‘We will have to die and go to heaven to find out what happened’ | The double murder that shook University City

Gary Workes and Maurice "Bud" Karzin were killed in their apartment on June 13, 2013. Their murder remains unsolved.
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 12:58 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - “We will have to die and go to heaven to find out what happened.”

The frustration in Catherine Hendrix’s voice is loud and clear. The nightmare of what happened to her brother is still an open wound.

For the University City Police Department, what originally appeared to be a routine homicide has turned into anything but.

“It’s very important to us,” said University City Police Commander of Field Operations Fredrick Lemons. “Especially the heinous types of crimes. Our detectives work tirelessly on these crimes. This case will remain open until all the perpetrators are brought to justice.””

It’s been almost nine years now since Gary Workes and Maurice “Bud” Karzin were murdered in their apartment. A rare homicide turned cold case for University City police, and questions left unanswered for the families.

“We were always a close-knit family growing up,” Gary’s brother Bud said. “We were poor like everybody else was. We made it through and enjoyed life.”

“My dad said he wanted nine boys for a baseball team,” Catherine said. “But he only had eight, so me and my sister played. We had 12 people living in a five-room house.”

Besides mom and dad, there was Gary, Bud, Clarence Jr., Phillip, Louis, Charles, Robert and Steven. And then Catherine and Marion.

University City stabbings baffle family
University City stabbings baffle family(KMOV)

Gary married, got divorced, had no children, and threw himself into his work at Schnucks, starting as a bag boy, and working his way up to delivery driver.

“Gary was fun,” Bud said. “He was a workaholic. As he got older he became more of a recluse. Just came home, sat down, drank his beer, watched TV, went to bed, then went to work.”

He would meet Maurice “Bud” Karzin, and become best friends. Karzin was a retired police officer who worked for various municipalities in the St. Louis area.

“They met at Arcade Lanes in University City,” Bud said. “They were good friends. We always called Bud ‘Barney Fife.’ We would ask him ‘hey, what pocket do you have your bullet in today?’”

When Karzin’s mother died, Gary suggested he move into the apartment right below him in the 800 block of Pennsylvania. Gary had lived there for more than 30 years. With Gary pushing 60, and Karzin 80, the pair led a quiet, sheltered life.

“In the mornings, Bud would bring his paper and coffee up and they would shoot the bull,” Bud remembered. “They were both sort of recluses.”

Until the June morning of 2013 when Gary didn’t show up for work.

“He never missed a day’s work in 30 years at Schnucks,” Bud said.

So when Gary didn’t show up at Schnucks, his boss knew something was wrong, and came to his house. When he couldn’t get in, he called police. When they arrived, they discovered a horrific scene inside Gary’s upstairs apartment.

“When investigators arrived, both subjects were laying in pools of blood,” Lemons said. “They were brutally stabbed. Some items were moved. Some type of confrontation took place. We looked at all the different types of motives and scenarios. It could have been robbery. It could have been something personal.”

Gary Workes
Gary Workes(KMOV)

“My sister called me and told me what happened,” Bud recalled. “I was shocked. It was really shocking. You never expect it to happen to him. It was very surprising and disheartening.”

Gary was found dead on the couch in his living room. Karzin was found near the bathroom. Police suspect Karzin may have heard something upstairs and went to check on Gary. The only thing missing from the scene was Gary’s wallet.

The first thing that police noticed was there was so sign of a forced entry. And they soon learned that Gary kept his door locked at all times, and never let anyone inside that he did not know.

“He didn’t let nobody in that he didn’t know, ever,” Catherine said. “Whoever it was, he had to have known them. My brother had everything sitting there. I don’t think he really did anything. That’s how quick it happened.”

Brother Bud agreed. “Gary wouldn’t let anybody in the apartment. His door was always locked. Gary had to know the person. Why? Was it burglary, or somebody mad?”

That certainly narrowed the list of suspects for police detectives.

“We interviewed all the members of the Workes family,” Lemons said. “We were able to come up with some potential suspects. But unfortunately, at the time, there wasn’t enough evidence to charge them.”

And it pours salt on the wounds for the family of 10 siblings.

“They questioned our entire family,” Catherine said. “I really don’t think anyone in my family intended to kill my brother. I really don’t think my family paid somebody to do this. I don’t want to blame nobody, but it’s just in the back of my head. Gary would have let any family member in with no problem. I have always thought that.”

Bud echoes his sister’s thoughts.

If you know anything about the murder of Gary Workes and Maurice "Bud" Karzin, call the...
If you know anything about the murder of Gary Workes and Maurice "Bud" Karzin, call the University City Police Department at 314-725-2211.(KMOV)

“There was really no evidence or witnesses. He got stabbed from behind, sitting on the couch watching TV. He had to know the guy. Who could have done it? We had all kinds of ideas, blaming our family. We still throw these thoughts out. It is still in the back of our mind. In the back of my mind, we keep throwing ideas around about people. Could it have been him or him or him? We can’t prove any of our scenarios, so we are left in the dark.”

Nine years in for a community without many homicides, and certainly without many cold cases, the police department is not giving up hope.

“We do not close any open murder cases,” Lemons said. “Our investigators just recently looked again at some of the evidence. We will go to the lab and see if we can come up with some additional DNA evidence. Technology doubles about every five years. We are hoping that helps us. We are always going to have a shot because we are never going to give up.”

For the family seeking answers, the pain lingers as the calendar turns.

“It didn’t look like it was going to be solvable,” Bud said. “We just figured that’s the way it was going to be. I doubt they will solve it. I don’t think there is going to be an ending to it.”

“He was a recluse, but we loved him dearly,” Catherine said. “He was our brother. I have lack of hope. It’s taken so long. I didn’t think they would catch somebody.”

But if they did, heaven can wait.