Murder Kroger

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The painting of a mural on the side of the building in November 2014 as pictured from the Atlanta Beltline.

The Kroger supermarket at 725 Ponce de Leon Avenue in Poncey-Highland, Atlanta[1] has been popularly known as Murder Kroger for two decades.[2][3] Since 2014, the store has been refurbished and promoted as BeltLine Kroger by the owners.[4][5][6] The store opened in 1984 and is considered a local landmark.[7][8] Murders took place in the parking lot in 1991 and 2015.[9] In 2002, an odorous corpse was found in a vehicle.[10] On Friday, January 15, 2016, Kroger announced that the location would be demolished in favor of a new location as part of mixed-use development incorporating office space and expanded parking.[11]


An article in Creative Loafing called the store "one of the city's quirky charms that Atlantans seem to both love and hate at the same time".[2] It opened shortly after 1986, when low-interest government loans were used to convert the adjacent and former Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant into lofts and commercial spaces.[12] From the 1990s,[13] and until at least 2002,[14] the store had drivers license renewal services. In 2002 the store tested scan-it-yourself checkout devices.[15] After two Publix supermarkets opened nearby, the store was refurbished around 2002.[16] The closest neighboring Kroger, near Little Five Points, is the area's top performing one, as of 2006.[17]

Murder Kroger as seen from across Ponce de Leon Ave., with the Ford Factory lofts on the right

In October 1999, a man robbed the Bank of America inside the store.[18] A song titled "Murder Kroger" by the group Attractive Eighties Women, which incorporates a mention of the nearby Clermont Lounge into the lyrics, is dedicated to shoppers who frequent the store.[19] Renovations were scheduled for completion in November 2014 at the market, including a bike/pedestrian ramp to the Atlanta BeltLine's Eastside Trail, a bike repair station, new curbs and sidewalks (including paved sidewalk access to Ponce de Leon Avenue), new trees and landscaping, a "water quality pond" in the parking lot to filter runoff, new LED parking lot lighting and repaving the front and back parking lots.[4][20]

Murders and corpse[edit]

  • In 1991, a 25-year-old woman, Cynthia Prioleau,[3] died after a shooting in the parking lot.[21] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution attributed the nickname "Scary Kroger" to the store because of the event.[21] The murder remains unsolved.[3]
  • In August 2002, a strong odor raised the suspicions of a woman who reported her findings to police; a dead man was in a car in the parking lot.[10]
  • In 2012, a 20-year-old male junior at Georgia State University, Lee Lowery,[22] was murdered just inside the Ford Factory Lofts, which shares a parking lot with Murder Kroger.[23]
  • On March 10, 2015, Joshua R. Richey[24] was shot in the chest beside the Kroger building, and died.[9][25]


  1. ^ "Store Details". Kroger. Retrieved March 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Thomas Wheatley (April 6, 2011). "Murder Kroger to get a makeover? Grocer says 'no'" Creative Loafing. Accessed September 12, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Murder at Atlanta Kroger highlights perception, reality of crime WXIA 11Alive. March 11, 2015 Archive URL
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "'Beltline Kroger'? Atlanta grocery store could get new nickname", 11 Alive (NBC Atlanta), August 15, 2014
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b "Police investigate shooting at Northeast Atlanta Kroger". Atlanta, GA: WSB-TV. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b LAW & ORDER: [Metro Edition] The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 04 Aug 2002: F.8.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Enterprise THE BUSINESS OF THE CITY Kroger spreads wings downtown The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution (pre-1997 Fulltext) [Atlanta, Ga] 29 Aug 1996: D.04.
  13. ^ Q & A ON THE NEWS Bessonette, Colin. The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 01 Jan 1997: A.02.
  14. ^ 2002 ULTIMATE GUIDE: SOUTH METRO: YOUR GOVERNMENT: [Home Edition] The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 25 July 2002: GD.24.
  15. ^ Ready to check out? Do it yourself: [Home Edition] DeGross, Renee. The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 14 July 2001: A.1.
  16. ^ GROCERY GLADIATORS: Kroger, Publix raise the stakes No. 1, No. 2 go all out as new rivals invade: [Home Edition] DeGross, Renee. The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 12 May 2002: Q.1.
  17. ^ Unusual firm opens 'big boxes' intown: Persistence, flexibility and money are key: [Main Edition] WALTER WOODS, PATTI BOND. The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 12 Nov 2006: D.1.
  18. ^ LAW AND ORDER: [Home Edition 1] The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 09 Oct 1999: F; 6.
  19. ^ "Murder Kroger" Attractive Eighties Women (live). Accessed September 14, 2013.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b CityLights A weekly column of this and that: [Home Edition] The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 24 Aug 2000: JD; 1.
  22. ^ Lee Lowery remembered for bright smile, big heart 12-13-2012. The Southerner Online. Archive URL
  23. ^
  24. ^ Officials ID construction worker killed confronting man in Kroger lot Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
  25. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°46′18″N 84°21′49″W / 33.7717°N 84.3635°W / 33.7717; -84.3635