Cape May County, New Jersey
Carol Hill was 20 years old living at 2013 East Sergeant Street, Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when she decided to take a trip to the New Jersey Shore in June of 1970. On June 7, she was found raped and murdered under the roller coaster on Hunt’s Pier at the Wildwood Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey. She was found face up, strangled to death. The time of her discovery was 12:20 A.M. by the Wildwood Police Department while on routine patrol. They were scanning the area under the pier, known as “Lovers Lane” with a spotlight when Carol was discovered. Authorities said Carol had been struck by a heavy object on the left eye, with sand all over her face and in her mouth. Her head was pushed into the moist sand beneath her, and her arms, legs and neck were badly bruised. She also had bite marks on her neck. Carol was wearing a white short sleeved shirt and a skirt that had been pulled up around her waist, and her underpants were partially torn off. Investigators stated the motive was not robbery because she was found with a diamond ring on her right hand. Carol’s ultimate cause of death was “ligature strangulation and asphyxiation by sand stuffed into her mouth.”
About 90 feet from the body, a woman’s handbag was found filled with sand. It was carefully emptied and there were also two small pills of unknown origin inside. Working under a spotlight, the police screened scoop after scoop of sand from all around Carol’s body, and came across two more pills of the same size and type as the ones found in her handbag. They also came across a Public Service Stub and a baggage claims check in the area. The check led to a locker in the Public Service terminal and inside it they found a suitcase containing clothing and more of those same pills in a bottle containing a physician’s name. The physician was contacted about the pills and given a description of the murdered woman. Which is when he provided the name of Carol Hill, one of his patients. Police contacted Carol’s home and learned that she had yet to return from her Wildwood trip. Her father Carl was then notified and taken to the hospital where he positively identified her body.
The Last contact Carol had with anyone was at the Bolero Bar at 3320 Atlantic Avenue, where she was seen speaking to an unknown male at approximately 9:00 P.M. This male was said to be slender looking, about 22-24 years old, 5’7” in height, with light brown hair, 150-160 pounds.
There have been few suspects in Carol’s case, including the infamous Richard Cottingham, a serial killer that targeted young women in New York and New Jersey in the 1970’s -1980’s. Unfortunately, there have not been any solid leads to link him to Carol’s murder.
At the time, 2 men were taken into custody and admitted to driving Carol Hill to Wildwood, but they were cleared of any connection with her slaying. Their names are Wilburt Lauer and Robert Goodwin, and both men stated in separate interviews that they drove Carol Hill to the boardwalk, and dropped her off. Then they returned to Philadelphia where they remained until they were brought in for questioning. Both men have denied and involvement in the murder and no charges were filed against them.
There was a news article written around the time, stating police would like to speak to 2 other men who lived and worked in the Wildwood area who were heard saying that they knew the victim after she was found. Whether or not these men were ever located is unknown.
There was also interest in a 3rd male who was brought to attention by 2 Coast Guardsmen. They told police they had talked to a man in a local bar about a month prior and that he had told them he liked to “beat up girls and rip their underclothes.” The coast guardsmen thought little of his story until they read the details of Carol’s murder. Unfortunately, that man has not been identified either.
Carol Hill’s brutal rape and murder remains unsolved.
If you have any further information, please contact the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 609-465-1135 or you can contact the tip line at 609-463-5323.