Cold Cases Solved In 2022 | Compilation
Eve Wilkowitz was a 20-year-old woman who was born and raised in Oakdale, Suffolk County, New York. Eve had a younger sister, Irene Wilkowitz whom she was very close with. Her family and friends described her as a vibrant, loving and charming woman. In 1976, her mother passed away from breast cancer which affected her and her sister deeply. In 1980, Eve moved to Bay Shore, New York in order to be closer to her job. She worked as a secretary at the Macmillan Publishing in Manhattan, New York City.
In February, 1980, she met Jack Dempsey who was an aspiring writer. They would soon start dating. On the evening of March 21, 1980, Eve went out to watch a movie with Jack. They returned to Jack’s apartment sometime before midnight. Eve was
extremely tired so she decided to take a quick nap and asked her boyfriend to wake her up in time to catch the last long island railroad train. Her boyfriend asked her to stay the night but Eve insisted that she needed to go back to her apartment as she needed to take care of some personal work the next day. Jack woke her up and dropped her off at the Penn station in Manhattan. Eve took the last railroad train back to her home in Bay Shore. However, she never made it back to her home.
3 days later, on March 25th, 1980, a woman discovered her body near the train station in Bay Shore. An autopsy revealed she had been bound, sexually assaulted and strangled to death with a rope. Police believed she had been held captive for 3 days before she was killed. Her body had been dumped in the backyard of a house not far from her home. Her shoes, pocketbook and coat were missing. The police interviewed family and friends.
Her boyfriend was suspected but was quickly ruled out. Police questioned people around the crime scene but no one had seen anything suspicious. Police were able to collect DNA samples from the crime scene and over the years the DNA was uploaded to DNA databases but no matches could be found. With no leads and suspects, the case would eventually go cold.
For years, Eve’s younger sister, Irene Wilkowitz became the last advocate for Eve after her father died in 2010. Irene would regularly contact the detectives, hoping to keep the case alive and trying to find any updates. Then, in 2018, Irene’s son learned about the new investigative technique which used genetic genealogy to catch the Golden State Killer. However, since the technique uses private geneaology databases to find familial connections to identify the suspect, the technique raised concerns for many of misuse of people’s personal data. As a result, some states do not allow its use.
In January 2019, Irene contacted police and asked them to use the technique in her sister’s case but was told that New York did not allow use of the technique. But, investigators were able to find a workaround. The FBI had investigated the case in 1980 and were under no such restrictions. The detectives sent the DNA from the semen sample collected from the crime scene to the FBI and in July of 2021, with the help of genetic genealogy they were able to find a distant relative. Soon, they narrowed down to one suspect: Herbert Rice. However, they could not question him as he was already dead. He died in 1991 from cancer. Detectives then tracked down his son
who voluntarily gave a DNA sample. Detectives soon confirmed Herbert rice to be the killer. At the time of the murder, Herbert lived close to the crime scene. His son’s wife told detective’s, at the time of the murder, she had kicked Rice out of their house and he had been living at his mother’s house, which was a few houses away from the crime scene. At the time, Rice had three prior convictions for minor crimes which did not require him to provide a DNA sample to be entered in the database. In march 2022, Investigators exhumed Rice’s
body and took a DNA sample Which was conclusively confirmed to be a match to the semen taken from the crime scene 42 years prior. The case was solved after almost half a century Lisa Fracassi Lisa Fracassi was 37-year-olod woman living at Waikiki apartment along 415 Nahua Street, Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1994, She was working as an exotic dancer at a club called Exotic paradise to save money for nursing school so that she could become a nurse. On October 30th, 1994, Lisa went to work and returned home around 2am on October 31st. This would be the last time she was seen alive. Lisa was supposed work on November 2nd but she never showed up. Her boss called her apartment but no one answered.
Then, On November 3th, 1994, a maid who worked at the apartment went inside her room to deliver fresh towels. She knocked on the door but no one answered so she decided to enter the room. There had been a do not disturb sign on the front door since October 31st. Upon entering the room, she discovered the body of Lisa. She had been strangled to death with a phone cord. Her mouth had been stuffed with a bedsheet. Police discovered a cigarette butt and a condom
in her room. The coroner determined she had been dead for at least 3 days. It is believed Lisa was killed on 31st October. There was no sign of forced entry into her apartment. Police interviewed neighbours and friends but no one reported anything suspicious.
Her ex-boyfriend whom Lisa had broken up with, a few weeks prior was considered a suspect but was quickly cleared. The police had no suspects or clues and the case would eventually go cold. The police did find DNA evidence at the crime scene which was preserved in hopes that advancements in DNA technology could help them find the killer. In 2020, The Honolulu Police department opened the case and sent the DNA sample from the condom and the fingerprint from the cigarette butt to Parabon Nanolabs. Using genetic genealogy, genealogist Cece Moore was able to find a potential relative of the suspect and in 2022, she identified Cecil Trent as a potential suspect.
Trent, however, had died in 2013 from congestive heart failure at the age of 48. Police then matched the fingerprints found at the crime scene to the fingerprint record taken from Cecil Trent after his death and it was a perfect match. Trent was 29 years old at the time of the murder and was never considered a suspect in the case. Even though trent was not able to be charged the case was considered solved after 28 years. Lee Gunsalus Rotatori Lee Gunsalus Rotatori was a 32-year-old woman living with her husband in Nunica, Michigan. Lee was the oldest of four siblings and grew up on the outskirts of Rochester, Minnesota.
Her siblings described her as happy, outgoing and an artistic woman with many friends. Growing up she loved drawing horses and she fulfilled her dream of owning one while living in Michigan. Lee attended the University of Wisconsin, getting her bachelor’s degree in dietary services and a master’s degree in food nutrition.
Lee married her first husband while she was an undergraduate and had a child with him in 1970. The couple got divorced in Rockford, Illinois in 1977. In 1978, Lee married Gerald “Jerry” Nemke in 1978. They would get a divorce in 1979 but would remarry in 1981.
Nemke had a history of Crime. Years prior, when Nemke was 17 years old, he was arrested and convicted for beating a local waitress to death in 1960 in Chicago. He was tried and sentenced to death for the murder, however, the supreme court overturned his conviction less than two years later because the preliminary hearing in the case wasn’t conducted properly. Nemke eventually was sentenced to 75 years in the second trial . However due to prosecutorial bureaucracy he was ultimately released in 1978. While upon his early release, he met his future wife, Lee Rotatori.
In mid-June, 1982, Lee got a job offer as a food service director at Jennie Edmundson Hosptial while she was working in Nunica, Michigan. Lee accepted the offer and moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Her husband, Nemke was working as a part-time delivery-man for a flower shop in Grand Haven, Michigan.
He was supposed to move to Council bluffs once Lee was settled in. Lee arrived to Council Bluffs in Mid-June and started her orientation for her new job on June 21. She was new to the area and did not have a permanent housing. She was staying at the Best Western Frontier Motor Lodge, now known as the Best Western Crossroads of the bluffs, just off of the I-29 and I-80 interchange. On June 24, Lee went to boating on Lake Manawa with her new Colleagues.
Evening came around and she headed back to her home before stopping at a McDonalds to pickup dinner. This was the last time she was seen alive. The next day, Lee failed to attend her first post-orientation day of work. Later that day, her boss called the motel staff to check up on Lee. A motel employee went to check up on her and found a gruesome sight. Lee was lying face up on the bed in blood soaked pajamas.
The motel staff immediately notified police. The medical examiner would report Lee had died from a single stab wound to the heart. She was also sexually assaulted. The investigators did not find any sign of a forced entry. The food she had bought from McDonald was only for one person meaning she was not expecting anyone that night. The medical examiner stated she had likely died 12 hours before her body was found.
Robbery could have been a motive as the victim’s wallet, watch and ring were missing but the police were not sure. Investigators interviewed her family and friends. Given her husband’s prior history, Nemeke was suspected but was cleared after he had a rock solid alibi. Due to the proximity of the motel to the highway interchange the police had a hard time finding a suspect as the killer could have been anybody. Sergeant Larry Williams, the investigating officer said by that time her body was found "the killer could have been five feet away or a thousand miles away.”
The Jennie Edmundson Hosptial and some other local organizations raised a $3000 reward for anyone who could provide info in the case but to no avail. There would be no leads or suspects in the case and the case would eventually go cold. In 2001, the evidence from the crime scene was submitted to the State of Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation lab for examination and found a presence of a male DNA profile. The DNA profile was entered into Federal databases but no matches could be found.
In 2019, investigators sent the DNA sample to Parabon Nanolabs. Parabon used Snapshot DNA phenotyping to determine that the killer was most likely a white man of Northern European descent. They then entered the DNA profile into genealogy websites like 23andMe and ancestry.com and
were able to find a match to a relative that was the sixth to eighth cousin of the suspect. The chances of them finding out the suspect were still slim to none. Then in march 2020, the investigators were contacted by Eric Schubert, a volunteer genealogist and college student who offered to help. Eric had already helped police in several other cases in multiple states and recently helped solve the murder of Marise Ann Chiverella. With help of Eric, the investigators were able to narrow down the list to two brothers. One of the brothers was too young at time of Lee’s murder that meant the other brother, Thomas O. Freeman was likely the killer.
Investigators then contacted Freeman’s daughter who provided a DNA sample. In 2022, The investigators confirmed that Thomas O. Freeman was the killer. Freeman was a 35-year-old trucker at the time of Lee’s murder. Police believe Freeman murdered Lee while passing through the area. It was also found that Freeman was also a victim of a murder himself just two months after Lee’s murder.
On October 30, 1982, Freeman’s decomposing body was found in a shallow grave not far from his home in Cobden, Illinois. He had been shot four times in the chest. The coroner determined he was killed two to three months prior to his body being found.
His case remains unsolved. There doesn’t seem to be a direct connection between Freeman and Lee. However, the investigating officer said “Two months later, he dies a violent death.
I’m not a real big believer in coincidences.” The council bluffs police department are working with Illinois state police to see whether Freemans murder is connected to Lee’s murder. They are investigating if Lee’s husband, Nemke had anything to do with Freemans murder. It was found that after Nemke got out of prison in 1978, he went to a college in Carbondale, Illinois which is about 15 miles from where Freeman body was found. It is unclear if Nemke had anything to do with Freeman’s murder but he is considered a person of interest.
Nemke however, died in 2019. Prior to him learning the killer of his wife Lee Rotatori’s case was solved after 40 years. Anna Jean Kane Anna Jean Kane was 26-year-old mother of three living in Birdsboro, berks county, Pennsylvania. Anna grow up in a troubled home and was subject to physical and sexual abuse resulting in drug addiction.
By 1988, Anna had 3 children and was working as a sex worker to provide for her family. The path she chose was a dangerous one as sex workers were at high risk back then and she was subjected to meet all kinds of dangerous people. She also had a history of arrests for prostitution and petty theft. Anna had just moved from Reading to Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. On October 22, 1988, Anna ate dinner with her children and told her daughter she had to run to the store.
This would be the last time her children would ever see her alive. It is believed Anna left in search for a customer in Reading. She was last seen around Franklin Street and South 6th Street, Reading, Berks County, at approximately 1:00 a.m., on October 23, 1988. The following morning, a man walking alone found her body alongside Ontelaunee Trail Road in a sparsely wooded area near the route 662 intersection in Perry township. She had bailing twine around her neck and an autopsy revealed she had been beaten and strangled to death.
She also had several bruising on her face which the coroner believed was due to a struggle with her killer. The coroner believed she had died just 12 hours prior to her body being found. The police noticed that her clothes were not wet even though it had rained the previous night suggesting that she was killed somewhere else before being dumped.
Police collected DNA evidence from Anna’s clothing but nothing else would be found at the crime scene that could lead them to the killer. 2 years later, The Reading Eagle, a local newspaper published a front page story seeking information about Anna’s death. In February 1990, the newspaper received an anonymous letter from a “concerned citizen.” The letter contained information which had not been made public and only a killer would have known about. The letter writer had left his DNA when he licked the envelope so the police collected the DNA from the envelope seal and tested it against the DNA found on Anna’s clothing. As suspected by police, it was a match, meaning whoever wrote the letter was likely the killer.
Despite this, police were unable to determine the identity of the killer as DNA technology was still in its infancy. Later, In 1998, the DNA sample was entered into CODIS but no matches could be found. With no leads or suspects the case would eventually become cold. Then, in 2022, Pennsylvania State Police sent the DNA sample to Parabon nanolabs in order to undergo genetic genealogy testing . They soon identified a local man named Scott Grim as the potential suspect.
However, he could not be brought to justice as it was found he had passed away, in 2018. Unlike his victim, he had The blessing of having died from natural causes. Police obtained DNA from Grim posthumously and matched it with the DNA found at the crime scene and the DNA found on the envelope. It was a perfect match. Investigators did not reveal how they specifically received a sample of Grim’s DNA.
Police have not revealed much information about Grim’s life to the general public. Grim lived in Reading but had moved to Birdsboro shortly before the murder. Grim remained a resident of Southeast Pennsylvania until he died. He did not have any prior criminal history except for an arrest in 2002 for harassing a former business partner. However, during his arrest his DNA was not entered into the police database. He was 58 at the time of his death.
Anna’s daughter Tamika Reyes was relieved to find some form of closure however she was disappointed to learn that Grim died without facing justice. The Case was officially solved after 34 years. Anita Knutson Anita Knutsen was an 18-year-old girl living with her roommate in Minot, North Dakota. Anita was one of three children adopted by Gordon and Sharon Knutson. She was very close to her family and would often keep in touch with her mother. Her sister, Anna described her as a wonderful girl, caring and kind.
In 2007, Anita moved to Minot, North Dakota from her home in Butte, North Dakota in order to attend Minot State University. Anita was living off campus with a roommate named Nicole Rice. She was working two jobs while studying to become a teacher.
On June 2, 2007, Anita’s mother, Sharon tried calling Anita but she did not pick up the phone. It was not like Anita to not answer her phone call. She would always talk to her mother m. After not hearing from Anita on Saturday June 2nd, her mother tried contacting her the next day but was unsuccessful. Worried, she asked her husband to drive to Minot to check up on her. On June 4, 2007, her father, Gordon, stopped by Anita’s apartment.
Her car was outside the apartment. He knocked on her door but no one answered. He tried opening the door but it was locked.
Gordon then asked the manager and janitor to unlock the door. However, the manager at first refused as they cannot just allow family into the room without Anita’s permission. The janitor then recalled that the window screen to Anita’s bedroom was slashed and left outside.
Gordon peered in through the window and saw Anita laying on her bed, close enough to touch. As he reached for her face, he realized her body was cold. The manager opened her front door, and Gordon made a horrible discovery.
Anita was in her bedroom, dead. The mattress and the floor were stained with blood. They immediately notified the police.
Anita had been stabbed multiple times. A robe covered her bloodied body. An autopsy revealed she had been dead for more than a day before her body was found. A pocket knife with dried blood on it was found on the bed. Anita was not sexually assaulted and there was no sign of a robbery, nothing in the house was taken or disturbed.
There were no scuff marks or shoe print, no evidence that anyone entered through or out of the window. Although the screen had been slashed and set aside, police do not believe the window was used to enter the room. Police interviewed family and friends. They also interviewed Anita’s roommate who told police she was at her family’s farm south of Velva when Anita was murdered. According to police, statements from her and her family had been inconsistent.
It was found that Rice and Anita did not get along and had multiple fights that turned into physical confrontation. Anita had been planning to move out. Rice was described by others as hot-tempered and reactionary. One witness had reportedly told police, Rice was in a club in Ruso, North Dakota the night before Anita’s murder. Ruso is about 40 miles away from Minot.
Rice reportedly stayed until early morning, and then left to go to Minot to get some clothes. Police, however, did not have enough evidence to charge her and the case would go cold. Rice remained a person of interest in the case. In 2013, another tragedy struck the Knutson family. Anita and Anna’s brother, Daniel, had taken his own life Anita’s sister, Anna reflected..
“What haunts me most about the death of my sister is that whoever killed her, also took the life of my brother that very day. After she was killed, he was never the same,” In 2022, investigators started re-investigating the case. The re-interviewed family and friends. Soon, Rice’s ex boyfriend told police that one night Rice got “belligerently drunk” in 2008 or 2009 and said she killed Anita. On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the police held a press conference.
They announced that they arrested Anita’s roommate, Nichole Rice. Police Chief John Klug said, “Although most of the detectives who worked the original scene and investigation have retired, we have not forgotten about this case.” He continued “I wish we could have solved this sooner, but at the same time, I’m glad to say that we have the person responsible for the murder of Anita Knutson.”No other
details surrounding the case were included in the press conference. On March 16, Rice was charged with double-A felony murder and taken to Ward County Jail. Rice made a video appearance the next day, and her bail was set to $120,000. Later that day, she posted her bail. Rice is scheduled to appear for a pre-trial conference on Nov. 16. No trial dates have been set yet.
Nicole Rice has plead not guilty to the murder charge and await further judgment. Princess Doe On July 15, 1982, a gravedigger named George Kise was walking through the Cider Ridge Cemetery on State highway 84 in Blairstown, Warren County, New Jersey. He made his way towards the rear end of the cemetery in a wooded area, just over a steep bank that lead down to a creek below, when he noticed something in the grass. Upon closer inspection, he realized it was a body of a young woman. He immediately notified the police. The woman had been found lying on her
back and partially clothed. Her face had been bludgeoned beyond recognition and her body had started The process of decomposition. An autopsy revealed she died from a blunt force trauma to the head ,however, they could not determine the weapon used.
Due to the decomposition, initially, authorities believed she had died two weeks prior to her discovery. However, further examinations would change the numbers to merely a few days prior to her discovery. The humidity in the area likely hastened the process.
The examiner did not find any drugs in her system and due to the decomposition, her blood had fermented making it impossible to determine if she had alcohol in her system. The medical examiner was not able to determine if the she had been sexually assaulted, as due to the decomposition, no semen could be found on the body. The victim was wearing a red short-sleeved shirt and had a peasant-style skirt with peacock print at the bottom lying on top of her legs. She was not wearing any undergarments. A golden cross necklace was found
tangled in her hair. The victim had put up a fight as the medical examiner found defensive wounds on her arms and hands. The investigators determined she was between the ages of 14-18, standing 5’2 inches in height and weighed around 110 pounds. Police could not determine her eye colour as her face had been smashed in.
They hoped she would be identified by a concerned parent with the help of her distinct skirt, however, she never was. She was eventually given the name Princess Doe and laid to rest in a cemetery on July 22 1983 it is unclear if the cemetery she was laid to rest in was the same cemetery that they found her in originally. A composite sketch of the victim would also be released in the newspapers. Soon, a witness came forward after seeing photos of the clothes of the victim in the newspaper and told police that she had seen the victim in a local supermarket two days prior to her body being found. Another woman would confirm the sighting several days later. The woman said the victim was wearing a bun and was described as having a stoic expression. The police questioned employees at the local supermarkets but none
of them remembered seeing the young woman. Police would come across another woman who told police she had seen the victim a few days prior to her body being found. She said she worked at a motel and the girl spoke to her when she checked into the motel. The witness recall is the young woman asking if there were any jobs available as a house cleaner or a receptionist . She stated that she was a runaway from Florida and was looking for a job. She also told her that her father was a dentist. However, the witness could not remember the name of the victim.
Over the years, police followed several leads but to no avail. For a long time, Princess Doe was believed to be Diane Genice Dye, a teenager who had disappeared from San Jose, California. In 2003, A DNA test of Princess Doe with Diane’s mother revealed Princess Doe was not Diane Dye. Over the years, several other missing women would be ruled out. In 1999, Police received a lead when Arthur and Donna Kinlaw confessed to murdering Princess doe. Arthur and Donna ran a prostitution ring and had a history of crime including robbery,
forgery, welfare fraud and murder. While questioning, Donna told investigators that her husband had murdered three girls including the teenage girl found in New Jersey Cemetery. She said that in July 1982, her husband had brought home a teenage girl for prostitution but claimed that she was not worth recruiting as he found her inexperienced. She said that
he tried to sell the young girl to other pimps but failed and eventually decided to murder her. She told investigators she witnessed Arthur committing the murder in the cemetery. She stated that Arthur then burned his clothes and cleaned his vehicle.
He threatened Donna not to tell the police. Donna said that the victim was from New York, possibly Long island. Initially, Arthur refused to talk to the investigators but in 2005, he confessed to murdering Princess Doe. However, neither Donna nor Arthur remembered the name of the victim. Donna helped investigators create a new composite sketch of the victim which matched the Princess Doe’s composites. Arthur was eventually sentenced to life in prison for two separate murders and Donna was convicted of manslaughter charges and released in 2003.
However, Arthur were not charged for princess doe’s murder as they could not confirm the couples claims and charge him for the murder until they identified Princess doe. In 2021, Investigators with the help of Astrea Forensics lab and National Center For Missing and Exploited Children were able to extract DNA from degraded samples of Princess Doe’s body and constructed a DNA profile. The DNA profile was sent to Innovative Forensics Investigations who used the genetic genealogy techniques to build a family tree and found a potential candidate for Princess Doe. Investigators then went West Babylon, New York and collected DNA sample from her brother and sister of the victim. On April 29, 2022, Princess Doe was Positively identified as 17-year-old Dawn Olanick. Her brother told police Dawn’s parents were divorced and she was living with her mother and sister in the neighborhood of Bohemia, Long Island. It is unclear whether Dawn left
her home on her own accord or if she was told by her mother to leave their residence as different sources give conflicting reports. Police believe after she left her home, she ran into Arthur Kinlaw. Kinlaw tried to lure her into prostitution but when she refused, he drove her to New Jersey and murdered her. Arthur Kinlaw was officially charged with Dawn Olanicks murder based on additional evidence and witness statements. Kinlaw remains in prison at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York. The case was solved after 40 years. Lesia Michelle Jackson Lesia Michelle Jackson was a 12-year old girl living with her parents and older brothers in Conroe, Texas. She studied at the Washington Junior High school and loved going to the
lake. On September 7, 1979, Lesia went to Lake Wildwood off FM 1485 in Conroe with her brothers. She spent most of the day swimming and playing at the lake, her favorite pastime. Later, when her brothers decided to head back home, Lesia said she wanted to enjoy a few more moments and told them she would follow right behind them. Lesia eventually followed
and was spotted walking alone on Creek Bend Street towards her home. This would be the last time she was seen alive. When she did not arrive home, her family went looking for her but could not find her anywhere. They eventually reported her missing to the police.
A search was conducted for the missing girl and lasted throughout the night. The following day, her brother found her glasses at the creek bend and deep forest intersection within the subdivision. An extensive search for her continued for 6 days. Then on September 13, 1979, 6 days after her disappearance, an oilfield worker found Lesia’s body in a heavily wooded area along a pipeline off Exxon Road in Conroe. The area where her body was found was about 5 miles from where she was last seen. She had been found undressed and her blue bikini and shredded t-shirt were found at the crime scene. An autopsy revealed she had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. Police found tire tracks at the crime scene that they believed was from the killer’s vehicle.
At the time of her disappearance, Lesia was a wearing a gold butterfly necklace with a matching butterfly ring. The necklace was found on her body, however, the ring was never located and police postulate that the killer may have taken the ring with him as a souvenir. Investigators hoped the ring could help them link them to the killer. An extensive investigation into her murder was launched. A few months later, police arrested a local Vietnam Veteran suffering from PTSD after he confessed to the murdered. However, he later
retracted it. There was no evidence linking him to the crime and he was eventually released. Over the years, police followed several tips and interviewed multiple suspects but no leads were derived and the case would eventually grow cold. Then in October 2021, investigators used a new technology called “M-Vac” to retrieve DNA from Lesia’s clothes. M-Vac aggressively sprays a sterile solution onto
a surface and simultaneously applies vacuum pressure to collect the solution and whatever DNA material is present on the surface. The solution and any potential captured DNA material are then run through a filter, a micro centrifuge, in order to separate the DNA. M-Vac helps investigators collect more DNA than the traditional wet-swab method. The DNA was then entered into CODIS
and in April of 2022, the DNA found on Lesia's clothing produced a match. The genetic material matched the DNA markers of Gerald Dewight Casey. Casey lived in Conroe at the time of the murder. Authorities were all set to charge Casey for the murder, however, a search would reveal that Casey was already dead. It was found that Casey was executed by lethal injection on 18 April, 2002 for a murder committed in 1989. In 1989, Casey and his accomplice Carla Smith wanted to raise money for a trip to Florida so they decided to sell furniture to a man named Daryl Pennington. However, Daryl changed his mind and backed out of the deal. So, Casey
and Smith decided to steal Daryl’s gun collection. Daryl lived with a roommate, Sonya Howell. On July 10 1989, she would be an unfortunate casualty of a back alley business deal gone bad. Casey entered Daryl’s house and tried stealing his gun collection, however, encountered his roommate Sonya. Casey hit Sonya in the head with a telephone and then shot her multiple times. He was later caught and sentenced to death.
On July 8, 2022, A blood sample taken from Casey in 1989 was conclusively and formally matched with the DNA found at the crime scene of lesia mirder. Even though a suspect was not able to be tried the case was finally considered solved after 43 years. Lindy Sue Biechler Lindy Sue Biechler was a 19-year-old newlywed woman living with her husband, Philip Douglas Biechler on 104-A Kloss Drive, Spring Manor Apartments, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Lindy worked at a flower shop while Philip worked at Hertz Rent-a- car while studying art at Millersville University in Millersville. On December 5, 1975, Lindy worked a shift at her job at the flower shop and left her work at around 5:15 pm. She stopped by her husband’s workplace to pick up his paycheck. Lindy then went
grocery shopping at John Herr’s Village Market and arrived home around 7:15 pm to wait for her husband to return home from work. Her uncle and aunt had decided to visit her that evening to exchange recipes. They arrived around 8:45 pm and found the apartment door unlocked. They opened the door
and walked into the apartment only to discover a grisly sight. They found Lindy’s lifeless body lying on her back near the living room. She had a knife sticking out of her neck with a towel wrapped around the handle of the knife. They immediately notified the police. The knife and the towel were taken from Lindy’s own home.
An autopsy revealed she had been stabbed 19 times with the two different knives. The second knife was never found and it is believed the killer had bought the knife with him and took it with him after the murder. She had sustained wounds to her neck, chest, upper abdomen and back. The medical examiners report detailed that also been sexually assaulted. There was no sign of a forced entry. Police found
blood on the front door, the entrance-way wall and the carpet. It is believed Lindy had fought her attacker fiercely. The killer did leave behind a large footprint in blood on the kitchen floor. None of the neighbours were at home at the time so no one had heard or seen anything. A few weeks prior to her murder, Lindy had told her family and friends that she was being stalked. She said that she felt someone was following her and that she had seen someone peeking through the glass sliding door of the apartment. Police believe that the killer was either already in her apartment or followed her when she was carrying her groceries into the apartment.
The police questioned family and friends. Philip was suspected but was ruled out after it was confirmed he was at work at the time of the murder. Over 100 people were interviewed but to no avail. There would be no progress in the case for almost a year.
Then almost a year later, in December 1976, her family found her gravestone vandalized. The headstone had been sprayed with red paint, it had also been chipped and scraped at, possibly by a knife. A few weeks later, Manor Township Police received an anonymous letter marked “urgent.” The letter claimed responsibility for Lindy’s murder and vandalizing her gravestome.
The writer wanted the letter to be published in the newspaper but the police considered it a hoax and decided against it. Over the years police interviewed several suspects but none were ever charged. In 1997, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office sent a semen sample collected from Lindy’s Underwear and a male DNA profile was created. In 2000, the DNA was entered into CODIS but no match could be found.
Then in 2019, the district attorney’s office sent the male DNA profile to Parabon Nanolabs and created a composite sketch of Lindy’s killer. In 2020, Genealogist CeCe Moore using DNA was able to create a family tree of a potential suspect. The suspect was of a Mediterranean descent, potentially Italian. She found that the suspect had “deep root” in the local Lancaster community. She also found that this potential suspect’s family tree included numerous recent immigrant families from the tiny town of Gasperina, Italy. Eventually they were able to pinpoint a suspect; David Sinopoli.
Upon investigation, they found out that Sinopoli lived in the same apartment complex as Lindy. However, they still needed to confirm if he was their guy and decided to surveil him. On February 11, 2022, The investigators followed Sinopoli and his wife to the Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight. Police watched as Sinopoli drank his coffee while waiting to catch his flight. He eventually threw the cup in
the trash can and the investigators were able to collect it. The DNA found on Sinopoli’s Coffee cup was then matched against the DNA collected from Lindy’s underwear. It was a perfect match. Investigators also learned of two spots of blood found on Lindy’s which were of an unknown male. So, they compared it against the DNA from Sinopoli and confirmed that David Sinopoli was the killer. The presence of the two dots
of blood, linked to the killer, confirmed a suspicion that investigators had long-held. Police had always believed that the killer had cut himself during the knife attack. David Vincent Sinopoli, 68, was arrested and charged with one count of criminal homicide. Sinopoli was a former pressman at a commercial printing company and would often go vacationing in Italy. At the time of Lindy’s murder, he was married and had two children. He would divorce her in
1986 and married his second wife in 1987. In 2004, Sinopoli had gotten a year long probation for invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct after he was caught spying on naked woman at a hair salon, owned by his wife, while they were getting a tan. He had no other criminal arrests. Currently, he is being held in Lancaster County Prison with bail awaiting trial. The case was solved after 47 years.
Asenath Dukat Asenath Dukat 8-year-old and living with her parents in Upper Arlington, Ohio. She was a third grader at Barrington Elementary School. She was nicknamed Seemie and was described by her friends and family as sweet but shy at first Asenath was looking forward to summer vacation which only a week away. On June 3, 1980, Asenath along with her class were held 10 minutes after school to discipline the students for talking during a class lesson earlier in the day. At around 3:10pm, Asenath left her school alone to walk to her home which was about a mile away. Asenath had walked this usual route many times.
She would walk from Barrington road to the Walthem Road and then turn towards Malvern Road. She was last seen by her two classmates walking at 3:20 pm on Waltham road. She would never arrive home.
When she failed to arrive back at her house , her parents contacted Asenath’s teacher but her teacher said she had left school about an hour orior. Her parents knew something was wrong and immediately notified police at around 4:30 pm. A widespread search for the missing girl was launched. At approximately 7:30pm, that same night, a police officer found her body in a drainage ditch near the corner of Riverside Drive and Waltham Road just a block away from her home. She had been strangled and killed by blunt force trauma to the head by a 20 pound rock found at the crime scene.
An autopsy later revealed she had been sexually assaulted. Less than month before Asenath’s death, on May 7, 1980, at around 3:30 pm another girl from this time Tremont Elementary School was attacked while walking home from school . The girl was walking with her classmate when they were followed by a man on a red bicycle. The girls would eventually split up. While cutting through a yard to reach Riverside Drive. The victim was grabbed from behind and when she tried to scream, he choked her and left her unconscious. The attacker then fled the scene for an unknown reason.
The clothing had been disturbed when she regained consciousness and she had been moved several feet away from the scene of the attack to a secluded area. The victim did not see the face of the attacker as she was attacked from behind. A witness described the man on the red bike to be between the ages of 15 and 20 years, thin with straight black hair and a.
I olive complexion. The red 10 speed bicycle the killer rode had no fenders and three reflectors, an orange one on the front wheel, a red one on the rear wheel, and another hanging from the back seat. Police believed the same man was responsible for Asenath’s murder as well as both attacks occurred at the same time of the day and in the same area and both were sexually motivated.
During their questioning, a witness reported to have seen a clean cut man in a white t-Shirt carrying a large object in both hands on the day Asenath was murdered. She also reported to have seen red bicycle parked nearby. Another witness helped police make a composite sketch of the killer. Despite this, no leads could be found. On that day, the weather was sunny and warm and many people were out and about but no one had seen anything. She was killed in an open area next to First Community Village, a retirement home for the elderly but they did not see or hear anything either.
Based on this, police theorised she was abducted and taken some place else, raped and killed and then dumped in the Ditch. Over the years police would receive several tips and interviewed hundreds of suspects but to no avail. The case would eventually go cold. Asenath’s murder led to creation of community based group “The Long Walk Home: The Asenath Dukat Project,” consisting of local kids who remembered Dukat’s murder. The group regularly personally investigated asenath’s case and helped police in solving it.
On August 11, 2022, the Upper Arlington Police Division announced that they have solved the case and named Brent L. Strutner as the person responsible for Asenath’s murder. Strutner was 20 years at the time of Asenath’s murder and lived locally. He graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 1979. He committed suicide in Columbus Ohio when he was 24 years old in 1984. Investigators said Strutner had been the suspect in the case for a while but they did not have sufficient evidence to name him. In 2008, Police sent the DNA found at the crime scene for DNA testing to Ohio Bureau of Criminal investigation.
Soon the DNA profile created proved to matched Bent Strutner. However, even though they had linked Strutner to the crime more than a decade ago, they did not want to release the information until they were absolutely sure. Police Sgt.
Bryan McKean said "We wanted to make sure all the pieces and parts were tied together before we released anything. Strutner was a suspect long before we had the ability to identify him." Detectives re-examined all the evidence and tried to figure out if Strutner had acted alone or if he had an accomplice. One of Strutner’s associates, Robert ‘Chris” Winchester had been attacking young females in columbus and the Ohio State University around the time of the Asenath’s murder including an attempted abduction of a young girl on Henderson Road only months after the murder.
Winchester was found guilty and served prison time for that particular crime on Henderson road . Winchester was investigated for Asenath’s murder but the police could not find sufficient evidence to link him to the crime. Police have re-examined every piece of evidence but there was no additional physical artifacts that suggested another individual was involved. The case was closed after 42 years. However, l members of the group "The Long Walk Home" believe the case is far from closed.
The advocacy group released a statementon the state of the case and its developments “We applaud the countless hours and hard work that lead to the confirmation of Brent Strutner’s involvement in the crime. However, after viewing the totality of the evidence, it is reasonable to conclude Brent Strutner did not act alone. Our mission will continue based on that belief and as long as the Dukat family and our community continue to support our efforts to bring all involved to justice." Diane Cusick Diane Cusick was 23-year-old woman living with her parents in Nassau County, New York. She was separated from her husband and had moved in with her parents.
She had a 3-year-old daughter from her marriage and had been working as dance instructor. On February 15, 1968, Diane finished her job at a children's dance school and called her parents to tell them she was going to the mall to purchase shoes. However, she never returned home. That night when Diane failed to return to the hoise, her parents went out to look for her. They found her car, a 1961 Plymouth Valiant in the parking lot of the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, New York.
They opened the car to find a horrifying sight. Their daughter was lying on the backseat of the car, dead. Her face bloodied and she had two-inch tape around her mouth and neck.
They immediately notified police. An autopsy determined that she had been beaten in the face and head. Her cause of death was determined to be strangulation.
She had defensive wounds on her hands and police were able to collect DNA evidence at the scene. However, DNA testing did not exist 1968. Police conducted a massive search of the area and showed her photo to nearly 2000 people asking if they could provide any information about Diane’s last hours of her life. Police were able to release a description of a suspect seen at a movie theater in the mall shortly before Diane’s body was found.
They said that the man was a white male in his late teens or early 20s with an average build. He wore eyeglasses and was at least five foot 8 inches tall. Diane’s estranged husband was ruled out as a suspect as he had an alibi.
He was working his part-time job as a taxi driver at the time of the murder. The police questioned multiple people but no leads could be found and the case would eventually grow cold. In 2016, The DNA sample found at the crime was submitted into a National database but no match could be found. Then in 2021, Police in Nassau County received a tip that a killer who is responsible for the killings in suburban county, currently locked up in New Jersey, might be responsible for Diane’s murder.
Police ran a DNA test again and this time it matched to a convicted Serial Killer, Richard Cottingham. Cottingham is 76-year-old now and serving life for murdering nearly half a dozen women and girls in New Jersey and New York since the1960s. He was arrested in 1980 after a motel employee heard screams of a women inside his room. Police were called and they found the woman alive but handcuffed and suffering from bite marks and knife wounds. Cottingham would later admit to killing more than 100 women; However, police have officially linked him to about a dozen killings.
He was also nicknamed the “Torso Killer” because he was known for dismembering his victims. Police believe Cottingham pretended to be a security guard or police officer and accused Diane of stealing. He then asked her to come with him and then overpowered her in a secluded area. Cottingham was working as a computer programmer for a health insurance company in New York at the time. In June 2022, Cottingham was charged with Diane’s murder. On 5th December 2022, Cottingham admitted to killing Diane Cusick and four other women decades ago.
He was sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars for Diane’s murder. However, He won't be prosecuted for the four other murders since he’s already spending the rest of his life in prison for prior murder convictions. Diane’s daughter, Darlene Altman now is 58 and during a police conference said “I never thought I’d see this day. I had given up. But all these people got justice for me and my mother.”
The case was finally solved after 54 years. Sherri Herrera In 1993, Sherri Herrera, a mother of four, was thirty years old. She lived in Tulare County, in California.
She was a known sex worker and had problems with drug addiction , however she put her life in danger every day to support her kids. She often worked by the highway rest areas. It was March 30, 1993, when Sherri’s body was found about 400 miles from Tulare, off of I-10, near the eastbound onramp to the 10 Freeway near Desert Center in Riverside County California. Her last seen moments were being dropped off at a rest stop between Tulare and Pixely.
According to a witness, she planned to be picked up 10 minutes later, but she was never seen alive again. Somehow, she had traveled or had been moved over 400 miles from her hometown with no explanation. DNA evidence was found among the items.
However, stumped by this huge distance, and with a lack of DNA technology and no suspects, the case went unsolved. Though Local investigators at the time were unable to identify a suspect using the crime scene artifacts, they handled the case with care, by properly packaging evidence and caring for it as the years passed and technology progressed. In 2002, investigator Mike Thompson of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and a former member of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department cold case unit, alongside texas ranger Danny Briley worked together on the case. They decided to upload the DNA found to the database known as CODIS, and about five years later, a match was made. Although a match was made to DNA in codis., no name or identity was associated with the DNA sequence.
The match was made in question with another case of a murdered prostitute named Shenda Hayes. Shenda Hayes was a woman who was found murdered and assaulted in April of 1992 in Titus County, Texas. Shenda Hayes was also working as an escort, and had been strangled with a cord by what police call, quote “ a device made of wire and cord in a manner to control the victim.” It was believed she was also sexually assaulted.
Her body was then callously left by a rest area along Interstate 30 near Mount Pleasant in Titus County. While investigators now had a DNA match to two crime scenes. They still had no name to go along with that DNA sequence.
In September 2020. The Riverside cold case unit began conducting forensic genealogy inquests into both deaths of Sherri Herrera and the connected death of Shenda Hayes. The Texas Rangers had previously processed the evidence and derived and created a file based on a single nucleotide, this type of file is then able to be uploaded to public genealogical company databases which process the results The results are then compared to results sourced by DNA kits purchased by the general public, such as kits 23 and Me and Ancestry.com. Thompson said that according to his investigatory notes, which he calls a quote, “family tree“, there were six relatives who live in or around Waco Tx who were in the right genetic range for a more direct comparison. A saliva swab was taken from the mouth of the narrowed suspect on April 26 2022, and the DNA profile matched from both evidence taken from the crime scene of Sherri’s death and to that of a crime scene from the murder and careless dumping of Shenda Hayes.
Finally in May of 2022, retired truck driver Douglas Thomas was arrested in Waco, Texas, for the murder of Shenda Hayes a, and is being held with a $2 million bond. In June, Thompson reached out to a lead investigator in that case with the DNA match. Forensic genealogy was used to connect the DNA of Thomas’ to the crimescene of Sherri Herrera as well. In June 2022, Thomas was charged with the murder of Sherri Herrera . Once the trial in Texas is complete, he will then be brought to California to be prosecuted for her murder.
Thomas had been driving cross country for four decades so investigators warn his body count may be higher than we know. As the interstate routes are notoriously dangerous places for women to be without her own transportation or protection. numerous bodies of women, likely escorts or unhoused people are found every year along the interstate routes and due to the anonymous nature of the countless truck drivers and commuters traveling in and out of the area very few cases are ever closed . Bethany Anne Decker In January 2011, Bethany Anne Decker, 21, was struggling to come into adulthood . A
native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, she had moved to the Washington area as a result of her marriage to Emile Decker. Together the couple had a son, but her husband's frequent deployments to Afghanistan , often of indeterminate or agonizingly long durations, severely strained the marriage. Bethany became pregnant again near the end of 2010, she was struggling to stay faithful to an absent husband and she eventually moved into her own apartment in Ashburn, VA when she was four months along in her pregnancy. She left her son with her in-laws in Maryland and worked at a restaurant While working at the restaurant she had met Ronald Roldan, around 30 at the time, and became romantically involved with him. He soon moved into her new apartment and established himself as controlling and possessive partner , he would regularly demand that she send him photos of her from her cell phone so he could be sure she wasn't with anyone with whom he didn't want her to associate.
Decker's parents had developed a plan to get her out of the situation, but they were never able to implement it. On January 29, 2011, she called the restaurant she worked at from her apartment to check her schedule. It would be the last time anyone heard from Bethany . Both her husband and Roldan claimed to have seen Bethany that day, but neither of the men’s claims could be independently verified.
When Decker was not at the airport to see her husband off when he returned to Afghanistan , their friends assumed the couple's marital problems had simply gotten worse overtime. Their concerns became more urgent when, over the next few weeks, messages sent through Bethany’s personal Facebook page, purportedly from Bethany herself, alarmed friends, as they were not in the tone or written voice of Bethany. It would be revealed that her friends were in fact messaging with the killer himself, masquerading as the slain Bethany. In late February, three weeks after anyone who knew Decker besides her husband and boyfriend who were unreliable sources, her friends and family were concerned enough to begin looking for her. Her grandparents drove by her apartment and noticed that her car was parked at an unusual angle, with a flat tire and lots of dust.
Bethany usually kept her car in better shape and this visual was so unlike her that they finally decided to report her missing. The investigation caused Bethany’s husband to come back from Afghanistan early, and he cooperated fully with police. Roldan moved out of their shared apartment and told police he merely thought she'd gone back to her husband. But he told different investigators different things about when he'd last seen her car parked outside, and then it turned out he had an arrest history for some minor offenses including smashing a window. A search of the apartment and the fields nearby failed to turn up anything that could support an arrest warrant, so Roldan was free to go and soon stopped cooperating with investigations . He was named a person of interest but no concrete evidence was able to lead to an arrest Roldan would remain in Northern Virginia until, after a subsequent girlfriend tried to escape his wrath by moving away to Pinehurst, NC, Roldan followed her there to continue his abuse. One night the two got into an argument which escalated to a physical struggle, during which he menacingly informed her that he could, quote, "make people disappear".
He even fired a gun at her, she was able to jerk away from him enough that the bullet damaged her eye and she lost sight in one eye but police say that was a far better outcome than the bullet taking her life. Police arrested Roldan and charged him with attempted murder. His ex girlfriend would later go on the American television talk show, Dr. Phil to tell her harrowing story Roldan was serving time for this assault while the investigators continued looking into Bethany’s death. A problem with the evidence recovered led prosecutors to drop the more serious charge of attempted murder in exchange for a guilty plea of two counts of assault.
Prosecutors from Loudoun County had tried, while he was awaiting trial, to get him to tell them something, anything, about what had happened to Bethany but Roldan invoked his 5th amendment rights and told police nothing, and investigators announced it would be deporting him to Bolivia when he was released as their hands were tied without further evidence. Because of the lack of evidence in Bethany’s disappearance, and a lack of a body ever located, While there was little doubt that Roldan was responsible for her disappearance, police wondered if there would ever be enough evidence to charge him. Even though he has admitted that he had killed before to the girlfriend during the gunfire that led to his prison sentence, Many feared that after he finished his sentence on the assault Roldan would simply be deported to his native Bolivia and in all likelihood never have to face justice. Prior to Roldan being released in 2020, Bethany’s family feared he would escape conviction, but upon his release from his prior incarceration, he was arrested on the charges of murder that he recently pleaded guilty to.
Roldan was arrested on abduction charges in Bethany's case as soon as his sentence ended. Prosecutors in Loudoun County got an indictment, although they have never disclosed what evidence they had, and almost two years later Roldan has finally entered his recent plea of guilty . The evidence does not seem to include the recovery of Bethany’s body however as no media reports indicate that her remains were located. Sentencing of Roldan is scheduled for February of 2023 however, his plea of guilty might make that trial quite short a relief to friends and family of Bethany. Her case was solved after over a decade.
Holly Marie Clouse On June 9th 2022 The Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit alongside the Texas Attorney General’s Office announced that another case have been solved due to genetic genealogy Holly Marie Clouse, who had last been seen by her family in was 1980 and believed to be deceased is in fact alive and well. The woman formally known as 'Baby Holly Marie' was found just over 40 years after her parents were found brutally murdered in rural Houston and she was deemed missing and endangered. Dean and Tina Clouse were last photographed with their infant daughter, Holly Marie in 1980 shortly before all three mysteriously disappeared.
Holly has not been seen since shortly after the photo was taken. A year later, Holly’s parents, Dean and Tina Linn Clouse, were found murdered in Houston on January 12, 1981 while the crime scene was processed