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Frenemies: The Murder of Stacy DeGrandchamp


            Have you ever noticed that when teenaged boys get into arguments, they tend to argue about it and maybe throw some punches, but then it’s over? Teenaged girls are typically not that way. While girls may not be as quick to violence as boys, girls tend to hold a grudge and be more malicious than boys. These are generalizations of course, but in the case of Stacy DeGrandchamp, it was fact.



            In the summer of 2002, Stacy DeGrandchamp was seventeen years old and preparing for her senior year of high school at Wayne High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Stacey was a beautiful and popular girl at Wayne High School. She loved to play volleyball and hang out with her friends. In high school, Stacy had many friends and a boyfriend, Brandon Muff. Stacey had become a part of the party crowd, which included her best friends: Abby, Whitney, Holly, and Amanda.

            As summer was coming to a close, however, Stacy decided to break up with Brandon, who was twenty years old and a “bad boy”. She was looking forward to starting her senior year, playing volleyball, and preparing for college. She leaned on her friends, but not all was well in those relationships, either. Holly had dated Brandon before Stacy, which led to tensions within the group. Apparently, Holly and Stacy were frenemies in every sense of the word. Going back to grade school, these girls hung out in the same crowd but mostly disliked each other.



            That August, Whitney was angry with Stacy, too. Holly enjoyed her other friends not getting along with Stacy. On the night of August 16th, 2002, tensions were at an all-time high. Holly’s resentment of Stacy had been brewing, even after she broke up with Brandon. Whitney was fighting with Stacy because she believed Stacy told her ex-boyfriend that Whitney wanted him back, causing her embarrassment. Whitney left her a message on her phone that said, “Stacy, this is Whitney. You need to quit telling lies. When you get this you do need to get ahold of me otherwise there are going to be people looking for you”.


(Pictured Above: Holly)

Holly, Whitney, and Amanda were hanging out at a party the evening of August 16th, 2002, in Fort Wayne. The party, at a house on Guthrie Street, was in a run-down neighborhood that Whitney later said, “We would have gotten in trouble if your parents found out where we were”. Whitney and Amanda didn’t stay at the party but left Holly with a promise to return later.

 Stacy was convinced by her friend Abby to attend the party, which she believed the other girls were not going to be attending. When Stacy and Abby pulled up to the house party, Stacy saw Holly was there. Stacy said, “What is she doing here?” to Abby, which angered Holly. Holly approached Stacey and pushed her. Stacy, not one to back down from a bully, pushed back. Before long, the girls were pulling each other’s hair and punching each other.

Brandon was also at the party. When the girls, both his ex-girlfriends, started fighting that August night, Brandon cheered them on. When Abby tried to break up the fight, Brandon told her not to. Before long, Stacy had gained the edge in the fight and was hitting Holly hard. Seeing that Holly was taking a beating, Brandon finally pulled Stacy off of Holly. As he pulled her backwards, dragging her on the ground, Stacy gets up and goes to leave. She walked a few steps and then collapsed.

As Whitney and Amanda returned to the party, they saw police and ambulances everywhere. The police had actually been to the house twice. The first time, around 9:30 pm, they responded to a call of loud noise and an underaged party. The police left, failing to shut down the party. Ninety minutes later, they received a 911 call from Stacy’s friends. Stacy’s friends realized that she had been bleeding from her chest and abdomen. When EMS arrived, they told her friends that it did not look good for the seventeen-year-old.

Stacy was rushed to the hospital where Stacy died from her injuries. Her autopsy showed two knife wounds: one to the chest and one to the abdomen. Police suspected that these were purposeful stab wounds, ruling the case a homicide. Stacy’s mother, friends, and family were devastated by the loss of the vibrant and beautiful young woman. They were left with more questions than answers. Stacy’s family vowed to get justice for her.

Authorities brought Holly and Brandon in for questioning that night. Holly admitted to getting into the fist fight with Stacy but denied stabbing her. She offered that perhaps Stacy had been cut with glass when the girls were fighting, and Stacy smashed into a recycling bin. Brandon backed Holly’s story, both denying anyone stabbed Stacy. Brandon suggested that perhaps when he pulled Stacy off Holly, maybe she cut herself on something on the ground. Holly also denied having knife and police did not find any knives or blades at the scene. They also didn’t find any broken glass or sharp objects that could have caused Stacy’s injuries.

Although it seems clear what happened, detectives did not arrest anyone, and no charges were filed against anyone for Stacy’s murder. The rumor mill at Wayne High School that fall, however, was running rampant with theories on what happened to Stacy. There were many rumors, but most had one common fact: Holly stabbed Stacy. Given the message that Whitney had left on Stacy’s phone, Whitney was suspected of having been involved. Others believed that Brandon had set the whole thing up due to being angry with Stacy over their break-up. Despite the rumors, no arrest was made, and the case became a cold case.

For nearly seventeen years, Stacy DeGrandchamp’s family wondered if they would ever get justice for Stacy. They did not give up. Her cousin appealed to the Fort Wayne Police Department to take another look at the case. In 2019, she was successful at reviving interest in the case with Detective Brian Martin. Her cousin asked Brian to talk to Brandon, Holly, Whitney, Amanda, and Abby again. He agreed.

Rumors had continued in Fort Wayne. High school kids retold the story over and over for seventeen years, implying that “If you are mean enough, you can get away with murder”. The most popular theory was that Brandon had pulled the strings, arranging with Abby to get Stacy there so that Holly could stab her. Reinvestigating seventeen years later, detective Martin wanted to get to the truth.

In 2019, Abby was interviewed again by cold case detectives. She denied knowing anything about the stabbing. She said she did not see a knife that night. She also said she was trying to break up the fight. Brandon was interviewed again. The detective felt that he was being genuine and remorseful about the situation. He also said that he did not see Holly with a knife.

Finally, detective Martin tracked Holly down in Wisconsin. He went to her house and knocked on the door. It took Holly a while to answer the door. When the detective told her why he was there, she turned pale and became nervous. In a video-taped interview, Holly was asked about the party. She kept emphasizing that Stacy and she were friends. She denied having her pocketknife with her on the night of the murder, but she was able to produce it that day in 2019. She handed the police a pocketknife that she claimed was the one she carried in 2002.

There was no DNA evidence found on the knife. However, the chief pathologist on this case reviewed the autopsy photos and compared them to the knife from Holly. The pathologist felt the knife wounds that killed Stacy was consistent with Holly’s knife. With this evidence, a grand jury indicted Holly Boisvert for the murder of Stacy DeGrandchamp. Holly was arrested in March of 2020. Once in custody, she admitted to the murder.

Stacy’s friends stated that they suspected and blamed Holly since the murder, stopping their friendship with her after that night. Amanda provided testimony that Holly had asked her to carry the knife that night, but asked for it back before they left Holly at the party. This was proof that Holly had the knife in her possession that night. Other witnesses now said they saw Holly change into sweatpants and put her hair in a ponytail prior to the fight. Holly also allegedly made comments about beating Stacy up that night.

On January 14th, 2022, nearly twenty years after Stacy’s death, Holly Boisvert accepted a plea deal for a voluntary manslaughter charge and admitted in open court to killing her friend over a petty high school argument. She was given a twenty-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Corrections. She will be eligible for parole in 2030. Holly never implicated anyone else in the murder, asserting she acted alone and no one else knew.



What blows my mind about this case is how something so petty can explode into murder among two young women? Even more mind blowing is how the police were not able to make an arrest when it seems so clear what happened from the get-go. One wonders if Holly was arrogant when she gave the police that knife or if she wanted to be caught.  She could have easily said that she didn’t know what happened to the knife she had seventeen years earlier. Finally, how did a murderer end up serving likely less than 10 years? Was this not callous enough for a first-degree murder charge? After all, she hid the weapon and lied really well for seventeen years. As the old saying goes, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

 

References

Mean Girl Murders (2023) Season 1 Episode 1 “Battle of the Besties”- Available on Discovery +

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