Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tammy Zywicki left Evanston IL and was found in Lawrence County MO

zywicki Illinois

 

Tammy J. Zywicki, W/F, born 3/13/1971 disappeared on August 23, 1992 and her body was located September 1, 1992.   She left from Evanston, IL, headed for college in Grinnell, Iowa, where she was expected to arrive later the same evening.   She was ready to start her senior year in college at Grinnell.  Her car was found by an Illinois state Trooper and ticketed as being abandoned the day she disappeared.

 

Her body was located along Interstate Highway 44 in rural Lawrence County, Missouri, which is located between Springfield and Joplin, Missouri.  Zywicki was stabbed seven times, with a small knife, such as a pen knife.    Her body was found about 14’ from the pavement, wrapped in a blanket with duct tape on the ends.  She was dressed in different items than the ones she was wearing when she left Evanston and wearing underwear her mother stated were not hers and that she would never have worn.

 

She was last seen with car on Interstate 80 at mile marker 83, which is in LaSalle County, Illinois, between 3:10pm and 4:00pm on August 23, 1992.   A tractor/trailer was reportedly seen near Zywicki’s vehicle during this time period.   The driver of the semi was described as a white male between 35 and 40 years of age, over six feet tall, with dark, bushy hair.

 

Tammy’s personal items were missing when the car was recovered, including a Canon 35mm camera and a musical wrist watch that played “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head,” with an umbrella on its face.

 

Tammy Zywicki is one of the many women who have disappeared while traveling on the interstate.   Nationwide, many many women have gone missing in this manner and truckers are suspected in some of these crimes, being natural suspects due to the nature of their jobs and in some cases, because a trucker was seen near the crime scene.

 

Tammy didn’t have a cell phone, GPS, nor any of the other safety features that young women might have available today.

 

Tammy was well liked, active in sports and popular in her hometown.  Her cat, Bob, thought the world revolved around her.

zywickicatBob

A now deceased trucker, Lonnie Bierbrodt, was identified as the man who was seen talking to Tammy the day she disappeared but he has not been definitively identified as her killer.  A witness reported seeing a green Datsun pickup parked behind her.   The hood of her car was reportedly up and the previous day her car had overheated.  Bierbrodt was not only a trucker, allegedly on vacation at the time Tammy went missing, but he owned a green Datsun pickup that was found after it had been steam cleaned and sold.

 

Tammy’s car was a white four-door 1985 Pontiac T1000 hatchback.

zywickicar Illinois

The Illinois State Police requests that anyone with information about this case contact Special Agent Jorge Fonseca, 815-726-6377, ext. 286.    If that special agent is no longer available, inquire for the new agent assigned to this case.    It is not unusual for people to get promoted, transferred, retired, etc. and case responsibility for cases can change often.    That lack of continuity can also affect case management.

 

Maybe you were traveling somewhere along her route on August 23, 1992.  That was a busy travel time for college students headed back to school.

zywicki and college friends Grinnell

Maybe you know of similar homicides that occurred in that decade, along a lonely stretch of interstate.

 

It only takes one right tip to lay the case to rest, the right tip.   Newly elected Gov. Rauner of Illinois is being requested to release more information about this killing, with the hopes that it will jog someone’s memory about that fateful day in August 1992.

Colorado Cold Cases Bennett and Smith linked by DNA, others possible

Patricia Louise Smith was the victim of a brutal homicide in Lakewood CO in January 1984

Patricia Louise Smith was the victim of a brutal homicide in Lakewood CO in January 1984

Bruce, Debra and Melissa Bennett were viciously murdered in their home in Aurora, CO,   January 1984

Bruce, Debra and Melissa Bennett were viciously murdered in their home in Aurora, CO, January 1984

 

The murders of Bruce, Debra and Melissa Bennett in January 1984 were preceded days earlier by the death of Patricia Louise Smith.  The Bennett family was killed while living in Aurora, Colorado, and Smith lived in nearby Lakewood.    Both homicide scenes were very close to a large construction area where many new homes were being built, the Alameda Avenue corridor, and someone working construction in that area might have information or have noticed something.

Besides the Bennett and Smith murders, police believed there might be links to other random attacks that occurred that same month along the Highline Canal and Alameda Avenue corridor, including a January 4, 1984, hammer attack in an Aurora home.   There were no more hammer attacks after the Bennett killings.   The attacks were all very violent, vicious unprovoked attacks on family homes.   The perpetrator would likely have been bloodied, especially after the Bennett attack, where the father fought valiantly to save his family.

You can make a difference.    In light of the extreme violence and out of control behavior, someone could very well have seen this attacker leaving one of these homes.    What did you see?

Patricia Smith Homicide Lakewood CO linked to Bennett Homicides

 

Patricia Louise Smith was the victim of a brutal homicide in Lakewood CO in January 1984

Patricia Louise Smith was the victim of a brutal homicide in Lakewood CO in January 1984

Patricia Smith of Lakewood, CO, was murdered in January 1984, only six days before the brutal killings of the Bennett family in nearby Aurora, CO.    In both cases, the killings were caused by blunt force trauma.  Additionally, both homicide scenes were very close to a large construction area where many new homes were being built, the Alameda Avenue corridor, and someone working construction in that area might have information or have noticed something.

 

DNA evidence linked the Bennett and Smith murders in September 2010 but a suspect has not been identified in either case.

 

If you were in that area of Colorado in January 1984, maybe you heard a passing comment in a bar or restaurant.

 

Maybe you were working construction in that area, regardless of where you call home.

Maybe you have friends in that area.   If so, please send them the link to this blog and see if this might jog their memories.    Ask them to share the link on their Facebook or other social media page.   The victims of these horrific crimes deserve to have their voices heard.   The killer who so boldly attacked these families shouldn’t get off scot free and it is unlikely that having developed a taste for violence that the killer has reformed.