cold cases

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Body Found 34 Years Ago Finally IDed as Missing Woman

Man she ran off with is a person of interest

(Newser) - A woman found dead in 1981 in Arizona has just been identified as Brenda Gerow, who went missing from New Hampshire in 1980. Gerow, then about 20 years old, left Nashua for Arizona with John Kalhauser, who had already been convicted of manslaughter nine years earlier in a man's... More »

Child's Body Exhumed to Solve 1968 Murder

Officials hope new technology will break the cold case

(Newser) - Forty-seven years after a young girl was found dead in a suitcase, law-enforcement agents have exhumed her body, hoping to find out who she was and who killed her, the AP reports. The body of Jane Doe West Alton, as she is known, was found by fishermen in a weighted... More »

Woman 'Murdered' in 1984 Found Very Much Alive

She won't say what prompted her mysterious disappearance

(Newser) - A German woman assumed to have been murdered more than 30 years ago was found alive by police earlier this month, NBC News reports. But far from solving the mystery of her disappearance, her unexpected return is only deepening it. According to the Daily Express , 24-year-old Petra Pazsitka left her... More »

Man Arrested for Murder of 15-Year-Old—in 1985

Sandra Wesselman was walking home from the grocery store

(Newser) - In July 1985, Sandra Wesselman was raped and stabbed to death, apparently while walking a 450-foot-long dirt path that led from a suburban Chicago grocery store to her home. The 15-year-old freshman and her mother had planned to watch movies together, and the teen had gone to the store to... More »

Wrestling Legend Charged in Lover's 1983 Murder

Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka was arrested in the 1983 death of his mistress

(Newser) - A Hall of Fame wrestler was arrested today and charged with murder 32 years after his mistress was found beaten and unresponsive in a Pennsylvania hotel room, the AP reports. In 1983, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, one of the World Wrestling Federation's biggest stars, returned to his hotel room... More »

Firefighter Missing 9 Years Declared Dead

Court declaration brings no closure, says Brandy Hall's husband

(Newser) - Brandy Hall has been officially declared dead nine years and a day after the Florida firefighter's pickup truck was found stained with her blood . Family members of the mother of two had petitioned a court for a declaration of death, which was signed by a judge yesterday, reports Florida ... More »

Sunken Car's Remains May Solve 43-Year-Old Mystery

Car pulled from North Carolina lake likely Amos Shook's

(Newser) - An autopsy may help write the final page of a 43-year-old mystery that began with the disappearance of a military retiree in western North Carolina. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office says human remains found Tuesday in a 1968 Pontiac recovered from a Lake Rhodhiss, 75 miles northwest of Charlotte,... More »

What Led a 91-Year-Old to Confess to a 1946 Murder

Canadian man allegedly said he shot Margaret Cook dead

(Newser) - Margaret Cook, age 26, was shot dead outside a nightclub in London's Soho. A man has confessed to the crime. What makes this story unusual are the years involved: that murder happened on Nov. 10, 1946. The confession came nearly 70 years later. The UK's Sun initially reported... More »

40 Years After Sisters Vanish, Man Charged With Murder

Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr. indicted in disappearance of Lyon sisters

(Newser) - Some four decades after two girls went missing in Maryland, a major breakthrough: Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr. was on Friday indicted by a Virginia grand jury on two first-degree murder charges, "bringing some clarity to the baffling case that made parents question whether to allow children out of... More »

Is This the 20th Century's Most Baffling Cold Case?

We don't know who the Somerton Man was, or how he died

(Newser) - It’s a mystery as maddening as it is intriguing: Who was the still-unidentified Somerton Man, a suit-clad, 40-something man who was found dead on an Australian beach near Adelaide—possibly by poison—on the morning of Dec. 1, 1948? Graeme Wood boils 66 years of sleuthing, developments, twists, and... More »

Fire Captain Nabbed in 3 Cold-Case Murders

David Watson faces charges in deaths of ex-wife, mother-in-law

(Newser) - David Watson was battling his ex-wife, Linda, for custody of their daughter when the woman vanished from her Tucson home on Aug. 20, 2000. In 2003, Watson was locked in another custody battle over the same girl with his former mother-in-law, Marilyn Cox, when she was gunned down after a... More »

Arrest Finally Made in 1981 Death of California Boy, 6

Sex offender Kenneth Rasmuson arrested in Idaho

(Newser) - Jeffrey David Vargo's body turned up at a Pomona construction site the day before July 4, 1981. The 6-year-old California boy had last been seen the day prior, at a fireworks stand he had bicycled to; he had been strangled. The three decades since have been ones of starts... More »

Book Rekindles Mystery of Star Singer's Death in 1966

Death of Bobby Fuller ('I Fought the Law') was officially ruled a suicide

(Newser) - You've probably heard the song—"I Fought the Law"—but maybe not the story of the singer who made it famous in 1966. Bobby Fuller had just struck it big with his cover of the song when his body was found in a parked car. The 23-year-old... More »

Police Theory Emerges in 40-Year-Old Case of Missing Girls

Sex offender says he was with Lyon sisters the day they went missing: affidavits

(Newser) - Some four decades after two girls went missing in Montgomery County, Maryland, no one has been charged in the case. But in newly unsealed affidavits, police outline a theory of what might have happened to the Lyon sisters , the Washington Post reports. Sheila, 12, and Katherine, 10, disappeared after a... More »

Police Reveal 1988 Murder Victim's Last Words

'I can't believe he did this to me'

(Newser) - Police in Illinois hope new testing of DNA evidence can finally solve the 1988 murder of a 21-year-old University of Illinois student. In recapping the stabbing of Maria Caleel, the Chicago Tribune also reveals for the first time the veterinary student's last words to a police officer on the... More »

Girl Found in Cornfield 35 Years Ago Finally Identified

Florida teen Tammy Jo Alexander was found in New York, shot twice

(Newser) - A headstone in an upstate New York cemetery currently reads, "Lest we forget the unidentified girl." After 35 years, that girl is finally getting a name: Tammy Jo Alexander. As the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, Alexander was a Florida teen who went missing between 1977 and 1979... More »

Car, Remains May Solve 36-Year-Old Mystery

Missing young couple's vehicle found at bottom of Florida canal

(Newser) - The last time anyone saw Dana Null, 15, and Harry Wade Atchison, 19, was when they drove off together in his Dodge Coronet in 1978. It now appears they never made it out of Florida's Broward County. A maintenance worker found Atchison's car yesterday at the bottom of... More »

Could a 1981 Cable Repair Ticket Lead to Woman's Killer?

Possible clue released on what would have been Tracey Neilson's 55th birthday

(Newser) - Monday, Jan. 5, would have been Tracey Neilson's 55th birthday. It also marked the 34th anniversary of the day she was found dead by her husband of five months in their Moore, Okla., apartment. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation hopes that the 35th anniversary won't arrive with... More »

Suit: Cops Planted Blood on Shoes; Here's How We Know

For one thing, sneakers weren't for sale in US at time of murder

(Newser) - Juan Rivera was exonerated three years ago when DNA evidence cleared him of the 1992 murder of which he had been convicted. Now, in a federal lawsuit, Rivera's attorneys say they can prove police tried to frame Rivera, the Chicago Tribune reports. Before Rivera's trial, police and prosecutors... More »

Woman Accused of Lying in 1975 Missing Girls Case

Patricia Welch charged with perjury regarding Lyon sisters' disappearance 39 years ago

(Newser) - Somewhere on a plot of land in Thaxton, Va., police believe there may be clues to the whereabouts of Sheila and Katherine Lyon, two Maryland sisters who disappeared nearly 40 years ago . They also think the members of a family that has owned that property are not being entirely forthcoming... More »

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