Cold case: Pilot was victim of ‘execution-style killing’ in Broward, deputies say

Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives found Russell Walker dead on Jan. 4, 2011, in Broward County.

The 50-year-old pilot’s body had been on the floor of his home in Pompano Beach for about 10 days.

Deputies believe Walker voluntarily opened the door of his home before his killer shot him nine times.

“We believe that the killer before fleeing shut the door, so it probably wouldn’t be noticed,” Detective Zack Scott said.

Detectives recently described the crime as an execution-style killing. Carly Woodring, Walker’s niece, is asking the public for help with solving the cold case.

“Time passes that could make things hard to recall … It can make you feel a certain way to come forward, but ultimately the peace that it brings to people should be worth it,” Woodring said. “It would be worth it to you if it were your brother or your son or your uncle.”

In 2019, when BSO’s cold case homicide investigations unit was formed detectives reopened the cold case. Scott said the evidence clearly shows Walker was not the victim of an armed robbery or burglary.

“There were no valuables taken. We do not believe that the suspect even entered the home,” Scott said in a statement BSO released in June. “We believe that the confrontation with Mr. Walker occurred in the doorway, the front door, and he was killed there.”

Living with the murder mystery has been painful for Walker’s family and friends.

“There’s someone out there who shot my brother nine times, and he has gotten 11 and a half more years of life, and that’s not right, and that will never be right with me. It’ll always tear a hole in my heart,” John Genzale said adding, “This had to be some sort of an expression of passion or anger.”

Walker was a U.S. Navy aviator. He flew F-14 Tomcats at the famed Top Gun school and went on to work as a pilot for American Airlines for nearly two decades. He also enjoyed boating, riding his motorcycle, hunting, and skiing.

“We just couldn’t believe it. Who doesn’t like Ross … It just was unbelievable,” Diane Scott said adding,” This has been really tough on the whole family and we all just want to know the answer and it would help our family move on.”

Walker’s mother is 90 years old and she doesn’t want to die without getting justice for her slain son.

“Imagine that hunting you for 11 years, day in and day out,” Patti Guice said. “It’s not about tattle-telling on someone. It’s not about being a snitch. It’s about doing what’s right.”

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the cold case to call Scott at 954-321-4214, or call Broward County Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous at 954-493-8477. Deputies said anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

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