A Georgia native, Grant fled a failed marriage by migrating to New York City in 1971, settling in a bachelor apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Neighbors knew him as a quiet loner, with detectives furnishing descriptions of "the kind of guy who lives in a tenement block for years, and nobody raises an eyebrow." More to the point, no one suspected that Grant's secret hobby was murder. The first to die was 18-year-old Philip Mitchell, stabbed and bludgeoned with an iron bar on September 14, 1973, then hurled from the rooftop of Grant's apartment building in an effort to simulate suicide. Nearly two years elapsed before Grant struck again, stabbing 23-year-old George Muniz numerous times, dumping his corpse in a trash bin, a few doors down from Grant's residence. Number three was Harold Phillips, age 30, hammered to death in his own apartment on October 3, 1976. On December 29 of that year, police found 16-year-old Harry Carrillo in Central Park, his body sawed into three pieces, wrapped in plastic bags, and left in a shopping basket. All four victims were described as homosexuals by homicide investigators. An acquaintance of Carrillo's, Grant was routinely questioned by police as part of their investigation, later singled out as a suspect on the basis of evidence found with the body. In custody, he confessed all four murders, citing an "uncontrollable urge" to kill in each case.