cold cases

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After 25 Years, Serial Killer's Fourth Victim Identified

Kerry Ann Cummings' family last heard from her in 1997

(Newser) - For more than 25 years, family members wondered what had happened to Kerry Ann Cummings. Thanks to forensic genealogy, they now have closure, but her fate was a grim one. Investigators say Cummings, who was 25 years old and suffering from untreated mental illness when her family last heard from...

Victim in City's 'Oldest, Most Infamous' Cold Case Identified
Victim in City's
'Oldest, Most
Infamous' Cold
Case Identified
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Victim in City's 'Oldest, Most Infamous' Cold Case Identified

'Trunk Lady' now has a name: Sylvia June Atherton

(Newser) - A Florida city's "oldest and most infamous cold case" has been solved, 54 years later. A woman's partially clothed body, strangled with a Western-style bolo tie and wrapped in a plastic bag, was found inside a black steamer trunk in the woods behind a St. Petersburg restaurant...

'I Don't Want to Live Life Anymore Without Confessing'

Tony Peralta told police he couldn't live with the guilt of killing landlord 15 years ago

(Newser) - Police officers found Tony Peralta earlier this month sitting on a curb not far from the convenience store in a small southeastern New Mexico community where he borrowed a cellphone—so he could call 911 and confess to killing his landlord 15 years earlier. Sweating and taking puffs from his...

3rd Man Charged in One of NYC's Most Notorious Unsolved Murders

Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay was slain in 2002

(Newser) - A third man has been charged in the 2002 shooting death of Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay, prosecutors said Tuesday, marking the latest movement in a case that's languished for years . Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York filed a superseding indictment on Tuesday, charging Jay Bryant,...

Cops Solve One of Quebec's Highest-Profile Cold Cases

Sharron Prior, 16, was killed by a West Virginia man

(Newser) - Canadian police said Tuesday they have solved one of the highest-profile cold cases in Quebec history, linking the 1975 rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl to a West Virginia man who died more than 40 years ago. Police in Longueuil, Quebec, said that DNA evidence allows them to be...

How Wife Allegedly Got Away With Killing This Man in 1961

'Corrupt influences' aided Frances DiMare, now blamed for first husband's 1961 murder

(Newser) - Many considered Frances DiMare a victim when she died in 2006 at age 82. Four decades earlier, she told police that she and her husband were kidnapped at gunpoint and Joseph DiMare was fatally shot in the head. Miami-Dade police now say her story was a lie. "Investigators met...

Interpol Shares a Black Notice With the World for First Time

International appeal seeks to identify 22 murdered women

(Newser) - The 22 women mostly met violent deaths. Their bodies, some dismembered, were found in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands over a span of 43 years—the most recent in 2019, reports the AP . Police say some showed signs of abuse or starvation. But who they were is unknown, frustrating detectives'...

Deputy Drove Away With a Man Who Then Disappeared. Twice

CNN explores the still-unsolved cases out of rural Florida

(Newser) - On October 14, 2003, Felipe Santos got into the back seat of a patrol car driven by Collier County deputy Steven Calkins in rural Florida and was never seen again. Calkins told investigators he encountered the 23-year-old Santos at a traffic accident and later dropped him off at a Circle...

Discarded Coffee Cup Leads to Arrest for 2 Long-Ago Rapes

Kurt Alan Rillema accused of raping women in Michigan (1999) and Pennsylvania (2000)

(Newser) - An "avid golfer" in Michigan is facing charges of raping two women at golf courses more than 20 years ago after police pulled DNA from a coffee cup he threw away. Police say DNA links Kurt Alan Rillema, 51, of West Bloomfield, to a September 1999 attack at the...

26 Years After Woman Was Killed in Front of Son, an Arrest

Cold-case detective makes arrest in 1996 slaying in the Bronx

(Newser) - Stories about cold cases being cracked thanks to advances in DNA evidence are pretty common these days, though the New York Times notes that at least 340,000 unsolved murders over the last 60 years remain on the books. It still takes a slew of factors to come together to...

'Lady in the Fridge' Identified 28 Years Later

$10K reward offered in California for information leading to arrest of her killer

(Newser) - For the 30 years she was alive, she was known as Amanda Deza. For almost as long since her death, she's been dubbed California's "lady in the fridge"—but no longer. The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office has announced that it's finally identified Deza,...

Sweet Potato Leads to Arrest in Massachusetts Cold Case

Officials were able to match DNA from the root vegetable left at the scene with suspect

(Newser) - After Todd Lampley was shot in the bedroom of a Massachusetts home on February 27, 2011, police recovered evidence outside the bedroom window: shell casings, a cellphone, and a sweet potato. Twelve years later, there's finally an arrest in the case, and authorities say DNA left on that sweet...

A 52-Year-Old Piece of Evidence Leads to Killer

Vermont police say Rita Curran was killed by her upstairs neighbor

(Newser) - A cigarette butt was found next to 24-year-old Rita Curran's body in 1971. Some 52 years later, it would unmask her killer. The Washington Post reports that officials in Burlington, Vermont, on Tuesday said genetic genealogy has identified the late William DeRoos as the killer. He and his then-wife...

'For 45 Years, We've Looked for This Young Man and This Car'

Remains found in December 2021 are those of Kyle Clinkscales

(Newser) - More than a year after investigators in Alabama recovered a car and bones they believed were tied to a 1976 cold case comes a positive identification. The remains are indeed those of Kyle Clinkscales, the 22-year-old Auburn University student who vanished while making the 45-mile drive home from his bartending...

37 Years Later, Man Confesses to Killing Boy Over Stolen Bike

David Adams charged with 2nd-degree murder in 1985 killing of 13-year-old Jeremiah Watkins

(Newser) - For nearly all of her life, Jamie Cole wondered what had caused someone to kill her big brother. She was only a year old in 1985 when 13-year-old Jeremiah "Jerry" Watkins' body was found beaten and stabbed in a shallow grave near railroad tracks in Terra Alta, West Virginia....

2 Men Arrested in 1975 Murder of Indiana Teen

Laurel Jean Mitchell's body was found nearly 50 years ago, and the case had gone cold

(Newser) - Almost half a century ago, 17-year-old Laurel Jean Mitchell was killed in Indiana. Her case had gone cold since, but now, thanks partially to a DNA match, two arrests have finally been made. At a Tuesday news conference, Indiana State Police announced that Fred Bandy Jr., 67, and John Wayne...

DNA Reveals Fate of Man Who Vanished in Alaska in 1976

Investigators believe Gary Sotherden died in bear attack

(Newser) - Upstate New York man Steve Sotherden says the fate of his brother was "much more brutal" than he had hoped would be the case —but at least he now knows what happened to him, more than 46 years after he disappeared during a hunting trip in Alaska. Gary...

Body Stuffed in Sack Left in Desert ID'd 52 Years Later

Colleen Audrey Rice, found dead in Arizona in 1971, hailed from Ohio

(Newser) - An unidentified woman whose body was found stuffed in a sack in the Arizona desert in 1971 is nameless no more. Fifty-two years to the day after her body was found, Mohave County's oldest unidentified murder victim was identified Tuesday as Colleen Audrey Rice, a native of Portsmouth, Ohio,...

Have Info on the 'Doodler'? Reward Just Got Even Bigger

Police in San Francisco up the pot to $250K, release new sketch in search for '70s serial killer

(Newser) - Last year, police upped the reward in their search for the "Doodler," a serial killer from the '70s who went after gay men. Now, they've increased the pot even more, this time from $200,000 to $250,000, and released a new sketch of the suspect,...

'Pillowcase Rapist' Convicted in 1983 Attack

Authorities in Florida believe Robert Koehler attacked dozens of women

(Newser) - A man suspected of being the "Pillowcase Rapist" in connection with a string of South Florida rapes back in the 1980s was convicted Wednesday in one of the attacks. Miami-Dade County jurors found Robert Eugene Koehler, 63, guilty of sexual battery, kidnapping, and burglary, the AP reports. He faces...

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