cold cases

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Ex-Priest Charged in Beauty Queen's 1960 Murder

Irene Garza confessed to John Feit before she died

(Newser) - Schoolteacher and beauty queen Irene Garza was found raped and bludgeoned to death in a canal in 1960, days after confessing to a priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas. More than 50 years later, that priest has been charged with her murder. John Feit, the main suspect... More »

Case of Teen Girls Missing Since 1999 Gets Fresh Look

The night Ashley Freeman's parents were killed, she and Lauria Bible disappeared

(Newser) - On the penultimate evening of 1999, Danny and Kathy Freeman were shot to death in their mobile home just outside of Welch, Okla., and their home was set on fire. But when police arrived on the scene, the Freemans' daughter, Ashley, and her best friend Lauria Bible, both 16 and... More »

How a Reddit User Helped Solve a 20-Year-Old Mystery

Family members spotted shared photos of 'Grateful Doe'

(Newser) - For 20 years, he was known as "Grateful Doe." Now, police have confirmed a man killed in a car accident in Greensville County, Va., with two ticket stubs for a Grateful Dead concert in his pocket, was Jason Callahan, a 19-year-old from Myrtle Beach, SC, who'd set... More »

2 Eerily Similar Murders, 157 Years Apart

2 women, both 20, died in UK park on same day

(Newser) - Pype Hayes Park in the quiet Birmingham, UK, suburb of Erdington is a picturesque place, yet it conceals the truth behind two eerily similar murders. Mary Ashford and Barbara Forrest, both 20, spent their last hours alive dancing on May 27—but 157 years apart. In 1817, Ashford was spotted... More »

Teen's Disappearance May Be Solved After 25 Years

Remains linked to Rosemary Diaz found 2 miles from where she was last seen

(Newser) - Rosemary Diaz was just 15 when she vanished while working at a country store just a half-mile from her home in Texas' Wharton County on Nov. 24, 1990. Police were unable to solve her disappearance even after the case appeared on America's Most Wanted, but new evidence suggests the... More »

Prisoner Who Escaped in 1978 Is Caught

Ohio murderer was living quietly a few states away

(Newser) - A convicted murderer has been recaptured 37 years after he left a dummy in his bed and sawed through cell bars to make his getaway from Ohio's Marion Correctional Institution. Oscar Juarez, 66, who was just three years into a life sentence for the shooting death of a Toledo... More »

Texas Sheriff Trying to ID Girl Strangled 35 Years Ago

She was found naked on side of highway in Huntsville

(Newser) - Thirty-five years ago on Halloween, a young woman showed up in Huntsville, Texas, asking for directions to the Texas Department of Corrections' Ellis Prison Farm. The next morning, on Nov. 1, 1980, a passing trucker spotted her body on the side of the highway, reports ABC13 . Likely aged 15 to... More »

Police Reopen Investigation Into 1975 Officer Slaying

And they're offering a $50K reward for information

(Newser) - Late last month, the Long Beach Police Department reopened the investigation into a 28-year-old officer gunned down in front of his house in 1975, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. Not only that, but the department is offering a $50,000 reward for any information that helps solve the case, according... More »

Guy Calls Station About '82 Cold Case, Gets Arrested

Jose Ferreira confessed to cops about killing 13-year-old Carrie Ann Jopek in 1982

(Newser) - In 1982, 13-year-old Carrie Ann Jopek went missing in Milwaukee after she got suspended from school. Her body was found 17 months after she vanished, buried under a neighbor's porch, but the search for her killer eventually went cold, the AP reports. Now her mom, Carolyn Touisgnant, may finally... More »

Spurned Suitor Arrested in El Paso's Oldest Cold Case

DNA on Doris Rivers' fingernails matches early suspect: police

(Newser) - Police in El Paso say they can finally close the books on what NBC News calls the city's oldest cold case: the brutal slaying of a young mother 45 years ago. After returning home from the movies just after midnight on Nov. 12, 1970, Doris Rivers' sister and 5-year-old... More »

Cops Reveal Theory on 1973 Murder. 4 Days Later, a Twist

Betsy Langjahr, who went missing around that time, has been found alive and well

(Newser) - More than 40 years into the investigation, Pennsylvania state police announced Friday that a Jane Doe found covered by a tarp and branches on Oct. 9, 1973, may have been Betsy Langjahr, who went missing from a nearby home for troubled teens around that time. The newly public theory didn'... More »

Arrest in Case of Girl Taken From Her Bedroom in 1997

Crucial evidence in Kirsten Hatfield's disappearance wasn't DNA-tested

(Newser) - Investigators believe an ex-con in an Oklahoma City suburb murdered his 8-year-old neighbor and got away with it for 18 years. Kirsten Hatfield disappeared from her bedroom in Midwest City on the night of May 14, 1997, and Anthony Palma, who lived two houses away, was arrested this week on... More »

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 »

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