituary described Whitney Antrim perfectly: “Whitney is an individual, that even in the reality of death, will be remembered by the way she made other people feel while she lived.”
If you have any information on this case, contact Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (850) 436-9580 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-433-TIPS. If the information you provide to Crime Stoppers leads to an arrest you could be eligible for a reward up to $5,000.00.
RESEARCH AND IMPACT
For families impacted by homicide, the rippling outcome can be devastating to the family unit. Yet the collective impact to society and communities should also be accounted.
The national method of tracking and reporting homicides is collected and conveyed through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Reports and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Fatal Injury Reports. These two entities target identifying trends and patterns in homicides committed in the U.S. with an annual reporting, detailing information used to inform the public.
Although both systems offer information on homicides committed, there are distinctions in how both collect and archive delivered results and are utilized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Fatal Injury Reports, or the National Vital Statistics Report (NVSS), collect and maintain birth and deaths at the state and local level, a method dating back to 1933. The statistical data is used to arm the public with information on deaths and possible preventable causes.
Whereas, the Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), part of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, collects information on crime at the local, state, and national level for use in law enforcement, policy making, research, and for the public. The UCR report – a voluntary reporting from law enforcement from around the U.S. – accounts for crime and homicides committed with a detailed look at specific connection in the event and the relationship between the victim and offender.
Project: Cold Case utilizes these two sources to better serve our families while educating the public on these uncomfortable social topics.
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