cold cases

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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 »

'Tiger Lady' Murder Case Gets Second Life

Police release new sketches of woman found by New Jersey interstate

(Newser) - Police are hoping that new sketches of a woman known only as "Tiger Lady" will help solve a cold case that has gone unsolved for 23 years, the Star-Ledger reports. The woman's partly decomposed body was discovered beside I-80 in Knowlton Township, NJ, on Oct. 26, 1991, stripped... More »

Remains From 1970s Found in Sunken Cars

Oklahoma officials say all 6 died by accidental drowning

(Newser) - Oklahoma police have solved a decades-old cold case with the help of sonar equipment and a little luck, WMAZ-TV reports. During a sonar training exercise last year, highway troopers found bodies in two deeply corroded cars submerged in a western Oklahoma lake—and now medical officials say the remains belong... More »

DNA Links Ex-Police Tech to 1984 Beach Murder

Claire Hough, 14, found dead on San Diego's Torrey Pines State Beach

(Newser) - San Diego police have named two suspects in a teen girl's cold-case murder, including a former San Diego Police Department criminologist. DNA evidence found in November 2012 led police to Ronald Clyde Tatro and Kevin Charles Brown—though as of Tuesday, both men are dead. Claire Hough, 14, was... More »

TV Show Leads to Arrest for 1997 Murder

Ariz. man killed pregnant teen girlfriend, cops say

(Newser) - For more than 17 years, the family of Marisol Gonzalez has sought justice for her 1997 murder. The pregnant 17-year-old was shot in the face in Cottonwood, Ariz., and her body was discovered in an alley the day she was due to give birth to the baby boy she had... More »

39 Years After Sisters Vanish, Property Searched

Police examining Va. land for clues about Sheila and Katherine Lyon

(Newser) - Sheila Lyon, 12, and her 10-year-old sister, Katherine, disappeared almost 40 years ago while walking to a shopping mall near their Maryland home. The case went cold until earlier this year, when a former carnival worker, Lloyd Lee Welch, was named a person of interest in their 1975 disappearance—and... More »

Mom Arrested in Son's Murder 23 Years Later

Michelle Lodzinski accused of killing her 5-year-old boy

(Newser) - The 23-year-old cold case of the murder of 5-year-old Timothy Wiltsey may finally be solved. His mother, 47-year-old Michelle Lodzinski, was arrested in Florida this week—on what would have been Timothy's 29th birthday—and charged with killing her son, reports the AP . She initially claimed he had escaped... More »

Century-Old Mafia Murder Apparently Solved

Alleged Mafioso accidentally reveals that his father's uncle did it

(Newser) - After more than 100 years, Italian police believe they've solved the killing of a famed New York police detective, after an alleged modern Mafioso allegedly bragged about his relative's role in the killing. NYPD Lieutenant Joe Petrosino, who was something of a celebrity during his lifetime, was gunned... More »

My Dad Killed Black Dahlia, Says Retired Cop

Steve Hodel says he has new evidence his doctor father was a serial killer

(Newser) - A retired police detective suspects he's getting closer to solving a series of 1940s Hollywood murders, including that of the Black Dahlia —and the man he suspects to be the killer is his own father. Steve Hodel first began to suspect George Hodel while going through his belongings... More »

Woman, 75, Convicted for Killing Husband 40 Years Ago

Alice Uden's current husband faces separate murder charges

(Newser) - Jurors convicted a 75-year-old woman who shot her husband in the mid-1970s of second-degree murder, despite her defense that she acted in a desperate bid to defend her 2-year-old daughter from attack by an abusive man. Investigators last summer recovered Ronald Holtz's remains from an abandoned mine on a... More »

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