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Double murder remains unsolved while Haddon Hall moves forward

AVONDALE, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- An iconic building gets a new lease on life.

Haddon Hall sits on Reading Road in Avondale.  For decades, the impressive red brick building with white columns has been home to low income seniors and disabled residents.  Monday, city leaders cut the ribbon on a 12-million dollar renovation.  While Monday marks the beginning of a bright new future for the 114 people who live here,
Local 12's Rich Jaffe says a dark chapter in the building's not-so-distant past, remains.

Monday's ribbon cutting event at Haddon Hall for the new renovation, is a great step forward.  But there's another step that needs to be taken, a killer needs to be caught.  Rich Jaffe has been to Haddon Hall before, in March of 2008.  He reported  on a bloody stabbing death that took the lives of two people. 

Reverend Michael Howard's been around this community for a long time.  His cousin, Butch, has lived at Haddon Hall for about two years.  Michael says he still worries about the unsolved double murder that terrified this community in 2008.

He told Jaffe, "It creates a culture of fear, however unarticulated or annunciated to other people, people who live here and have relatives here, they never forget that."

A couple days after they were last seen alive in March 2008, police found the bodies of 80-year-old James Gafinreed and 34-year-old Takisha Maupin in apartment 329.  They had been stabbed and slashed.  Maupin was severely disabled.

A lot of things have changed since then.  Residents now have electronic lock fobs to open doors, much like the ones used on cars.  There are surveillance cameras too, with monitors in the managers office.

Stephanie Hale has lived here for 20 years and says she is very happy with the changes.

"We all know that in Avondale, in any building the security is a must but here it's been excellent with the different security and the police officers who have been very, very friendly here.  It's just been a wonderful experience for me and for all the elderly," said Hale.

But people still remember and worry about what happened to Gafinreed and Maupin.  According to police, there were no signs of forced entry and nothing was taken from the apartment.  For residents, police, the prosecutor and attorney general,  it remains a troubling, but cold case.

Reverend Howard said, "Hud years ago had a policy where they didn't mix elderly with young people and we started having problems with drug addictions and drug violence when they put them in with senior citizens ... And elderly that's assinine ... A recipe for disaster."

Right after the murders in 2008, a lot of the residents of Haddon Hall moved out, as you might expect.  The good news is with all the improvements here now, there's only one vacancy and that probably won't last long.

The double murder is considered a cold case, but Cincinnati Police are still very interested in solving it.  If you know anything about the murders of James Gafinreed or Takisha Maupin, call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

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