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.

Murder Kroger was the name by which the Kroger supermarket at 725 Ponce de Leon Avenue in Poncey-Highland, Atlanta[1] was popularly known for two decades.[2][3] On January 15, 2016, Kroger announced that the location would be demolished to make way for 725 Ponce, a mixed-use development incorporating office space, a new urban prototype Kroger store, and expanded parking.[4]

The nickname refers to murders that took place in the parking lot in 1991 and 2015.[5] In 2002, an odorous corpse was found in a vehicle in the parking lot.[6]


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.[7] From the 1990s,[8] and until at least 2002,[9] the store had drivers license renewal services. In 2002 the store tested scan-it-yourself checkout devices.[10] After two Publix supermarkets opened nearby, the store was refurbished around 2002.[11] The closest neighboring Kroger, near Little Five Points, is the area's top performing one, as of 2006.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15][16][15][17][18] The store opened in 1984 and was considered a local landmark during its existence.[19]

Murders and corpse[edit]

  • In 1991, a 25-year-old woman, Cynthia Prioleau,[3] was fatally shot in the parking lot.[20] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution attributed the nickname "Scary Kroger" to the store because of the event.[20] The murder was unsolved as of 2015.[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.[6]
  • In 2012, a 20-year-old male junior at Georgia State University, Lee Lowery,[21] was murdered just inside the Ford Factory Lofts, which shares a parking lot with Murder Kroger.[22]
  • On March 10, 2015, Joshua R. Richey[23] was fatally shot in the chest beside the Kroger building.[5][24]


  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. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Murder Kroger To Morph Into 725 Ponce - What Now Atlanta". 15 January 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Police investigate shooting at Northeast Atlanta Kroger". Atlanta, GA: WSB-TV. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  6. ^ a b LAW & ORDER: [Metro Edition] The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 04 Aug 2002: F.8.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Q & A ON THE NEWS Bessonette, Colin. The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 01 Jan 1997: A.02.
  9. ^ 2002 ULTIMATE GUIDE: SOUTH METRO: YOUR GOVERNMENT: [Home Edition] The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 25 July 2002: GD.24.
  10. ^ Ready to check out? Do it yourself: [Home Edition] DeGross, Renee. The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 14 July 2001: A.1.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Unusual firm opens 'big boxes' in town: Persistence, flexibility and money are key: [Main Edition] WALTER WOODS, PATTI BOND. The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 12 Nov 2006: D.1.
  13. ^ LAW AND ORDER: [Home Edition 1] The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 09 Oct 1999: F; 6.
  14. ^ "Murder Kroger" Attractive Eighties Women (live). Accessed September 14, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "'BeltLine Kroger' to get ramp connection to Eastside Trail - Atlanta INtown Paper". 13 August 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Behold, the new Look of 'Beltline Kroger'!". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  17. ^ ""'Beltline Kroger'? Atlanta grocery store could get new nickname", 11 Alive (NBC Atlanta), August 15, 2014". Retrieved 9 March 2018.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Kroger store tries to shake off 'murder' moniker". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  19. ^ "I forgot my Mantra". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Taft, Isabelle. "Lee Lowery remembered for bright smile, big heart". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  22. ^ "How 'Murder Kroger' got Its nickname and why it won't change". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  23. ^ Officials ID construction worker killed confronting man in Kroger lot Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
  24. ^ "Man killed outside Kroger on Ponce (Update)". Retrieved 9 March 2018.

External links[edit]

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