Archive for ‘The Murdered’

The Murdered Sigrid Stevenson

The Murdered
Sigrid Stevenson
Mercer County

In 1977, Sigrid Stevenson was a reserved and free spirited 25 year old, attending the Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey,) majoring in music performance, in a quiet suburb of Ewing, New Jersey. Sigrid was originally from Livermore, California. Her father was a Professor at Princeton University. 
Sigrid had a love for music and was well-known for her excellence in playing the piano. She had hopes to earn her bachelor’s degree so she could teach music. Unfortunately, her dreams were cut short by tragedy. 
On the night of September 4, 1977, Sigrid had attended a play at the Trenton State College, entitled “J.B.” Afterwards, she stayed behind and snuck into the College’s Kendall Hall theater, hoping to get in a few hours of piano practice, four days before the semester officially started. Sigrid was apparently known to hang around after hours. It is unknown if she was sleeping at the theatre or not. There was speculation that Sigrid did not have a permanent home at the time, and was waiting to dorm at the campus.
At around midnight, a campus Police Officer named Thomas Kokotajlo had been patrolling the building when he noticed Sigrid’s green bicycle still chained to the fence outside, and he decided to go inside to investigate further. The building was locked but it had a faulty door that could be opened if pulled hard enough. Upon entering the Kendall Hall theater, the officer encountered Sigrid, lying face down, naked and bludgeoned to death on the main stage. The perpetrator draped the cover from the piano over Sigrid’s lifeless body. Her blood was splattered on her music sheets and there was blood on the stage trailing from the piano to the body. Her face was so damaged, it was almost unrecognizable. Some articles state that either friends or a professor had to identify her by her hair. An autopsy determined that Sigrid’s cause of death was a fractured skull and severe blood loss from cuts on her face and scalp. Some of her belongings were found, such as her wallet that contained some cash and travelers checks. Some unspecified articles of clothing were found at the scene as well.
Questions arose; was Sigrid murdered by someone she knew, or was it a stranger? If it was someone she knew, this person could have walked into Kendall Hall with her, could have already been inside the theater, or knew she would be there and came in after everyone else had left the building. Was Sigrid being followed? If it was a stranger, was Sigrid well-known to the public? Was the building used by the public? Was there someone who had been obsessed with her? What about a significant other? The way she was beaten in the face suggests a very personal motive.
Sigrid’s parents both passed away without knowing who murdered their daughter.
No one has ever been officially named as a suspect in her case.

If you have any further information, please contact the Ewing Township Police Department at 609-882-1313.

There is also an email address called savesigrid@gmail.com where authorities collect comments from the public about Sigrid. It is strongly encouraged that you come forward if you have any information. 

Sources:

https://www.nj.com/mercer/2014/09/unsolved_mystery_37-year-old_tcnj_cold_case_intrigues_filmmaker_who_wants_answers.html

The Murdered Linda Balabanow

The Murdered
Linda Balabanow
Middlesex County, New Jersey

On March 26, 1969, 17 year old Linda Balabanow, after working her shift at a drug store in Roselle, New Jersey, disappeared leaving her job at 5:00 p.m. Linda did not return to her family home at 1766 Union Avenue, Union, NJ. The next day, March 27, 1969, her mother reported to police that her daughter had not returned home from work the night before. When she was first reported missing, she had been classified as a run-away, despite Linda leaving all of her money and her cosmetics at home. At the time, Linda was attending Union High School, and previously transferred from Mother Seton High School in Clark, NJ. She loved to write poetry and draw.
On April 27, 1969, Linda’s body was found in Woodbridge Township, floating in the Raritan River near the Hess Oil dock. She was nude from the waist down, but with no penetrative rape evident. A truck tire chain was wrapped around her neck, with her dress wrapped around her face and head and tied with an electrical cord around her neck in a “granny knot.” Her hands were bound with rope. Her shoes were missing. She had a fractured skull from blunt force trauma, her jaw was broken and seemed to have been beaten about the face. An autopsy concluded that Linda had been strangled with the electrical cord but she was ultimately killed by a ferocious blow to her head. 

Four months after Linda was found, a 16 year old girl named Rosemary Calandriello was reported missing. Her body was never found. A serial killer named Robert Zarinsky became the prime suspect in Rosemary’s murder,(https://charleyproject.org/case/rosemary-k-calandriello ), Linda’s murder, and was being looked into for the 1965 murder of Mary Ann Klinsky. (https://ashmysteries.com/2021/04/16/solved-mary-ann-klinsky/) Police also suspected Robert had killed Joanne Delardo and Donna Carlucci, two teenage girls from Woodbridge Township, New Jersey who were both also strangled with an electrical cord. (https://www.nytimes.com/1974/12/28/archives/bodies-of-two-girls-apparently-slain-are-found-in-jersey.html ) However, there was not enough evidence to prosecute him in those two cases. 
   In 1975, during their investigation, police executed a search warrant on Robert’s car into the disappearance of Rosemary. Instead, a hammer was found that contained skin and hair that strongly resembled the blonde hair of Linda Balabanow. The FBI analyzed the bloody clump of hair that was found in the car and it was indeed linked to Linda. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that Robert was officially tied to the crime, through a new analysis of the DNA evidence police had gathered.  
   In 1999, Robert was charged with the murder of a 13 year old girl named Jane Durra. (https://ashmysteries.com/2021/05/08/the-murdered-jane-durrua/ ) She had been raped, beaten and strangled. He was awaiting trial for her murder when he died of pulmonary fibrosis in December of 2008.
Robert Zarinsky is a suspect in several murders other than the ones he was charged with, and his own sister attributes as many as 10 homicides to him. 
Although it should be circumstantial like Rosemary’s case, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office maintained it never brought charges against Robert Zarinsky for Linda’s homicide because there was not enough evidence.

Sources:

https://newjerseygirlmurders.org/cases.htm

https://www.nj.com/middlesex/2016/02/suspected_serial_killer_investigated_in_teens_cold.html

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30246709/linda-balabanow/

https://nj1015.com/police-investigate-suspected-serial-killer-in-connection-with-57-year-old-homicide/

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/29961727/1975-93-16-linda-balabanow/

https://www.nytimes.com/1975/02/26/archives/linden-man-held-in-slaying-of-girl-16.html

Information about Robert Zarinsky

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Zarinsky

https://murderpedia.org/male.Z/z/zarinsky-robert-victims.htm

http://www.crimezzz.net/serialkillers/Z/ZARINSKY_robert.php

https://law.justia.com/cases/new-jersey/appellate-division-published/1976/143-n-j-super-35-0.html

The Murdered Carol Hill

The Murdered
Carol Hill
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.

Sources:

https://newjerseygirlmurders.org/cases.htm

http://www.cmcpros.net/unsolved-cases/ 

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/35817810/carol-hill-wildwood-p1/

https://genwhypod.com/blogs/the-generation-why-podcast-blog/new-jersey-torso-killer-confesses-to-three-more-murders-but-is-there-more https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/news/crime/article_86a5f79b-1fd5-5807-a748-b2ebf3670239.html

The Murdered Joyce Coleman

The Murdered 
Joyce Coleman
Morris County, NJ

Joyce Coleman was 28 years old living with her husband and her 14 month old son at 245 Bartley Road, Long Valley, Washington Township, Morris County, New Jersey. They had been residing there for the past two years. Joyce was six months pregnant with the couple’s second child. Her husband, Wayne Coleman worked as a supervisor for the Charter Bulk Service in Newark. On February 28, 1970, (some sources state it was the 27th,) upon returning home from a long day at 1:45 A.M, Wayne found his wife battered and sprawled out on the floor of the basement recreation room in their home. According to police, Wayne stated that his wife failed to answer the phone when he called from work shortly before leaving his job. Mr. Coleman found every room in his house ransacked except for his son’s bedroom, and his son was completely unharmed. He also discovered four of his shotguns, one rifle, a quantity of ammunition and two cameras were missing. Wayne was an avid skeet shooter.
Upon inspection of the home by police, they found no signs of forced entry. The Morris County Medical Examiner ruled Joyce’s cause of death; “multiple blunt injuries to the head, face and neck.” One unusual thing that was found, Joyce had cuts on her neck that were done post-mortem. 
Ultimately, the case was ruled a homicide and Joyce Coleman’s killer remains unknown.

If you have any further information, please contact the Morris County Sheriff’s office at 973-285-6610.

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. 

SUSPECTS:
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 who 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.

Sources:

https://newjerseygirlmurders.org/cases.htm

https://www.phillyvoice.com/ted-bundy-garden-state-parkway-murders-new-jersey-ocean-city-christian-barth/

https://www.christianbarthauthor.com/bl

og-1-1/peter-vronsky-phd-discusses-the-unsolved-1969-garden-state-parkway-murders 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shadow-boxing/202003/serial-killers-and-tragic-cold-case

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:
https://newjerseygirlmurders.org/cases.htm

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: http://www.crimeinfo.net/sitemenu.aspx?P=misc&D=1&ID=924&SID=938

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. 

Sources:
https://www.newjerseyhills.com/official-believes-christopher-thomas-murder-is-still-solvable/article_2a71d751-b6f7-5229-833a-3dc739a44672.html
https://patch.com/new-jersey/morristown/unsolved-mysteries-31-murders-morris-county-under-investigation-0
 https://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/05/nyregion/the-region-thin-bearded-man-sought-in-slaying.html

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.

Sources: 

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/29326154/asbury-park-press/
https://www.the-dispatch.com/story/news/crime/2019/06/30/nj-cold-cases-unsolved-murders-cynthia-leeds-diane-mary-zaleski-raul-suarez-joseph-hoopengardner/1337947001/
https://www.nj.com/galleries/6X5Y3JNMQBEBXM2TKMAEMH4PHA/
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/78418985/joseph-l-hoopengardner http://ochistory.org/Index_Murders.php

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. 

Sources: 

http://newjerseygirlmurders.com/cases.htm 

https://www.nj.com/news/2008/03/robert_zarinsky_to_be_charged.html

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/21146681/jane-katherine-durrua

https://murderpedia.org/male.Z/z/zarinsky-robert-victims.htm

https://www.nj.com/news/2010/03/paul_seitz_nj_investigator_who.html

More info on Robert Zarinsky:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

Sources:

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7657058/joan-freeman-courier-post/

http://newjerseygirlmurders.com/cases.htm 

https://www.nj.com/news/2015/02/from_the_archives_in_hunt_for_killer_police_will_r.html#incart_story_package

https://www.websleuths.com/forums/threads/nj-joan-freeman-22-clifton-31-august-1968.270576/

https://markmuellerjournalism.com/2015/02/08/death-in-the-water-tank/

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