Archive for ‘The Murdered’

The Murdered Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry

The Murdered
Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry
Cape May County NJ

Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry were both 19 years old when they went missing in 1969. The two girls were friends, and had both recently graduated from junior college and wanted some sun and fun, so they traveled together to Ocean City, NJ for the weekend. As their vacation came to an end, they decided to get an early start heading back home to Pennsylvania. They ate breakfast at Somers Point Diner before heading North on the Garden State Parkway. The two girls never made it home. Their parents notified authorities on the night of May 30, 1969.
Three days later, on June 2, 1969, a maintenance worker that went by the name of Elwood Faunce, discovered two bodies in a wooded area alongside the northbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway, between milepost 31.8 and 31.9. The crime scene was located in Egg Harbor Township, which is just outside of Ocean City, and 2 miles from the Somers Point Diner, where the girls were last seen just after sunrise on May 30.
Susan had been driving a light blue Chevrolet Convertible, which was found on the side of the parkway, about 200ft from their bodies.
Both victims were discovered concealed with leaves and twigs, and both had been stabbed with a sharp instrument, thought to be a pen knife or a paring knife, about 4-5 times in the upper chest and neck region. Each victim had been beaten severely. Susan was found completely nude and lying facedown. Her neck was tied to a tree with her bra. A different source states the bra had been tied into her hair. She died of a wound to the neck that severed her larynx, and she was also stabbed on the left side of her abdomen and the right side of her neck. Her clothes, her blue jacket with her initials, a blue print dress and underwear were piled neatly beside her. Elizabeth was found about ten feet away, lying on her back. She was completely clothed, but her underwear was ripped/torn. She died of a chest wound that penetrated her right lung. She had also been stabbed in the abdomen. She had knife scratches on the side of her neck.
There was information about the crime scene that had been withheld from the public. Elizabeth was wearing expensive jewelry, which was found untouched, thus ruling out robbery as the motive. Both women also had cash in their purses, untouched.
The coroner was never able to determine whether a sexual assault had been perpetrated on either Susan or Elizabeth, due to the delay between when the girls were murdered and the discovery of their bodies three days later. They were in an advanced state of decomposition. However, the coroner did conclude that Susan and Elizabeth were murdered within 45 minutes of eating breakfast at the Somers Point Diner, due to the contents of their stomachs. 
On May 30, 1969, the sun rose at 5:29 a.m, and both girls were seen in the diner at daybreak, and they had left the diner at around 6:15 a.m. Witnesses reported seeing a man with an arm sling in a dark colored Mustang parked near where Susan’s blue convertible was found.

  (Sketch of the person witnesses saw) 

 Detectives from the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit later questioned 3 young men from Pennsylvania who had pulled over onto the shoulder to sleep near milepost 31.9 after they ran out of gas, at about 4:30 a.m. They stated that when they woke up 3 hours later, they noticed Susans’ unoccupied Chevrolet convertible parked on the shoulder, approximately 100 yards in front of them. 

On two separate occasions, once in 1986 and in 1989, the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy hinted at his involvement in the murders of Susan and Elizabeth. During the year 1969, Ted had been living with his aunt in Lafayette Hill, outside Philadelphia, PA while attending Temple University in Philadelphia. During the weekends, he would often travel to New York City’s Time Square to watch the women in the area. He mentioned the winter of 1969 specifically in his interview, stating “After being more or less detached from people for a long period… I didn’t have any friends, didn’t go anywhere, just more or less had school and sort of entertained myself with the pornographic hobby, drove to the shore and watched the beach and saw young women lined up along the beach. You know, it’s like an overwhelming kind of vision. Eventually I found myself tearing around that place for a couple of days, and without really planning anything, picked up a couple of young girls. And ended up with the first time I had ever done it… this fear of getting caught. It’s an extraordinary trauma, you know. And then there’s, of course, the fear of detection and apprehension when you kill someone.” He did not mention the women by name.
In 1989, in his second interview before his execution, Ted Bundy returned to 1969 while speaking with a criminologist, Dorothy Lewis. “I went to Ocean City, New Jersey… and just hung on the beach, looking at the young women, trailing them around… I felt compelled to act out his vision.. I was just stalking around the downtown area of this small resort community and I saw a young woman walking along… I didn’t actually kill someone this time, but I really, for the first time, approached a victim, spoke to her, tried to abduct her, and she escaped. But that was frightening in its own way… I know that in Ocean City, I realized just how inept I was, and so that made me more cautious, and I didn’t do that again for a long time. It scared me, it really scared me.”
Obviously, Mr. Bundy traveled to and from Ocean City several times during the summer of 1969, which is where Susan and Elizabeth were spending their weekend. Apparently, however, the day after he spoke to the criminologist, he denied his involvement before dying in the electric chair. Ted’s aunt claimed during an interview that he had an alibi for the weekend of the murders. 
Susan and Elizabeth may have been one of Ted Bundy’s first murders, however, there is no irrefutable proof of that. There are some whole believe he may have actually committed his first murder in 1961, at the age of 14, when an 8 year old girl went missing in Tacoma, Washington. Ted spent much of his childhood there.
Another killer was also in the same vicinity at the time of the murders. His name is Gerald Eugene Stano. He also took credit for the killings, but there was no proof. Stano was convicted of killing at least 22 women in New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania and claimed to have killed 41 women between 1969-1980. In 1982, he signed a confession to the murders, but later implied his confessions were coerced, and the information he gave to police did not add up. He was executed in Florida in 1998. He was known as a “serial confessor.”
There were several other suspects, including a man named Mark Thomas. Mark was a childhood friend of Gerald Stanos. An anonymous tip was received, and he was brought in for questioning. Unfortunately, there was no proof. Mark later became a visible figure in the Pennsylvania Ku Klux Klan and was involved in crimes all around the US.  
A drifter named Ronnie Walden was also a suspect. He was traced to Atlantic City and elsewhere at the Jersey Shore at the time of the murders. A wrist watch found at the murder scene was linked to Walden by a woman who heard about the murders in the press and stated she had recently been on a date with Walden shortly before he drive up to New Jersey from the South and she had seen him wearing the watch. In a bizarre connection to Bundy, Walden was being held at the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs in the same cell that Ted later escaped from in 1977, when he famously exited through the ceiling. Walden had attempted to hang himself at the jail in the hours before NJ State Police arrived to interview him. He passed a lie detector test and authorities stopped pursuing him despite incriminating evidence; The police found half a finger print of Ronnie’s on the girl’s car. He is also a schizophrenic and had spent time in a mental hospital. Walden was in and out of jail for the rest of his life for various crimes, including a shooting in South Carolina that landed him in prison in 1984. In 1989, he took his own life using a smuggled gun, which he used during a hostage situation involving a prison guard. 
Research has pointed to Ronnie Walden as the suspect with the most corroborating evidence in the murders of Susan and Elizabeth. The Ted Bundy theory persists in part because of the lack of closure in the case. Elizabeth Perry’s mother, Margaret started, “We are convinced that when Ted Bundy died, our daughter’s killer got his comeuppance.” 
Over 50 years later and NJ State Police are still hoping to determine who killed Susan and Elizabeth. 



The Murdered Gilda Ryan

The Murdered
Gilda Ryan
Middlesex County
(No Photo Available)

Gilda Ryan was a 34 year old housewife living at 8 Dolan Street, Sayreville County, Middlesex County, NJ with a man named Robert Lewis and her 3 children in 1969. She worked as a practical nurse, employed at the Metuchen Nursing home. 
On Tuesday, April 28th at 1:00 P.M, (another source states it was April 29th and it was at 2:00 P.M.) Gilda’s housemate Robert unfortunately found her dead inside their second floor apartment. She had been stabbed 3 times in the chest and was stabbed and cut around 10 times in the abdomen, scalp and neck. The murder weapon was determined to be a kitchen knife that was found at the scene. Her ultimate cause of death was a punctured lung. 
As of 2016, the FBI is assisting with the case. 

I found my information on:

I will post a link that is not secure, but it has different information than the first website that is linked above. I’m not entirely sure which is accurate. But it is the only other information about her at all. So beware:

The Murdered Christopher Thomas

The Murdered 
Christopher H. Thomas
Morris County

On Friday October 1, 1982, a 16 year old Morris Catholic High School junior from Boonton Township named Christopher Thomas made plans to go to the Rockaway Townsquare Mall with a 14 year old female acquaintance. The two were dropped off at the mall at 9:16 p.m that night. They walked into the mall entrance, with the intention of going to see a movie at the Inner-Six Theatre and afterwards, purchasing an anniversary present for Christopher’s parents. Within seconds, Christopher was approached by a man. This man then pushed the female acquaintance aside, took out a gun and fired a single shot at Thomas point blank range in the chest. The shooter fled the scene on foot as Christopher stumbled a bit further into the mall and collapsed on the floor. 
The Rockaway Township Police Department and other emergency service workers rushed to the scene and transported Christopher to the Dover General Hospital on Rt 46 East, Dover. Unfortunately, Christopher was pronounced dead at 9:26 p.m. The case was then ruled a homicide.
There were at least 20 witnesses to this incident, and each one described the offender as a Caucasian male between 18-23 years old, 5’5 to 5’10” in height, and a thin build of about 135-155 lbs. He had dark medium length hair that was parted in the middle, which police suspect might have been a wig. He had a thin, dark colored mustache and some sources state he also had mirrored sunglasses on. He was dressed in blue jeans, a denim jacket and boots. There is a composite sketch posted above. Christopher’s friend said she did not recognize the gunman. 
According to his family, Christopher was a promising student and a talented athlete at the time of his murder. He was preparing to be inducted into the National Honor Society and was on the high school’s varsity basketball team and the soccer team.
Police would not comment on whether they believe this was random, a case of mistaken identity, or something else entirely. They have been pursuing all angles, and have still not come up with a motive.

If you have any additional information, please contact the Morris County Cold Case Unit at 973-285-6200. All calls will be kept confidential. 


The Murdered Joseph Hoopengardner

The Murdered
Joseph L. Hoopengardner
NJ Cold Case
Ocean County

   Joseph Hoopengarder was a 44 year old plumbing business owner from Dover township New Jersey in 1981. On Saturday, January 26, he was found dead in the woods of the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area. Joseph was found with blows to the head and 3 gunshot wounds. His truck was found the next day, January 27, parked in the Playdrome bowling lanes parking lot at Route 37 and Conifer Street, Toms River. The truck appeared to be wiped clean, no fingerprints were found.
The Ocean County medical examiner’s office states that Joseph had been dead only a few hours before the body was found at 2:30pm by a hunter near the intersection of Route 539 and Mule Road. His cause of death was a laceration and hemorrhage of the brain. He was shot three times in the head and body but the police have not determined the type of weapon used.
His wife’s name is Helen Hoopengardner, however I have been having trouble finding anything online about her. I was also unable to find a picture of Joseph, other than the one I posted above. 
No motive has ever been suggested. Unfortunately, this is all the information that was available.


The Murdered Jane Durrua

The Murdered
Jane Durrua
Monmouth County NJ
Suspected Killer: Robert Zarinsky

(sister Joan left, Jane right)

(Joan Conway left Jane Durrua right)

Jane’s sisters, Delores(left) and Joan.

   Jane Katherine Durrua was just 13 years old when she disappeared on her way home from visiting her older sister Joan’s house at 26 Dakota Avenue, East Keansburg, Middletown, New Jersey. On the evening of Monday, November 4, 1968, she was last seen taking a shortcut through a grassy field by a railroad track on her way back to her home at 51 Frazee place.
 The next morning, Jane’s brother in law, Ronald Connors, was the one to find her body in a ditch with waist-high grass, a few feet south of the railroad tracks she was last seen by. Her clothes were disheveled, she had a severe head injury above one eye. Jane was sexually assaulted and beaten to death. Her purse and shoes were found at the scene of the murder. Her shoes were actually found underneath Jane’s body. 
At first, it was determined that a man named Jerry Bellamy was the perpetrator, however, an examination was performed on the slip that Jane had been wearing under her outfit, and it cleared Jerry of the murder. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office presented evidence that showed a serial killer named Robert Zarinsky’s DNA was a match with semen found on Jane’s slip. See below.

Zarinsky was eventually charged in November of 2008 with the murder of Jane, but he died the night before facing trial. Robert Zarinsky is a suspect in four other killings. 
13 million dollars was awarded to Jane’s family in a wrongful death suit.
This case is still technically classified as unsolved due to Robert’s death before he was charged. 


More info on Robert Zarinsky:

The Murdered Joan Carole Freeman

The Murdered
NJ Cold Case
Joan Carole Freeman
Passaic County

Joan Freeman was a hard working 22 year old woman working overtime on Saturday, August 31st, 1968 at her secretary job for the internationally known pharmaceutical firm “Hoffmann-LaRoche,” a huge campus located on the Nutley/Clifton New Jersey border. Joan was recording employees’ hours from time cards in a second-floor medical library in building 34, which is security-gated. At about 5:30pm, Joan was struck on her head from behind with a wooden mallet, which was found at the scene. She was also struck repeatedly in the face, and her throat was slashed, cut to the depth of the spine. Several hours after she was killed, a guard making a routine sweep of the building was the one to find her. Strangely, according to Clifton Police Chief Joseph Nee, Miss Freeman did not work in building 34 where the body was found. 
Joan’s ultimate cause of death was a skull fracture from being hit with the wooden mallet. There are conflicting reports as to whether or not she was sexually assaulted, however, some sources have stated that she was found clothed, and that there was no evidence pointing to penetrative rape. 
During the next few weeks afterward, detectives interviewed and performed background checks on more than 300 people, including all of the guards who were on duty that day. Dozens of people took polygraph tests but police declined to say if they had a suspect. Because of the restricted access to the campus, detectives were certain it was a co-worker who committed the crime. The wooden mallet yielded no fingerprints and the weapon used to slash her throat was never found.
Joan was a former Passaic Valley High School cheerleader who graduated in 1964, and had no known enemies, no habits or relationships that might have motivated her brutal demise. She was a B average student and, after graduating, she attended a New York secretarial school before joining the Hoffmann-LaRoche firm. Her older brother Raymond described his sister as “a very attractive, well-liked, friendly and outgoing girl.” He also added that he thinks Joan made friends easily and was too trusting. Joan’s mother, Mrs. Bertram Freeman, said her daughter did have a boyfriend but was not engaged. 
Joan’s murder remains unsolved.

If you have any information about this crime, please call the Clifton Police Department at 973-470-5900.


The Murdered Mary Ann Della Salla

The Murdered
NJ Cold Case
Mary Ann Della Salla
Bergen County

Mary Ann Della Sala

Mary Ann Della Salla was 17 years old when she disappeared in 1967. She was living at 150 Hobart Street in Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey. She was a senior at Hackensack High school that worked part time after school at a grocery store to help with family finances. The ShopRite at 330 Essex Street in Hackensack to be exact. At the end of her shift, 9pm on January 24, 1967, she was reportedly offered a ride by a female co worker, but Mary Ann declined, because it was a nice night and she chose to walk home instead. Mary Ann left the store and headed home. She never got there.
The employee ended up taking another co worker to Woodridge, and on her way back, she said she did not see Mary Ann along her normal walking route, and assumed Mary had already arrived home. Mary Ann went missing wearing a heavy light blue sweater and a suede jacket with tight fitting tan slacks, blue shoes and a blue headband. She was wearing a shoulder strap handbag and was also wearing her boyfriend’s high school class ring.  
Mary Ann’s parents reported her missing when she didn’t arrive home. They were worried because she was a good student and not the kind to stay out. She was missing for 80 days.
Monday, April 10, a factory worker was taking a lunchtime stroll along the banks of the Passaic River in Hawthorne, NJ behind a municipal sewage treatment plant. He spotted something floating in the river. It was the body of Mary Ann. She had been strangled. Police have concluded that she was killed elsewhere and then thrown into the river. The exact cause of death was not determined.
Mary Ann still had her pocketbook with her when she was found, it was somehow attached to her sweater. She had not been robbed.
There was apparently something “ritualistically sexual” about the appearance of the body, according to witnesses. However, there was no other sign of sexual activity. 
Since Mary Ann was a ways away from her home, It is theorized Mary Ann came to the Paterson/Hawthorne area by bus. The last reported place she was seen alive was at the Hackensack bus terminal. Passaic County detectives questioned several bus drivers trying to find out if she had taken a bus to Paterson, but nothing was put out to the public stating whether or not any leads were found. 
This is all the information I was able to find about this case, and her murder remains unsolved.

(The second source I have posted below is a long page trying to piece together the similarities between other murders in the area, but I posted it since it still mentions Mary Ann’s death and has a newspaper article about her.) 

If you have any information about this crime, please contact the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office at 973-389-5900.


The Murdered Carol Ann Farino

The Murdered
NJ Cold Case
Carol Ann Farino
Maplewood, Essex County, NJ

Carol Farino was a 17 or 18 year old Columbia High School senior living at 5 Jefferson Ave, Maplewood, NJ. She had just left work as a part time waitress on Thursday, November 3, 1966 from Milt’s Cup and Saucer at 174 Maplewood at 7:30 PM. She stopped at George’s Luncheonette at 153 Maplewood for a soda and she spoke with the owner from about 7:35-7:50 PM, she had once worked at this place and knew the owner and his wife well. Carol was last seen by one of her friends at Maplewood Center at 193 Maplewood at 8:00 PM. 
By 8:30 PM, Carol had been strangled with a stocking and dumped in the driveway of Vincent J. Vaccarella at 22 Sommer Ave. She was found five minutes later when Vincent and his wife were heading out in their car. The girl’s body had been brought to the driveway in a car and carried to a point about 20 feet from the curb. She was lying on her back, wearing a white waitress uniform. The buttons on the front of her uniform were open and her undergarments were in disarray. Her legs were exposed to the waist. Her shoes were missing and the only nylon stocking found at the scene was the one knotted tightly around her neck, so it is unclear whether the stocking was her own. The body was still warm when police arrived and it was estimated she was dead for about 25 minutes at that point. The only wound she seemed to have was the deep strangulation mark on her neck. The police theorized that this was a rape attempt gone wrong. They seem to think Carol was forced into a car by more than one individual and in attempting to rape Carol, the perpetrator(s) panicked upon realization that the stocking strangled and killed her.
A girl named Gail Gawlick was 16 at the time and worked with Carol Ann. She said that Carol had been followed by a man in a car that Monday as she walked to work from school. 
Gail said that the man was tall, thin, and in his 20’s with light hair and a mustache. He had tried to persuade Carol Ann into getting into his late model blue Chevrolet. Once Carol reached her job, she told this man to “get lost” and the man replied “Okay, I’ll catch up to you some other time.”
The place Carol’s body was found is near to the Maplewood Country Club and about 8 blocks south of the girls home at 5 Jefferson Ave, which is only 3 blocks Northwest from where she worked. (Milts Cup and Saucer) which is in the center of town at 174 Maplewood Ave. 
Carol Ann’s father, Frank, was a news delivery driver in Newark at the time. She also has a younger sister named Cynthia, who was 10 years old when her sister was killed.
Milton Miles, Carol’s employer said she had been working for him for two years and she was “very efficient, and very quiet.” That sentiment was echoed by her friends who said she was a good student and intended to go to college next year. 
Her father says Carol would never have gotten into a car with someone she did not know unless she was forced. 
Her case remains unsolved.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Essex County Sheriff’s office at 973 621 4111.


The Murdered Janet Ipsaro Adams

The Murdered 
NJ Cold Case
Janet Ipsaro Adams
Paramus, Bergen County, NJ

Janet Ipsaro Adams was a quiet and introverted 18 year old woman living in Paramus with her new husband of just 2 days, Brian Adams, in a second story garage apartment at 329 E. Midland Avenue in 1966. The couple had only been together for about 5 weeks in total before they had a simple wedding ceremony on Saturday, April 12th in their attorney’s home. After the wedding they had a reception in their newly rented 3-room apartment that lasted all night and into Sunday morning. There was some indication of LSD being used at this after-party, but there was not enough information on whether or not Janet and Brian were the narcotics users, or it was guests at the party.
On Monday at about 8:00AM, Brian went to work. At around 1:15PM, Janet walked 2 blocks from her home to a shopping center and bought some household items. That was the last time she was seen alive.
Janet’s nude and beaten body was found on the bathroom floor of her new home 3 hours later with her husband’s red and green necktie around her throat and a pair of 4 inch scissors plunged into her heart.
It was about 4PM when Arnold Goldberg, the landlord, discovered Janet. He said he had entered the apartment after knocking and getting no answer, to make repairs on a door. Once he saw the body he called the police. A new yellow plastic pail and two new mops were neatly placed next to a dresser nearby to the bathroom.
Janet’s death was caused by strangulation and not the scissors in her chest. 
Officials said they could not rule out the possibility of a sexual motive, but there were no indications of rape in the autopsy. It also seems she attempted to fight off her attacker. 
Looking into Janet’s past, she never really had a home, and was a high school drop out who had trouble fitting in with society. She had foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.E Thibault of 27 Broad street, Emerson NJ, who took her in 3 years ago.
Police said Brian Adams was working as a mason/construction worker at the Marriott Motor Hotel in Saddle Brook. On the day of the murder, Brian came home to find the police investigating his wife’s death. Brian was questioned for more than 4 hours when it was announced that he is not a suspect in the murder, however Brian Adams does have a record.  He had been arrested several times, twice on charges of hitting police chiefs. One resulted in a conviction, the other, acquittal. 
Police believe the murderer is someone Janet knew. About 30 people that attended the after party were questioned and released. 
Janets murder remains unsolved.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Paramus Police Department at 201-262-3400 x1369.


The Murdered Catherine Baker

The Murdered
NJ Cold Case
Catherine Baker
Edison Township, Middlesex County/Jackson Township, Ocean County, NJ.

Catherine Baker was a 16 year old girl living at 48 Gurley Road in Nixon, Edison Township New Jersey. On Thursday, March 17 1966 at 7:00PM, Catherine left her home to go to the Edison Shopping Center on Woodbridge Avenue where she wanted to go into the local bakery to buy cupcakes for her mother. This was only located one block from her house. Witnesses place her in the area at about 8:50PM. This is the last time Catherine was seen alive. She was wearing a pink sweater with brown pants and a three-quarter length green suede jacket and glasses.  
About two months later on May 14, 1966, Catherine’s body was found in Metedeconk River near Cook’s Bridge, Jackson Township by three boys on a fishing trip. She was nude from the waist down, but sexual assault was undetermined due to decomposition. It was also determined she was beaten on the head. It was estimated that Catherine was in that spot for about eight weeks.
August 13 1966, a man named Ivan Joseph Rule, age 18, residing at 102 Mill Road, committed suicide in his jail cell when he was detained for questioning. Ivan Rule had briefly dated Catherine Baker. Police found a letter written by Catherine to one of her friends in which she stated that Joe Rule threatened to kill her if she dated anyone else. It is theorized that Joseph Rule was not yet aware that he was being detained as a suspect in the Baker murder, and upon realization, he became distraught at the possibility of going back to jail. He then hung himself with his own belt which police failed to confiscate prior to locking him up in a holding cell.

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