cold cases

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47 Years After Girl's Abduction, a Big Break

Australian police eye new suspect, likely in his 60s

(Newser) - Australian police are chasing a mysterious suspect almost 47 years after a British girl disappeared from a beach during a family trip. Cheryl Grimmer's family had recently moved to Australia when police believe the 3-year-old was abducted from changing rooms at Fairy Meadow Beach in Wollongong on Jan. 12,... More »

A Baby Died in 1972. Now, a Trial

'Baby Joey' died from blunt force trauma, and caregiver Gary Warwick is charged

(Newser) - An Illinois man will be tried for murder 44 years after a child in his care was found slumped on a toy motorcycle. Gary Warwick was caring for his girlfriend's son in Belleville when he said he found 1-year-old Joey Abernathy unconscious shortly after midnight on Dec. 30, 1972,... More »

His Teen Wife Was Murdered in Front of Him—at His Request

Morrad Ghonim found guilty in wife's 1992 murder

(Newser) - On July 23, 1992, Morrad Ghonim watched his 17-year-old wife die. The couple had taken their 6-month-old son to Creek Park in La Mirada, Calif. Ghonim said he felt uncomfortable after a group of people called out at his wife and he wanted to leave, reports the Los Angeles Times ... More »

Cops: Discarded Water Bottle Helped Solve 1999 Rape

2 friends accused of 11-year-old's rape, abduction

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl's kidnapping and rape in Santa Ana, Calif., may be solved after 17 years thanks in part to a discarded water bottle. For years, detectives had few leads apart from a surveillance video from a gas station showing a man in a van covering the girl's... More »

Man Missing for a Decade Might've Never Left This Bar

Security cameras couldn't trace Brian Shaffer, last seen in 2006

(Newser) - Under different circumstances, Brian Shaffer's vanishing act on April Fools' Day 2006 might have been the ultimate prank. That year, the holiday fell on the first Saturday of spring break for students at Ohio State University, where 27-year-old Shaffer was a medical student, and he'd spent it on... More »

As 1957 Murder Case Seemed to Fall Apart, a Letter Arrived

It named a potential suspect in Maria Ridulph's death

(Newser) - In 2012, Illinois' Jack Daniel McCullough was convicted of the 1957 murder of his Sycamore neighbor Maria Ridulph , 7, appearing to wrap up the country's oldest cold case ever to go to trial. Four years later on March 24, a prosecutor announced McCullough had been wrongly convicted as he... More »

NYPD Baffled by Case of Baby Thrown From Building in 1993

They hope a sketch will lead to tips

(Newser) - She was less than 24 hours old when police say she was thrown from the second floor of an apartment building, a red and white dish towel tied around her neck and her umbilical cord and placenta still attached. She died from strangulation and a superintendent found her body, in... More »

Furniture Salesman Admits Killing Rival 24 Years Ago

Sam Perone murdered fellow salesman in Ohio in 1992

(Newser) - Detectives in Ohio have closed a 24-year-old murder case, and the outcome isn't much of a surprise to them: One furniture salesman killed another. Sam Perone, now 68, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, admitting that he shot 41-year-old Richard Woods in 1992, reports the Dayton Daily News . Perone... More »

33-Year-Old Murder May Be Solved; Suspect Is Quadriplegic

Baby was only witness to 1983 murder of Calif. mom Marsha Carter

(Newser) - For more than 30 years, the case of Marsha Carter's murder has been a cold one, with all leads turning up empty and the Bay Area case eventually fading out of the papers. That changed last month with the arrest of a Placer County man in connection with the... More »

Bank Robber Suspect Busted in 'Incredible Coincidence'

An envelope gave the FBI the DNA sample it needed—13 years after the fact

(Newser) - A man charged in a fatal bank robbery 13 years ago was captured with the help of a tipster and DNA secretly collected from an envelope when he coincidentally filed a fraud complaint. Authorities say Richard Leon Wilbern was arrested Tuesday when he went to meet with FBI agents in... More »

43 Years After Girls' Slayings, 2 Arrests

Cousins to be charged in cold case after California finally tested rape kit from 1973

(Newser) - Authorities have finally made arrests in the death of two girls in California more than 40 years later. Police say 65-year-old cousins Larry Patterson and William Harbour murdered Doris Derryberry, 13, and Valerie Lane, 12, after they vanished from a shopping mall in 1973. The girls were found dead, each... More »

Police Release Sketches in Possible Manson Family Killing

Two men named Jean are persons of interest in teen's 1969 murder

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Police Department has released sketches of two men considered persons of interest in a 47-year-old murder possibly connected to the Manson family, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to People , Reet Jurvetson, 19, flew from Canada to LA in 1969 to see a man named Jean she... More »

Vanished Cal Poly Student May Be Buried on Campus

Police aim to find Kristin Smart's remains

(Newser) - Police in San Luis Obispo, Calif., are following the "most promising lead we've had in years" in the hopes of finding some trace of a California Polytechnic State University freshman who vanished 20 years ago. Human decomposition dogs "and other information" led police and the FBI to... More »

In Old Interview, JonBenet's Brother Recalls Day of Killing

A&E documentary includes police interview with Burke

(Newser) - A&E kicked off what Rolling Stone calls "television's most anticipated true-crime event of the season" with its documentary re-examining JonBenet Ramsey's murder as the 20th anniversary of her death approaches. One new bit was a never-before-seen police interview with brother Burke from 1998, two years after... More »

Longtime Fugitive May Be Hiding by Dressing as Woman

John Gentry Jr. is wanted in a 1983 double murder in Michigan

(Newser) - A suspected murderer Michigan authorities have been hunting for more than 30 years may be living in California disguised as a woman, the Los Angeles Times reports. John Gentry Jr. was 30 years old in 1983 when he was released from a Michigan prison after serving time for nearly killing... More »

Police Looked Into 5 Sexual Assaults, Found 27

New South Wales police ask for public's help

(Newser) - In 2005, Australian police set up a task force to look into five sexual assaults in Sydney's eastern suburbs. They ended up uncovering what could be one of the country's most prolific serial rapists—and they're asking the public to help track him down. Buzzfeed reports a... More »

3 Kids Vanished in 1966. Police Still Get Hundreds of Tips

Case of missing Beaumont children rocked Australia

(Newser) - On Jan. 26, 1966, Australian Jane Beaumont, 9, had been tasked with watching her two younger siblings at the Glenelg beach, as she had done on past occasions. Except this time, Jane, 7-year-old Arnna, and 4-year-old Grant never returned to their suburban Adelaide home. Though police had some clues to... More »

Woman Became PI to Help Solve Her Friend's Murder

The case had been cold for 20 years

(Newser) - Angie Samota was raped and murdered in Texas in 1984, when she was 20 years old. Twenty years later, her case was still unsolved when her former college roommate, Sheila Wysocki, saw a vision of Samota standing at the edge of her bed. "I know it sounds crazy,"... More »

FBI on Hunt for Serial Killer Who Last Struck in 1986

'Original Night Stalker' was tied to at least 52 sex assaults in Sacramento County, Bay Area

(Newser) - It's been 40 years since a violent serial burglar, rapist, and killer started to terrorize Northern California, but the FBI this week announced there is a new, concerted push to find the so-called "East Area Rapist." Described as a white male about 5-foot-10 with blond or light... More »

'Surreal': Mob Victim's Body Found—23 Years Later

Former mob boss eyed in Steven DiSarro's 1993 murder

(Newser) - Nick DiSarro's father disappeared in 1993 when he was only 7. "We've waited 23 years for somebody from the FBI to call us and say we found him," he says. That call came Thursday when the FBI said it had identified a body unearthed in March... More »

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