Nothing puts us in the mood for raw fish like murder and dismemberment. 

At least four paintings by erstwhile Raleigh musician Grant Hayes, who is serving a life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend, hang on the walls of Sushi Blues Cafe in Glenwood South. The paintings depict musicians Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain, and Bob Dylan. 

“It is known among the staff, but we don’t really go around advertising it, and ultimately it’s the owner’s decision what kind of art he displays,” manager Thomas Harrington told the INDY Wednesday. “You don’t necessarily want to tell customers about it, especially in a restaurant with food.” 

The restaurant, owned by Quy Duong, is known for its BOGO deal. After receiving a tip from an emailer, an INDY reporter dropped by for lunch (which was delicious) and nervously sipped sake at the bar while sneaking glances at the large paintings, which are signed “Haze.”  

Hayes, along with his wife, Amanda Perry Hayes, was convicted of killing twenty-seven-year-old Laura Jean Ackerson in 2013. The couple allegedly killed Ackerson and dismembered her before dumping her remains in a creek outside of Houston, Texas. He is currently serving a life sentence at the Harnett County Correctional Institution. 

Before Hayes became infamous for the brutal crime, he was a musician and, apparently, an OK painter. (Da Vinci, they are not.) The paintings, one of which is dated 2005, were acquired by the restaurant before Hayes’s conviction, Harrington believes. (The restaurant has been around since 1999.) They’re probably worth a lot more now, he says. 


Contact staff writer Leigh Tauss at ltauss@indyweek.com. 

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