Author Archives: sherlock

Jennifer Lueth and Diana Shawcroft

Jennifer Lueth left in a blue truck with her best friend and was found dead three months later in an isolated location.

Jennifer Lueth left in a blue truck with her best friend and was found dead three months later in an isolated location.

Diana Shawcroft was found dead, along with her friend, Jennifer Lueth.

Diana Shawcroft was found dead, along with her friend, Jennifer Lueth.

 

We never expect to never see our loved ones again when they to do some simple, routine, thing like going to the store.   Diana Shawcroft and Jennifer Lueth did exactly that on May 24, 1996, telling Diana’s older sister, Kristina Frigoin, that they were going to the store and would be returning in a little while.   They did not take anything with them that suggested they wouldn’t be returning, such as their makeup that Kristina said they never went anywhere without taking.   Diana, age 20, and Jennifer, age 19, were best friends and had moved from Colorado to stay with Diana’s sister. Diana and her sister had had a spat before they left for the mini-mart.

The mini-mart was only a few blocks away but since the girls were adults and known to be adventuresome, Kristina was not immediately alarmed.   The girls were seen at the min-mart around 7 p.m. where they bought cigarettes and soda and sat outside drinking it.   The girls had been there for a couple of hours when a blue truck arrived.   According to witnesses, the girls talked to a man in the truck for quite a while and then got into the truck with him.   That was the last time anyone saw the girls alive.

 

Investigators concentrated on finding the man in the blue truck (see the picture).    It was believed likely that the girls knew the man previously and the girls had been to a number of parties and nightclubs where they met a lot of people in the short time they had been in Glendale.   The girls were known to be naïve and Lueth’s mother believed they would have been easy targets.   Young people that age believe they are bullet-proof and these young ladies were not an exception.

 

Nothing was heard about or from the girls until three months had passed.    Two men hunting in a remote desert area 100 miles north of Phoenix found the girls in an extremely isolated area 16 miles from the nearest highway.   Access was possible only by pickup truck or four-wheel drive.    The girls had been murdered, their cause of death withheld by police, and Diane Lynne Shawcroft lay on top of Jennifer Sue Lueth.

 

The police believe that due to the very isolated and hard to reach area, the killer knew the area well.   Lueth’s father also stated that Jennifer was strong and a scrapper and he did not believe that one assailant would have been able to control and kill both girls.

 

The families erected two wooden crosses with pictures of the girls at the site where the girls were found and only the police and the families knew exactly where this was located.   Police monitored the site occasionally in case the girls’ killer decided to visit their graves.    The police found evidence of that four years later on September 29, 2000.  The girls’ memorial pictures were stolen from their frames.  Nothing else had been disturbed and it would seem like a strange thing for anyone other than the killer to take.

 

The families are looking for justice for their loved ones.

 

Witnesses can be helpful in two ways or rather at two locations.  The girls talked to the man in the blue truck for an extended time and it would be unusual for people not to notice two pretty young women in a public place for an extended time.     Someone may have known the man in the truck or seen him well enough to give the police a description.

 

People familiar with the desert area near Phoenix might know of someone with a blue truck who visits there.    We know it is likely that he has returned there to take the pictures of the girls.

 

These women were seen by many people and likely lots of people saw them talking to the man in question.    Think back to that fateful day and ask yourself if you might have seen the girls and later learned that they had been found dead and maybe your mind wandered to seeing two girls talking to a man in a blue truck.    Any time the police receive information, it provides a vital link that allows them to find the entire picture.

 

There was one final strange twist to this case. The families erected a shrine where the bodies were found. Pictures of both girls were placed at the foot of two wood crosses.  Police decided to occasionally survey the sight, hoping to find evidence of a visit from the killer. Four years later, on September 29, 2000, they found it. Both photos of the girls had been removed from their frames. Only police and the victims’ families knew the exact location where the girl’s bodies had been found. Diane’s father:

“Nothing else seemed to be disturbed and it definitely raised questions as to who would want the pictures, who would go to that much effort to go back in as far as it is, get the pictures, and take them.

killer. Four years later, on September 29, 2000, they found it. Both photos of the girls had been removed from their frames. Only police and the victims’ families knew the exact location where the girl’s bodies had been found. Diane’s father:

“Nothing else seemed to be disturbed and it definitely raised questions as to who would want the pictures, who would go to that much effort to go back in as far as it is, get the pictures, and take them. Hard to even imagine who it would be, or why they would do it, unless it was the perpetrator.”

No evidence that might identify the murderer has ever been found. Authorities would like to question the man in the blue pick up who was the last person seen with the girls.

 

On the day they disappeared Diana and Jennifer were seen at the mini-mart at approximately 7:00 p.m. According to the cashier, the girls bought cigarettes and soda. But instead of going home, they lingered outside the store. The cashier later saw a man pull up in a blue truck. The girls conversed with the driver and then got into the truck. The driver of the truck drove off. That is the last time the girls were seen alive. Family members believe the girls knew the driver or they would not have left with him.

Three months later two men were hunting in a remote desert 100 miles north of Phoenix. Both Diana Shawcroft and Jennifer Lueth had been found murdered. But the location of the girl’s bodies offered several clues as to who the killer or killers might be. The area is extremely isolated some sixteen miles from the nearest highway and accessible only by pick-up truck or four-wheel drive. Authorities believe that the killer has frequented the area or has some personal knowledge of the area. Authorities also believe the killer was either very strong or there was more than one person involved in the killings.

The search for Diana and Jennifer’s killer or killers continues. Authorities would especially like to question the man who was the last person seen with the girls. He may be driving a blue pick-up truck. Please complete the form below to submit a tip online.

 

Drawing of the man seen talking to the girls

This blue Chevrolet truck resembles the truck of the man who drove the girls away.

This blue Chevrolet truck resembles the truck of the man who drove the girls away.

 

Jerry Elrod was stabbed to death in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 1983.

Jerry Elrod was stabbed to death in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 1983.

Kathy Morris, 23, worked at Fairbanks Hospital, when she was killed along with her friend, Jerry Elrod, in October 1983.

Kathy Morris, 23, worked at Fairbanks Hospital, when she was killed along with her friend, Jerry Elrod, in October 1983.

WATCH FOR STATE BY STATE COLD CASE HOMICIDES IN THE FUTURE

ALASKA IS FEATURED CURRENTLY.    PLEASE HELP BY SHARING THIS INFORMATION ON YOUR FB AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES AND SENDING IT BY MESSAGE IF YOU HAVE CONTACTS IN FAIRBANKS.   THANK YOU!   SHERLOCK

DOUBLE HOMICIDE IN FAIRBANKS REMAINS UNSOLVED

The double homicide of Kathy Morris and Jerry Elrod in Fairbanks on October 1, 1983 remains open 32 years later.    Both of them were found stabbed to death in her apartment on Slater Drive.   Newer technology and ways of solving crime have been tried by detectives in later years including Fairbanks Police Detective Peyton Merideth.   Their bodies were found by a maintenance worker and the apartment showed signs of a violent struggle although there were no signs of a forced entry.   That led authorities to believe that they probably knew their killer.

Police are still seeking the assistance of the public to help solve their vicious murders.    They are not saying if any new physical evidence has been uncovered with more modern technology.   As is the normal case with such killings, dozens of interviews were done to try and gain more insight into the crimes.    Police still want to talk to anyone who may have known the victims, Kathy Morris and Jerry Elrod, or their friend, Charles Cosper Jr., who spent time with the couple hours before they were killed.

 

Do you pick up a hitchhiker on the Richardson Highway early on the morning of the homicides, October 1, 1983?   If so, the Fairbanks Police want to talk to you.   Maybe you didn’t think about the significance at the time, but if you saw the news reports and now remember picking someone up that day, it could be very important.   Police would also like to talk to the person who contacted them about the case in the early 1990s and provided a great deal of information, in the hopes that that person can help put some of the puzzle pieces together.

Morris had only lived in Alaska about six months when she was killed and she worked at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.  She was separated from her husband at the time and her son by a previous marriage went to stay with his grandparents in Missouri at that time.

Elrod was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base and belonged to the honor guard, where he also started a drill team.   He was not married and had met Morris a few weeks before their homicides at Rock Island, a now defunct night club.   The couple and Cosper had been at the non-commissioned officers’ club at Eielson Air Force Base the night they lost their lives, leaving there about 10:30am and arriving back at Morris’ apartment around 1:00 a.m.

When the maintenance worker found their bodies the next morning a little before 10:00 a. m., it was initially reported that a domestic had turned into a knife fight.  This was erroneous.

Cold cases can be solved.   Over the period of years, the killer may have talked to someone about what happened that night.    He may have an estranged spouse or girlfriend who knew that he came home bloody that night without an explanation.   He may have had a friend pick him up near the apartments that night.    Technology is great if there is evidence to be found and analyzed but in the absence of that, the police need someone to come forward who has information that can place a killer at the scene.   They need your help.

1989 Tuscaloosa AL Double Homicide Tied to FL Double Homicide

I am planning to hit the 50 states and possibly a little more in the next few weeks and months.    This will begin with Alabama and proceed alphabetically unless there is some reason that another case needs to take center stage or have an update.    I will add photos as they become possible.

 

The double murder of Acie and Carolyn Worthy struck me because it appeared to be two nice people minding their own business, active in their communties and their only appeal to a killer maybe being that Mr. Worthy was known to carry large amounts of case.   Their murder was tied to a double murder in Florida earlier in 1989 and two skis masks were found at that scene.   Remember that there may be TWO killers when you are running this through your head to see if you might remember seeing something or hearing something or being the confidante of someone who told you about these homicides.

 

The Worthy Homicides

 

Everyone knows that criminals target vulnerable people who may carry cash money, not thinking of themselves as potential victims and believing they live in safe neighborhoods.

 

Acie and Carolyn Worthy lived one mile off Interstate  59/20 on Alabama Highway 216.  Their local volunteer fire department responded to a report of a house fire at their home on October 16, 1989, at 12:43 a.m.   Anyone who has been to a fire scene knows the destruction caused by the fire and also by the efforts  of the fire fighters to quelch the fire and save any residents.   The fire damage and then the water damage and efforts to breach the house are likely just what the killers had in mind.   Both Acie and Carolyn Worthy’s bodies were found in the home and initial investigation showed that they died, not from the fire or smoke inhalation, but from gunshot wounds.

Mrs. Worthy was choir director and the couple had  aarriveed home from a Sunday night church service.   The house had been intentionally torched, with the reasonable assumption made that the fire was set to cover up evidence of the homicides.   Mr. Worthy was an officer at the local VFW post Bessemer.  He was known to carry large amounts of cash on his person.

 

The possibility that this was not the first time this killer or killers had been operating was revealed when investigators in Alabama were contacted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about a double homicide in Graceville, Florida in January of the same year.

 

Robert McRae, Sr., and his wife, Katherine, ages 72 and 70, were found murdered in their Graceville, FL, home.   Neighborhood children had gone to their home to visit and found two ski masks lying near the back door.   The frightened children ran to a neighbor who called police and upon entering the McRae home, police found the bodies of the couple.

 

Strangely enough, Mrs. McRae was found thumb-cuffed behind her back.  Both she and her husband had been shot in the head.   When police compared the evidence in both cases, they determined the cases to be linked.

 

The McRae case was nine months prior to the Worthy killings.    Maybe the killer(s) tried to make sure they wouldn’t be leaving any evidence at the Worthy scene.   Remember, there were TWO ski masks found.

 

Anyone with evidence about this case can call the Tuscaloosa Homicide unit at 205-464-8690 or use the Homicide Unit email at Homicide@tuscco.com.

Reward Offered Raleigh County WV Cherice Gwinn Disappearance Homicide

Cherice Gwinn was a beautiful young woman who disappeared under very strange circumstances and is assumed dead.

Cherice Gwinn was a beautiful young woman who disappeared under very strange circumstances and is assumed dead.

Cherice Gwinn's car was probably known by many in the community as she was a student and had a job outside the home.

Cherice Gwinn’s car was probably known by many in the community as she was a student and had a job outside the home.

Did you see Cherice Gwinn's car back in 1993 with someone else driving it?

Did you see Cherice Gwinn’s car back in 1993 with someone else driving it?

 

Sometimes people go missing in such suspicious circumstances that the police treat their disappearance as a homicide and investigate it as such.    That generally means they have a suspect in mind but have not been able to get enough evidence to charge that suspect.    Cherice Gwinn Stephens went missing from Raleigh County (West Virginia) September 29, 1993 in such a situation.

 

For those who don’t know where Raleigh County (WV) is located, you may have heard of Beckley, West Virginia.   It is not far from the New River Gorge Bridge and is near the training facility for federal mine inspectors.

 

Cherice Gwinn (Stephens) disappeared between September 29th and October 1, 1993, although she was not reported missing until September, 1994.   How did that happen, you might ask?   That immediately brings up all kinds of red flags, questions and suspicions.   Read on.

 

At the time of her disappearance, Cherice Gwinn was married to Norman Stephens.    They lived in a small residence on the Harmon property on Brackenridge Road in the Bolt area of Raleigh County.

 

Cherice was a student at The College of WV (Beckley College).   She also enjoyed fitness and joined the L.A. East Gym in Beckley.   Prior to her disappearance she worked at Spartan Sporting Goods in Beckley.

 

Do you have a suspect in mind yet?    There’s more.

 

Cherice drove a 1993 white Dodge Daytona (pictured).   Strangely enough her car disappeared the same time as Cherice but it mysteriously reappeared a month later.   The police are really seeking any additional information relating to the storage or transport of this vehicle during the fall of 1993.    That could help them solve her disappearance and likely murder.

 

Cherice was last seen alive by her husband, Norman Stephens.  Just weeks after her disappearance, Norman Stephens filed for divorce and that divorce was final on Valentine’s Day, 1994.

 

It was not Norman who reported her missing and remember she was not reported missing until September 1994, months after his divorce from her was final.    Norman Stephens never reported Cherice missing and has never fully cooperated with the police.  Norman has never been willing to talk with Cherice’s family about her disappearance despite their many requests for him to do so.

 

At the time of her disappearance, Norman Stephens worked for UPS and not long after her disappearance, he moved to Cherry Hill Apartments in the Beaver area of Raleigh County.   Additionally, in the years immediately following Cherice`s disappearance, Norman Stephens closely associated with Benjamin Williams, who, like Norman, was a graduate of Independence High School   Other associates at the time included Robert Miller (a high school friend who had joined the USAF and was living in Texas and/or North Carolina) and his coworkers from the Beckley UPS.

 

This case is being investigated as a homicide.  If you have ANY information pertaining to the aforementioned facts or circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Cherice Gwinn, even background information that you may not think is important, her family urges you to contact CRIME STOPPERS at 304-255-STOP (7867).    The investigating officers are West Virginia State Police F/Sgt. D. L. Bowles at 304-647-7600 and Sgt. G. D. Williams at 304-256-6700.

 

I don’t necessarily love the idea of people providing information because they want the money but if a reward motivates someone when nothing else does, there is a reward offered for helping bring this case to an end.

 

PLEASE HELP THE GWINN FAMILY HAVE SOME CLOSURE ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THEIR DAUGHTER.     IF YOUR TIP ABOUT CHERICE GWINN LEADS POLICE TO MAKE AN ARREST, you will receive a minimum cash reward of $1,000.00 and up to $5,000.00 cash reward, depending on how helpful your information is to the solving of the case.

 

This information is from the Raleigh County (WV) Crime Stoppers website and you can see this case there, as well as other Raleigh County cold cases at http://raleighcounty.crimestoppersweb.com/misc.aspx?p=1.

 

Verify the reward information if that is what motivates you with the Crime Stoppers at the phone number above.   There is someone out there besides the killer who knows what happened to Cherice.   It is likely that someone stored the car for the killer and then it reappeared.   Someone may have helped the killer by driving the car away or by picking the killer up after they took the car somewhere.

 

It is time to step up to the plate and help this family.

Baby Christian is featured on Project Cold Case This Week

Kathy Marks is featured as a guest blogger at Project Cold Case this week.

Kathy Marks is featured as a guest blogger at Project Cold Case this week.

 

Please check out Project Cold Case this week where I am a guest blogger discussing the Baby Christian unsolved homicide previously featured here.

 

Please visit:

http://www.projectcoldcase.org/blog/guest-blogger-kathy-marks

http://www.projectcoldcase.org/ will be featuring Baby Christian

Next week I will be a guest blogger at http://www.projectcoldcase.org/ and they will be featuring the case of Baby Christian, the infant who was placed into a trash bag alive with weights and left at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Please read the story again of this child who was killed by the fall and still alive when thrown off a bridge. Please check out www.projectcoldcase.org and keep up with their weekly profiles also and please check out my guest blog next week.

Farmington NM Tipster Urgently Needs to Call Police Unsolved Cold Case 1991

 

Patsy Taylor was murdered during her early morning run June 1991.

Patsy Taylor was murdered during her early morning run June 1991.

Patsytaylor

 

Patsy Taylor left her Farmington, New Mexico, home on July 10, 1991 shortly after 5:00 a.m. for her daily morning run.    She was 52 at the time.     Neighbors were awakened by her screaming around 5:30am.    Taylor was found dead and initially police believed it may have been a hit-and-run accident.    When an autopsy was completed, police learned that Taylor had been struck several times in the head and back by a heavy metal object.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the mother of three was murdered, but her family is still looking for answers.

“You try and replace all that pain with the positive things; you basically have to do that to move forward,” Gina Saied, Taylor’s daughter, told KOB.   “It’s very sad and we all feel cheated and robbed of those precious years we would have had with her.”

Saied visited Farmington recently to discuss her mother’s case with a new cold case detective now assigned to it.     Just one week after that visit, Lt. Daryl Noon told the Daily Times that an anonymous tipster phoned in to the county’s crime stopper’s number with a tip that’s been deemed credible.

“This is the best progress we have made on the case in years,” Lt. Noon said.

Police are urging that that tipster come forward to help them solve Patsy Taylor’s murder.      They really need more information to follow up on the lead provided.    Taylor’s family continues to hope justice can be found.

“She has missed out on so much and it grieves us that she missed out; and in turn, we have missed out on so much – just having her presence in our lives,” Saied said.

If you have any information that can help bring justice for Patsy Taylor and her family, please contact the San Juan County Crime Stoppers at (505) 334-8477.

 

Here is the link to the video https://youtu.be/_N37IOSbr-U

 

The case detective has followed up on all tips received. No arrests have been made.    Help make this case be the first laid to rest of Farmington’s twelve unsolved cold cases.

Two Highway Killer Victims Still Unidentified

PLEASE PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THIS POST THAT IS OF INTEREST TO SOUTHERN INDIANA AND ILLINOIS OR EVEN NORTHERN KENTUCKY.

Two victims of the Highway Killer Remain Unidentified, check out Newton County, Indiana, Coroner's Office on Facebook

Two victims of the Highway Killer Remain Unidentified, check out Newton County, Indiana, Coroner’s Office on Facebook

PLEASE HELP IDENTIFY THESE YOUNG PEOPLE.

One of the pics would not load but check out the Coroner’s Office on FB for the other pic.

Newton County, Indiana Coroner’s OfficeOctober 12, 2013 ·
Thirty Years ago on the 18th of this month two mushroom hunters made a very gruesome and sad discovery.
They found the remains of four young men buried in shallow graves in a barn lot just north of Lake Village, IN. They were the unfortunate victims of Larry Eyler, the Highway Killer, a serial killer that worked the Indiana-Illinois area during the late 1970′ and early 1980’s.
Two of these boys were quickly identified and sent home to their families but, two still remain “unidentified” and are now considered “my kids”.
A full Forensic Study has been done and Dental Charts are available along with DNA (Thank You ISP Lowell Post Lab) and attached are the new sketches done by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
I am pretty sure that these boys are from the Southern Indiana-Illinois area (maybe even northern Kentucky), they were picked up by Eyler in the Terra Haute area.
Please take a minute and share these pictures with EVERYONE you know. The more exposure they get the better the chance someone will recognize them.

Thanks Everyone;

Scott

30 Year Old Illinois Homicide Solved Kristina Wesselman

Remember that every small link can help solve cold cases.   Sometimes that one tiny bit of information becomes the link in a chain that joins the handcuffs on a murderer!

Just to show that you really can make a difference:

 

This 30 year old homicide was solved in September 2015.

 

Kristina Wesselman, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, left her home on July 21, 1985, to go to a store for candy.   She did not return home and her mother reported her missing.  Her body was found hours later in a field near the path that she had last been seen walking on.    She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times.

 

 

Michael R. Jones, 62, of Champaign, Illinois, was arrested in September and charged with two counts of murder and one of aggravated criminal sexual assault in Wesselman’s death.   This arrest came about after the Sheriff’s Department received new information on September 10 about the cold case that had gone on for 30 years.   Her mother had always believed that someone do the right thing and would come forth with information about Kristina’s death.

 

LISA DAWN CARNES Brutally Murdered Massac County Illinois March 1984

Lisa Carnes was murdered in Massac County Illinois in March 1984.   Her murder remains unsolved.

Lisa Carnes was murdered in Massac County Illinois in March 1984. Her murder remains unsolved.

Lisa Carnes has been gone since 1984.  Can you help find her killer?

Lisa Carnes has been gone since 1984. Can you help find her killer?

 

Maybe time heals but sometimes there are wounds that can’t be healed, as in the case of Lisa Carnes of Karnak, Illinois.    She was murdered more than 31 years ago and maybe this is the year that someone will come forth and say what happened.

 

What does happen over time is that people get divorced, relatives pass away, domestic violence victims leave relationships that kept them so fearful they were willing to keep quiet even about murder.    Maybe someone knows that their ex-spouse or boyfriend was responsible for Carnes’ death, maybe they were a child in the household and heard things no child should hear but they are now adults and not fearful of talking about what they heard.

 

Police solve these long unsolved cases by putting together pieces of a puzzle and you might have that one missing piece of the puzzle that will help a killer come to justice and a family to finally have peace about what happened to a loved one.

 

Murder does not occur in a vacuum.     Most murders are not the result of a psychopathic, brilliant serial killer.    Most of them occur because someone did something stupid at a time of weakness.    These people are not career criminals, they nearly always leave some kind of trail and someone out there knows about it.    Maybe the killer talked to friends over beers, maybe he came home one night covered in blood and distraught, maybe he even asked someone to come pick him up at the murder scene.    SOMEONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED TO LISA CARNES.

 

Lisa Carnes’ body was found in a field in rural Massac County (Illinois) near Macedonia Church Road and U. S. Highway 45.   She had been brutally murdered and left to die in a rural field.    Carnes’ truck was later located roughly four miles from the site where her body was located.    Her family tends to suspect that she knew her killer and had some connection with that killer.

 

 

DO YOU KNOW WHO KILLED LISA CARNES?

 

 

Anyone who has information that may be helpful in solving this crime is asked to contact Illinois State Police Sergeant Chad Brown at 618-845-3740, extension 282

 

A Facebook page devoted to Carnes is at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/LisaCarnes1984/

Lisa Carnes was murdered in Massac County Illinois in March 1984.   Her murder remains unsolved.

Lisa Carnes was murdered in Massac County Illinois in March 1984. Her murder remains unsolved.

Lisa Carnes has been gone since 1984.  Can you help find her killer?

Lisa Carnes has been gone since 1984. Can you help find her killer?