Thomas Edward Hollar
30 Years Old

November 6, 1962 to July 23, 1993

Tom Hollar was born on November 6, 1962. He was the middle of three children. Laura, born in 1960, and Margaret, born in 1967 were his siblings. His father, Edward S. Hollar was a dentist and his mother Nedra Hall Downing, a pharmacist and later, a physician.

Tom had a good childhood with many friends who liked to congregate in his back yard or playroom. Tom was creative with projects of all kinds for his friends to help him with. He played with army men and matchbox cars in his sandbox, built wooden forts, played with frogs, and later built a skateboard ramp and designer bicycles, and worked on his dark green Camaro. Tom’s best friend was Mitts Lee. Tom and Mitts had a way of finding trouble, When they were in high school, they liked to race in Tom’s car. Tom grew up in Flushing, Michigan and graduated from Flushing High School. He attended Western Michigan for two years. Tom liked to have fun and did so in college. He did not take his studies seriously.
He left to work on a ranch in Tie Sidings, Wyoming. He fell in love with the west and photographed much of his life on the ranch, including repairing fences, riding horses, attending rodeos. He said once, “Mom if you ever come out here, you’ll never go back to Michigan.” And, Tom never did return to live in Michigan.
Later Tom and his friend Martha Manwaring went to live in Denver, her former home. He set up a store named Imi Jimi on 13th Avenue. There he sold sunglasses under the name of Denver Sunglass Company. He sold and repaired skate boards and sponsored a teen skateboard team. He sold shoes and trendy garments. He was one of the first to promote Doc Martens and Vans shoes. The store was successful.
Tom and Martha separated. Tom met and fell in love with Christina Schneider whom he married on July 17th, 1992. She was his soul mate, sharing everything with him. Tom and Christina became a part of Denver’s young crowd, dancing and having fun till the wee hours. They had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary with a trip to California and Nevada to visit friends and enjoy the ocean and scenery when he was murdered in the parking lot of his and Christina’s apartment building. They had planned to buy a home and start a family.
Tom was well-known for accepting and respecting those he encountered, of all ages, races and backgrounds. Among his friends were runaway kids, punk and gang members, college professors. His watch words were, “What’s up?” and “have fun!” After Tom’s death, Julian Martinez, who described himself as a Denver street kid, came to me, Tom’s mother, in tears. Julian said Tom was like a father to him and gave him the opportunity to be on the skateboard team and give him a chance.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

Thomas Edward Hollar was born on November 6, 1962, and was murdered on July 23, 1993 at age 30 in Denver, Colorado. He and his wife, Christina, had returned home just past midnight after attending a Rockies game and then dancing at Rock Island.

Tom and Christina were still in their black Honda when two Los Angeles Cripps gang members approached and forced Tom out of the car at gunpoint. Tom gave Steve Harrington his wallet and car keys while backing up with his hands above his head. Steve shot him at close range in the chest, just below the heart. Tom staggered backwards, fell onto the sidewalk near the apartment at 905 Corona. Then Steve shot him again, aiming for his head, but in fact, shot him through the shoulder and lungs. This is gang style.

Meanwhile, Shane Davis had gone to Christina’s side of the car, forced her out, beat and kicked her and shoved her into the back seat. Steve and Shane then took off at high speed in the black Honda. They parked in an alley in north Denver where they beat Christina severely, breaking an ankle, knocking out teeth, fracturing her cheekbone so her eye no longer had support. It was the Grace of God that saved Christina. The two murderers fled when they heard the squeal of police car tires. Steve and Shane were convicted in June, 1994 to life in prison without parole.

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Thomas Hollar