Solved Cases Page Two

Brutal Killing of Popular Teacher’s Aide Still Unsolved

ziegert

In the town of Agawam and the areas that surround it in Massachusetts and Connecticut, people still talk quietly about the brutal killing of Lisa Ziegert. She was a well liked teacher’s aide that worked in the town’s middle school with special need children. She also had a part time job at the Brittany’s Card and Gift Shoppe in town. April 15, 1992, was the last time anyone saw the popular 24 year old. The next day, the owner of the gift shop noticed that the door to the store was unlocked. Lisa, was nowhere to be found. Sadly, four days later on Easter Sunday, April 19, 1992, She was found deceased by a man walking his dog. She had been stabbed and sexually assaulted and was partially clothed. Her body was found in an area hundred of feet deep in the woods that was off of a dirt road that connected to Route 75 in town. Law Enforcement believe that she was abducted from the store between the times of 8:20 and 9:10 pm. At one time a $100,000 reward was offered by the state of Massachusetts for anyone with information that would lead them to the conviction of any individual(s) responsible for Ziegert’s death.

Many people have speculated as to who may have killed Lisa Ziegert. There are postings on the internet that allege that a possible killer may be protected by certain people. Some believe she may have known her killer. There are others that say that it may have been a former Massachusetts resident awaiting trial for a brutal murder in Florida. If you have any information about this case please call the Massachusetts State Police at 413-747-4809.

UPDATE: 48 year old Gary Schara of West Springfield was arrested for the rape and murder of Lisa Ziegert in September of 2017. Two years later, he was sentenced to life in prison, no word yet if Schara is responsible for any other unsolved murders or rapes.   (Source: Masslive.com)

Unlikely Suspect In 1972 Murder of Altar Boy

crouteau1It is one of Massachusett’s most notorious cases. In 1972, 13 year old Danny Croteau was found floating in the Chicoppe River just miles from his Springfield home. It is believed that he was killed by being struck in the head with a rock. For decades, suspicions have pointed to someone that was close to Danny’s family. A priest at their family’s church at the time of his homicide.  Richard R. Lavigne is considered the prime suspect. He was convicted on charges of child molestation on two other boys in 1992. 
Lavigne is a former priest convicted of Sexual abuse of children and a murder suspect
Richard Lavigne
Danny’s brother would later claim that they were to abused as well.  There have been almost 40 claims by individuals that they say they were abused by him. It is alleged that some people in the Catholic Diocese of Springfield were aware of the allegations of abuse and murder, yet still allowed Lavigne to be a priest.   If Lavigne is proven to be the killer of Danny Croteau, it may be perhaps the saddest footnote in the history of the Catholic Church Abuse Scandal in the United States.   The program 60 Minutes once did a segment about the Danny Croteau murder and is viewable here. UPDATE: 5-24-2021: The Case is now closed.  Lavigne has been named as the killer by Investigators but died days before an arrest warrant was carried out.  For more information visit this story by WWLP Former priest Richard Lavigne who died last week named as Danny Croteau’s killer in 1972 | WWLP

Who Killed This Basketball Star and Why?

lwrightLorenezen Wright was loyal to the city of Memphis, Tennessee. As a talented basketball player he had played high school, college and professional basketball in the bluff city. At 6 foot 11, Wright had earned himself a lucrative NBA contract and was making several millions of dollars a year. On July 18, 2010, He was last seen left at the home of his in Collierville, Tennessee. Four days later, his family filed a missing persons report. More than a week later on July 28, the body of the NBA bigman was found in a wooded area on Callis Cutoff Road that is west of Hacks Cross Road. Wright had been shot five times with wounds to his head, chest and right forearm. Police suspected foul play after Wright was last seen when a 911 call was made from his cell phone in the early hours of July 19. The person speaking on the phone was talking with the 911 dispatcher when several gun shots were heard. Wright left behind six children and his mother is looking for answers. Around the time of his death, Wright had started to experience financial difficulties as well. If you know anything that could help investigators, please call (901) 528-CASH. There is a reward for information that can lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder of Lorenzen Wright. UPDATE:   In 2019, Sherra Wright (Lorenzen’s ex-wife) plead guilty to facilitation of murder in the first degree in Wright’s homicide She was sentenced to 30 years in prison.  Co-conspirator Billy Turner plead guilty to gun charges for a separate case.  His trial for Lorenzen’s murder is still upcoming.  

Looking for Clues in Twenty Year Mystery of a John Doe

johnclintondoeFor two decades police and the community of Clinton, Wisconsin have been trying to find the name of a young man found in a wooded area of Turtle Creek in their town. It was hunters who discovered the remains on August 26, 1995 of man believed to be between 17 to 20 years old. Medical experts believed he may have died a year prior during the fall/winter of 1994. He was believed to be caucasian, five foot six and around 140 pounds. He may have lived in Minnesota, Michigan or Wisconsin. He was found wearing a black concert T-shirt with the band name Venom as well as wearing a plaid flannel jacket. A Nike Air Bound shoe was near the unidentified man called John Clinton Doe. His eye color could not be determined but he had long brown hair that went down to his collar. His manner and cause of death was never determined so it is possible that foul play may or may not be involved. If you have any information about who this young man may be, please contact the Rock County Sheriff at 608-757-7927 or the Find JCD Project at 715-498-1632. UPDATE: 2-24-2019.  He has been identified and it is believed that he may have died from hypothermia but that is not confirmed.  More information will be released in the future.  

Brazen Shooting of Cab Driver Still Unsolved

joserodriguezJose Rodriguez was just trying to make a living in an occupation that is one of the most dangerous to work in. On July 16, 2007 the 42 year old married father of two children had picked up three men that day from Providence that day. He was later found with a gunshot wound to his head in his cab on Fuller Avenue between Sumner and Garfield streets in Central Falls. The next day Rodriguez succumbed to his injuries. Law Enforcement is hoping that someone saw what transpired because this crime occurred during the daytime. If you have any information about the murder of Jose Rodriguez you are urged to contact Detective Nichole Rave at 727-7411 extension 3123. There is a four thousand dollar reward being offered. Another unsolved murder in Central Falls in late April of 2008 is that of 16 year old Central Falls High School student Edelmiro Roman. He fell victim on a Sunday night at the intersection of Dexter and Darling streets. While his murder is unrelated to that of Rodriguez, it may be a result of a gang or neighborhood group dispute. 10-5-2018:  Twenty Eight year old Ezekial Johnson, of Pawtucket has been convicted of  the murder of Jose Rodriguez.  He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.  (Source: The Providence Journal & WPRI.com)

 Man Killed Night Before He Was To Move Out of State

hamlin1He was supposed to move to Virginia on January 28, 2006 to start a new job. Instead forty year old Anthony Hamlin lay naked and dead from blunt force trauma to the head in an empty field off of Shewville Road. The area where he was found is near the popular Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard. The father of five children, he was from Groton and was an Eastern Pequot Indian who was very much involved with his tribal nation. Prior to his murder, he had hours earlier been in the city of New London. Police think he may have actually been in the vicinity of State and Bank Streets in the downtown area. What happened to Hamlin is a mystery to his family and law enforcement. Who murdered him and why? The State of Connecticut is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved in the homicide of Anthony Hamlin. If you have any information about this case you are urged to contact the Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad at 860-886-6603 or you can contact the New London County State’s Attorney at 860-443-2835. 1-1-2018: Timothy Johnson of Norwich, CT and Christopher Vincenti of New London have been pled guilty in the murder of Hamlin.  They are serving 20 years in prison.  The motive was robbery.  (Source: The New London Day)

Half a Century Later, Case is still Cold

jacquelineharpIt was on July 17th, 1968, when 13 year old Jacqueline Harp, of Birch Street in Midland Park attended band practice for the “Imperial Knights” marching band. Around 9:00 pm, she left practice and sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 pm was seen by friends walking alone on Godwin Avenue in Midland Park, near “Stewart’s Hamburger.” At the time she was seen wearing tan shorts, a red and black shirt, and tan moccasins. Hours later at approximately 1:00 am in the morning of July 18th, her mother reported her missing to the Midland Park Police Department. Sadly a day later on the 18th, her body was found in a small field between a factory and private house located adjacent to Paterson Avenue in Midland Park. If you have any information about this case please contact the Bergen County New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office at (201) 646-2300. CASE SOLVED 1-3-2020:  Richard Cottingham known as the “Torso Killer” has confessed to the murder of Harp and that of  Irene Blase, 18, of Bogota; and Denise Falasca, 15, of Closter; all done by this monster during 1968 and 1969.  The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office now considers these cases closed.

Mystery of Human Leg Found Reveals Twisted Cult Connection

Cult Apostle Paul Sweetman from the Work (Brother Julius)   New England Cable News Network On August 27th, of  2004, part of a severed human leg was discovered at the Shuttle Meadow Golf Course located on property of the city of New Britain, Connecticut.  It was believed to be that of an older white male and in the summer of 2018, Police arrested two men for the murder of a former Cult leader named Paul Sweetman who was murdered weeks before the murder.  Sweetman and his two killers were part of “The Work” whose leader Julius Shacknow “Brother Julius” claimed to be the messiah.  Sorek Minery and Rudy Hannon (a biological son of Shacknow) were arrested with each of the men accusing the other of the murder.  The crime was orchestrated by the ex-wife of Shacknow, Joanne Sweetman in an alleged battle over the finances of the cult.   Joanne Sweetman was at one time involved in a relationship with the victim and has since passed away.  For more information about the Brother Julius and his cult buy the book by Michael Bouchard  The Connecticut Cult – The Broken Cross Bouchard claims that there are other suspicious deaths associated with Brother Julius and detail them in his book. paul sweetman suspectsMinery (on the right) has plead guilty for his role in the death but will not be sentenced until Hannon’s trial completion.   (sources: The Hartford Courant and New England Cable News Network)

So Many Different Names, Yet No Identification

goldenstatekillerBefore Richard Ramirez became the “Nightstalker” that killed 14 victims and wounded several more in California, there was another unknown killer who had the same nickname. In fact, this killer had several nicknames because he had terrorized several different parts of California. It wasn’t until DNA testing revealed that three “unknown killers” were actually one and the same. The East Area Rapist who may have sexually assaulted over fifty women as well as killing a couple in the Sacramento area in the mid to late 70s. The Killer would then move south and break into the houses of heterosexual couples. He would sexually assault the women and then kill them both, often times by bludgeoning them. The victims were from the towns/cities of Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point, and Irvine. The killer’s last believed victim was an 18 year old woman killed in 1986. This killer would often tie up his victims Diamond  knot. It is believed that he may have between 10 to 13 murder victims. Some of them he may have shot and killed when they chased him. But when he would attack his victims, he would break into people’s home and startle them by shining a flashlight in their face. It is believed that he would case his victims house even breaking into days before his fatal attacks. originalnightstalker2This unidentified individual has been called other names, such as The Diamond Knot Killer and The Golden State Killer. His DNA has been matched against other convicted rapists and killers and there has never been a match. One thing is for sure, he may very well may be still alive. At the times of the rapes in the mid 70’s, he was believed to be a white male (with blue or hazel eyes) around the ages of 18 to 25. He is believed to have been a skilled cat burglar and may have even been in the military. He targeted middle class neighborhoods and may have used bicycles in some cases to escape. For more information about his victims and other sketches about what this killer may have looked like visit http://ear-ons.com/investigate7.html This website has much more detailed information about this killer who has never been caught or identified. He is still out there.

goldenstatekillermugshotUPDATE: 4-25-2018:  71 year old James Joseph D’Angelo has been Joseph James DeAngelo Is Suspect in Golden State Killer Case, According to Co-Author of ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’arrested as the Golden State Killer.  D’Angelo is a former Auburn Police Officer who lived in Citrus Heights in California.  He had been fired as police officer on a charge of theft.  If found guilty of these crimes, D’Angelo faces the Death Penalty. 

6-29-2020 – One of the most notorious and evil serial killers in the history of the United States plead guilty in a court of law and is sentenced to life in prison.  Good riddance to this nightmare….  

Who is Lavender Doe?

lavenderdoe2 Found in a wooded area of Kilgore, Texas on October 29, 2006. A teenaged girl or young woman remains a mystery. lavenderdoeWho killed her? Who is she? She is estimated to be between 13 and 22 years of age. Her hair color was either blonde hair with red highlights or it could have been red hair with blonde highlights. Her height is around five feet three inches to five feet five inches. Her teeth were in good condition (most likely had come from a middle class background). On her body was found a pair of jeans 7/8 in size which were the “one tuff Babe” brand. The top she wore was mauve. To solve the mystery of who killed her we must find out who she is. If you have any information as to her identity please contact the Dallas City Med Examiners Office at (214)920-5900.

DanadoddUPDATE: February 11, 2019, she has been identified as 21 year old Dana Lynn Dodd who had resided in Jacksonville, Florida at one time.    Joseph Wayne Burnette has confessed to murdering her as well as a woman named Felisha Pearson.   

Murder of Sixteen Year Old Girl still Unsolved

joycemclainSixteen year old Joyce Mclain was last seen alive the evening of August 8th, 1980. The high school sophomore from East Millinocket was jogging that night when she disappeared. Two days later her body was found near the soccer fields of Schenk High School, where she was a student. She had died from being bludgeoned to death with injuries to her head and neck. Several people were questioned in her death but no arrests have ever been made. The case has even garnered national attention as it was profiled on the one time NBC show, Unsolved Mysteries and in People Magazine. Her remains eventually were disinterred 28 years later and a second autopsy was done by nationally known pathologists Henry Lee and Michael Baden. It is believed that some new evidence may have been found. However, the Maine State Police have been quiet about the case. For more information about the murder of Joyce Mclain visit here. If you have information about this case please contact the Maine State Police at (207) 941-4071 or toll free 1-800-432-7381. All calls can be confidential. UPDATE: 3-5-2016 Philip Scott Fournier, 55, was arrested Friday, in the murder of Joyce McLain. In 2018 he was sentenced to 45 years in prison, he continues to claim his innocence despite several confessions to people over the years.

Murder of Two Teenage Girls Still Haunts Town

marypryorIt’s a crime that many still remember the abduction and murder of two teen-aged friends who vanished on a trip to the mall. It was August, 9th 1974 when 17 year old Mary Ann Pryor and her friend, 16 year old Lorraine Kelly were dropped off at a bus stop in Ridgefield, New Jersey. The two girls from North Bergen, were dropped off by Kelly’s boyfriend and were planning to take a bus to the Garden State Plaza Mall. It is not known if they took a bus or had hitchhiked. On August 14th in a wooded area behind Rolling Ridge Road in Montvale, New Jersey, they had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled. Pryor was last seen wearing a necklace with a gold cross and bell bottom pants with patches plus a halter top. lorrainekelly Kelly was last seen wearing a white short sleeve shirt, brown corduroy pants, as well as tan clogs. Kelly also had a beaded bracelet and a necklace with the inscription, “Lorraine and Ricky.” The case is nearly four decades old, but the victim’s family and Law Enforcement wants answers and justice. If you have any information about what happened to these two young woman please contact Sergeant Russ Christiana at 201-226-5677 or you can email him at RChristiana@BCPO.net UPDATE: April 2021, Serial Killer Richard Cottingham has confessed to the two murders. He has plead guilty.  Cottingham has admitted to several murders of young women and teenaged girls.  One hopes that there is additional justice after this monster departs this life.   NJ ‘Torso Killer’ pleads guilty to cold case murders of 2 girls in 1974 | Fox News

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