A Halloween murder that happened 19 years ago is still a mystery. Solving this case could be the key to unlocking the answers in two other local cold cases.

On Halloween night in 1996, Arliss Eady, 49, was ambushed by three masked men shortly after trick-or-treaters passed through a Brainerd neighborhood.

Investigators believe the same people who killed Eady were also involved in the murders of two other Chattanooga men. All three of their cases have been cold since the '90s.

The real-life horror story unfolded outside a home in the 700 block of Larkin Avenue in Chattanooga. Eady, who was involved in underground betting, was shot and killed.

"He was a bag man. He picked up the money, took money from one location to another," said Mike Mathis, lead investigator of Hamilton County's Cold Case Unit.

Investigators have tied Eady's murder to two others in the city. In 1991, Joseph Jackson, 21, was gunned down at the Brainerd tennis courts. Just six months before Eady's murder, Lester Wellington, 29, was shot and killed during a home invasion.

"For 19 years, I've never once stopped thinking about him," said Wellington's older sister, Janice.

Wellington was a well-known hair stylist. He saw many clients at his home here North Hawthorne Avenue.

"Today, if he was alive, he wouldn't be in Chattanooga," Janice Wellington said of her younger brother. "I know he'd be in California, New York, somewhere like that, doing hair for the stars."

Even though months (and years) separate the murders of these three men, police say the suspects ran in the same circle.

"Some names are common between those three. Between the money, potential of drugs, and personal relationships or jealousy," Mathis explained.

For three families, it's still a long road to justice. They hope to see the day that someone comes forward.

"I forgave the person that did it. I just want closure," Janice Wellington said. "May god bless them, in whatever they're doing."

Cold case investigators say the smallest detail could be a huge break in the case. Anyone with information should call the Cold Case Unit at (423) 209-7470 or e-mail coldcases@hcdatn.org.