The Murdered Joanne Fantazier

The Murdered
NJ Cold Case
Joanne Fantazier
Colts Neck Township, Monmouth County, NJ




On Thursday, February 10, 1966, 17 year old Joanne Fantazier left her home at 612 Florida Grove Road in Perth Amboy at 6:30PM to visit a friend. She was last seen walking past the Delaney-Dunlap housing projects near her home. One article did say she made it to her friends’ house, but I can’t confirm. The next day, February 11, her body was discovered on the frozen Yellow Brook in Colts Neck Township. It seemed that Joanne had been hit over the head from behind and thrown from the nearby Muhlenbrink Road bridge, (a 12 foot drop) still alive and unconscious before she died on the ice about two hours later. Her cause of death was a brain hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma to the back of the head and hypothermia, along with the trauma she endured when her body hit the ice.
Joanne was fully clothed, but her high heel leather shoes were missing. She was wearing a red dress with a raccoon fur coat. There was no evidence of sexual assault. Joanne’s purse with personal items and papers were found by the side of the road. There were no other clues found.
Two months after her death, a man by the name of James E. Hartnett was briefly held as a material witness. No details were released. Joanne’s murder had previously been attributed to a serial killer in NJ but it doesn’t seem that this serial killer ever existed. (see below, source #2 and #3) No further information has been released, and Joanne’s murder is still unsolved.

If you have any information, please contact the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office at 732-431-6400.

Sources: (1)
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/13069848/asbury-park-press/
(2) https://ohhowpeculiar.tumblr.com/post/165204903157/who-killed-joanne-fantazier-there-is-precious
(3) https://ohhowpeculiar.tumblr.com/post/164912520561/the-1965-66-new-jersey-shore-murders-the-serial
(4) http://newjerseygirlmurders.com/cases.htm

The Missing Betty Smith

The Missing
Betty Fran Smith
Case #: 91-013139
County: Mercer


Betty Fran Smith was last seen on October 1, 1991 in West Windsor, New Jersey. People usually called her by her middle name, Fran. She was married to a man named John David Smith III at the time of her disappearance. Her maiden name was Gladdon. They met in Niceville, Florida in 1990 and got married later the same year. In January of 1991, John filed for divorce from Betty, however, the couple reconciled and then decided to move to New Jersey in May. According to Betty’s family, John seemed mild-mannered prior to her disappearance, but they later learned he was abusing Betty. (Picture of John down below)
Betty called her daughter at 8:30am, on October 4, 1991 from their residence in West Windsor Township. Betty gave no indication that anything was amiss and did not mention any travel plans. She recently had surgery to fix a broken hip, which would make traveling difficult. Betty has never been heard from again. John told Betty’s family he believed she went on some sort of impromptu trip. Her relatives did not believe him and began to investigate her disappearance themselves. They learned that John had previously been married to a woman named Janice Hartman Smith from 1970 to 1974, while he told Betty’s family that their marriage was his first. As it turns out, the first wife, Janice, vanished from Ohio in 1974, which was just a few days after the finalization of her and John’s divorce. John reported Janice missing two days later, Janice’s case remained unsolved until 2000. (Picture of Janice below)
John had not been charged in connection with either of his wives’ disappearances in the 1990’s and he moved to California after Betty vanished. In 1998, he married for a third time.
Janice’s remains were located in an Indiana roadside ditch in 1980, 6 years after she was last seen, but she remained unidentified until 2000. John, who by then had already moved to California, was charged with aggravated murder in Janice’s case in the fall of 2000. His new wife supported him at first, but eventually filed for divorce and got a restraining order shortly before his arrest. She learned about John’s abusive background and the disappearances of his first two wives. John was finally found guilty of Janice’s murder in 2001, sentenced to 15 years to life and is currently incarcerated in Ohio.
Foul play is suspected in Betty’s disappearance due to who is involved. John isn’t charged with anything in her case, but he was found liable for her wrongful death in a civil suit in 2002 and was ordered to pay $1 million to her family. Betty has never been located. It is unlikely that her family will be able to collect it.
The FBI is attempting to identify two women pictured in photos found in John’s collection at the time of his 2000 arrest. Investigators would like to figure out the women’s whereabouts, given John’s history. (Pictures below)
If you have any information about any of the people in this case, please contact the West Windsor Township Police Department at 609-799-1212.


Picture of John:
Photo of John’s first wife Janice:
Pictures of two unidentified women found in John’s photo collection:

Sources:
https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/1241?nav
https://www-lps.state.nj.us/NJSP_Amber/MissingPersonDetail.jsp?mp_id=1347&type=mp
https://www.cleveland19.com/story/608803/judge-holds-man-responsible-for-second-wifes-death/
https://charleyproject.org/case/betty-fran-smith
https://www.nj.com/mercer/2019/11/imprisoned-killer-charged-with-murdering-wife-28-years-after-she-vanished-in-nj.html
https://www.trentonian.com/news/convicted-wife-killer-john-david-smith-indicted-for-1991-murder-of-his-second-spouse-in/article_116f6bc2-0be6-11ea-b69c-7b72809f9b0a.html


Information about husband John David Smith:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smith_(murderer)
https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/smith-john-david.htm

The Missing Bonita Krummel

The Missing
Bonita Krummel
Case #:2866DFNJ
County: Burlington




Bonita “Bonnie” Louise Krummel was 44 years old, living in Medford, Burlington County, New Jersey when she went missing on January 23, 1991. She is Caucasian, brown hair and blue eyes, her height and weight are 5’1, and 103 pounds, last seen wearing a dark gray and white tweed jacket, an off-white or cream colored sweatshirt, maroon corduroy pants, L.A Gear sneakers and a gold heart necklace. Her ears are pierced and she has a scar on her abdomen from an appendix removal, and she also had a healed fractured right forearm. Bonnie suffers from Huntington’s Disease, a degenerative genetic condition that causes uncontrollable random movements, loss of muscle control, impaired cognitive abilities, mental illness and eventual death. She had this disease for seven years by the time she disappeared, and was also suffering from insomnia and difficulty swallowing in 1991. She was taking medications to slow the progress of the illness, since Huntington’s is incurable.
Bonita was last seen leaving her home on Hadley Drive in Medford on January 23, 1991. She told her family that she would be back in time for dinner, but she never returned and hasn’t been heard from since. Her husband reported her missing at 9:30 p.m. The very next day, her vehicle was parked at the Pinelands Library on South Main Street, which is approx. 5 miles from where she resided. Bonita’s keys, I.D, purse, credit cards, money, watch and wedding ring were left inside the car, along with a note that stated “I am sorry that it had to come to this but I can’t go on another minute. Love you all. Bonnie.”
Search dogs tracked her scent to a nearby lake, however her sister did not believe she would have drowned herself because Bonnie knew how to swim and she didn’t like to get dirty. (I am not sure whether or not the lake was ever searched by a dive team.) Bonita’s family does believe however, that she left on her own to spare them from having to watch her die slowly from her Huntington’s Disease, and it is also of note that several of Bonnie’s family members including her mother had passed away from the same illness.
Authorities are unsure what happened to her, but they don’t believe foul play was involved.
Her case remains unsolved.

If you have any information about Bonita, please contact the Medford Township Police
Department at 609-654-7511


Sources:
http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2866dfnj.html
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/threads/nj-bonita-bonnie-krummel-44-medford-23-january-1991.543333/
https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/3914
https://www-lps.state.nj.us/NJSP_Amber/MissingPersonDetail.jsp?mp_id=787&type=mp
https://charleyproject.org/case/bonita-louise-krummel

The Nameless Essex County Pt4

Unidentified in NJ

(PART 4)
I will be posting my lists of unidentified persons in my own order of choice, continuing with an area of New Jersey called Essex County. (pt 4)
I am doing this to promote awareness of small town Doe’s that do not receive nearly enough media attention.

All of my information came from:
https://www.njsp.org/unidentified/essex/index.shtml

Unidentified Deceased Male
Case #: 07862292
NIC #: U217380733
Body found on September 21, 1986
Estimated date of death: January 01, 1986
Estimated year of birth: 1947-1956
Sex: Male
Race: Unknown
Height: 5’6-5’8
Weight: 140-160 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eye color: Unknown
Scars, marks, tattoos: None
Clothing: Unknown
Other: The victim’s lower back shows evidence of arthritis.
Circumstances: On September 21, 1986, the victim’s body was found in Newark, Essex County,
New Jersey.
Full X-rays and dental records available for comparison.
No photos are available.


Unidentified Deceased White Male
Case #: 150-86
NIC #: U467742080
Body found on November 28, 1986
Estimated date of death: November 27, 1986
Estimated year of birth: 1986
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 1’6-1’7
Weight: 5 lbs.
Hair: Blonde
Eye color: Blue
Scars,marks, tattoos: Unknown
Clothing: Unknown
Circumstances: The infant was found in South Orange, Essex County, NJ.
X-rays are available for comparison.
No photos are available.


Unidentified Deceased Black Female
Case #: 8719112
NIC #: U237614950
Body found on March 10, 1987
Estimated date of death: March 10, 1987
Estimated year of birth: 1927-1937
Sex: Female
Race: Black
Height: 5’3
Weight: 142 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Brown
Scars,marks, tattoos: Discoloration on abdomen.
Clothing: Unknown
Circumstances: The victim was found on March 10, 1987 in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey.
Fingerprints, X-rays, and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos are available.


Unidentified Deceased White Male
Case #: 8809886
NIC #: U289174996
Body found on February 03, 1988
Estimated date of death: January 01, 1988
Estimated year of birth: 1949-1958
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 5’7-5’9
Weight: 180-210 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eye color: Unknown
Scars,marks, tattoos: None
Clothing: None
Circumstances: On February 3, 1988, a lower torso was found in Newark, New Jersey.
X-rays are available for comparison.
No photos are available.


Unidentified Deceased Black Male
Case #: 88-5563
NIC #: U290295149
Body found on February 12, 1988
Estimated date of death: February 12, 1988
Estimated year of birth: 1948-1956
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Height: 5’7
Weight: 125-135 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Unknown
Scars,marks, tattoos: None
Clothing: None
Circumstances: On February 12, 1988, the victim’s body was found in Irvington, Essex County New Jersey.
X-rays and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos are available.


If you have any information about these cases or the identification of these
individuals, please contact:
The New Jersey State Police at 1-800-709-7090.

The Nameless Essex County Pt3


Unidentified in NJ
(PART 3)
I will be posting my lists of unidentified persons in my own order of choice, continuing with an area of New Jersey called Essex County.
I am doing this to promote awareness of small town Doe’s that do not receive nearly enough media attention.

All of my information came from:
https://www.njsp.org/unidentified/essex/index.shtml

Unidentified Deceased Black Male
Case #: 07852154
NIC #: U184100714
Body found on August 20, 1985
Estimated date of death: Unknown
Estimated year of birth: 1940-1955
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Height: 5’7-5’9
Weight: 150-175 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Unknown
Scars, marks, tattoos: The victim had a scar on his abdomen.
Clothing: The victim was not wearing any clothing when he was found.
Other: The fingernails on the right hand were cut close to his fingers. He had kinky hair.
Circumstances: The victim was found dead in his apartment on August 20, 1985 in Newark,
Essex County, NJ.
Partial X-rays and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos are available.
Notes: I’m curious as to how it’s possible that this man was found dead in his apartment, but no one, not even the landlord has any inkling of what his name was? Isn’t there paperwork you have to fill out when you want to rent an apartment? Unless they left out the part where he may
have used a fake name.


Unidentified Deceased Black Male
Case #: 07852728
NIC #: U186787811
Body found on October 21, 1985
Estimated date of death: October 22, 1985
Estimated year of birth: 1935-1950
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Height: 5’7-5’9
Weight: 160-170 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Unknown
Scars,marks, tattoos: Unknown
Clothing: The victim was found wearing a black windbreaker, a brown shirt, blue jeans, and blue sneakers.
Circumstances: The victim was found on October 24, 1985 in Newark, Essex County, NJ.
Partial X-rays and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos available.


Unidentified Deceased Male
Case #: 07853216
NIC #: U184091136
Body found on December 15, 1985
Estimated date of death: December 15, 1985
Estimated year of birth: 1955-1967
Sex: Male
Race: White or Asian
Height: 5’4-5’6
Weight: 120-140 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Brown
Scars, marks, tattoos: Unknown
Clothing: The victim was found wearing a black vest jacket, a black and white jacket, “Rigoletto” brand blue jeans, a brown belt with a “Michelob” buckle, a red fishnet shirt, and white sneakers.
Circumstances: The victim was found on December 15, 1985 next to the wall of the old Essex High School in Newark, Essex County, NJ.
Partial X-rays, fingerprints, and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos are available.


Unidentified Deceased Black Male
Case #: 8632125
NIC #: U201237378
Body found on April 25, 1986
Estimated date of death: Unknown
Estimated year of birth: 1931-1951
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Height: 5’8-5’9
Weight: 140-170 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Unknown
Scars, marks, tattoos: Unknown
Clothing: The victim was found wearing a black zip jacket, pants and black boots (size approx.12)
Circumstances: The victim’s body was found on April 25, 1986.
X-rays and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos are available.


Unidentified Deceased White Male
Case #: 8633917
NIC #: U204888247
Body found on May 01, 1986
Estimated date of death: Unknown
Estimated year of birth: 1947-1956
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 5’6
Weight: 160-170 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eye color: Unknown
Scars, marks, tattoos: None
Clothing: None
Circumstances: On May 1, 1986, the victim was found in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey with a bullet between his 4th and 5th ribs. He is believed to be a victim of homicide.
X-rays are available for comparison.
No photos are available.


If you have any information about these cases or the identification of these
individuals, please contact:
The New Jersey State Police at 1-800-709-7090.

The Missing Patricia Depunte

Patricia Depunte
Case #: 09-043045
County: Atlantic

  Patricia Depunte or Patty as friends often called her, a 32 year old beautician from Pleasantville, New Jersey was last seen on March 18, 1990. She was reported missing to the Atlantic City Police Department. She is between 4’8 – 4’11, 95 lbs, blonde hair and blue eyes. Last seen wearing a white shirt with blue jeans and high heels. One source I found stated she may have also been wearing a jade ring. 

On March 17th, 1990, Patricia went to a place called the Irish Pub on St. James Place in Atlantic City, near the boardwalk. While inside, she was seen arguing with two females as she was sitting next to a Caucasain man in his early 30’s. She then asked this man for a ride home and was seen leaving the pub with him sometime between 2:00 and 3:00AM. The man was identified (and it turned out he was married) and his car was impounded for a forensic inspection. This man stated that he dropped Patty off a few blocks away from the pub at 3AM in the pouring rain. (sources vary on the exact time and location Patty was supposedly dropped off at, one article reads that she was dropped off 3 blocks south of the pub, while another source states she was dropped off half a block from her apartment. I have linked both articles below.)

Patricia was born on April 14, 1957, she grew up in Pleasantville, and graduated from Pleasantville Highschool. She was single but an outgoing person, and she occasionally drank heavily. However, she was responsible at her job and kept in regular contact with family. 

Her case is still unsolved. 
Dental records are available.

If you have any further information on Patricia, please contact:
Sergeant Angelo Maimone with the Atlantic City Police Department at 609-347-5766.
NCIC #: M-413909954 – please refer to this number when contacting the agency with information.

Sources:
https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/8408
https://literock969.com/a-c-cold-case-police-ask-for-help-finding-missing-woman/

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1491dfnj.html

The Nameless Essex County Pt2

WARNING: some of the people listed in this article do indeed have post-mortem photographs. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Nameless 
Ashleigh Sommers
Unidentified in NJ 
(PART 2)

I will be posting my lists of unidentified persons in my own order of choice, continuing with an area of New Jersey called Essex County. (pt. 2)
I am doing this to promote awareness of small town Doe’s that do not receive nearly enough media attention. 


All of my information came from:
https://www.njsp.org/unidentified/essex/index.shtml 

Unidentified Deceased White Male
Case #: 07841176
NIC #: U184889402
Body found on May 4, 1984
Estimated date of death: Unknown
Estimated year of birth: 1929-1944
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 5’4-5’6
Weight: 135-145 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Unknown
Scars, marks, tattoos: None 
Clothing: The victim was wearing a blue sleeveless padded jacket with the marking “Sutton Place” a red and black plaid shirt, a white Fruit of the Loom t-shirt, blue jeans, white Jockey shorts underwear, and a pair of blue socks.
Other: The victim has marked Dextroscoliosis. (Definition: a type of scoliosis where the spine curves to the right.)
Circumstances: On May 4, 1984, the victim was found in the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey.
Partial X-rays and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos available.
______

Unidentified Deceased Black Male
Case #: 07841657
NIC #: U184102516
Body found on June 28, 1984
Estimated date of death: June 28, 1984
Estimated year of birth: 1954-1966
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Height: 5’8-5’10
Weight: 150-160 lbs
Hair: Black
Eye color: Brown
Scars,marks, tattoos: The victim has a scar on his right hand and an appendix removal scar. 
Clothing: The victim was wearing a black t-shirt with red stripes, a B-ball shirt, gray pants and a black belt.
Circumstances: On June 28, 1984, the victim was found in the street at 490 South 12th Street. He is believed to have committed suicide. 
Dental records are available for comparison.
No photos are available.

______

Unidentified Deceased Black Female 
Case #: 8413302 and H025-96-12
NIC #: U184663976
Body found on September 14, 1984
Estimated date of death: Unknown
Estimated Age Range- 15-20 years old
Sex: Female
Race: Black
Height: 5’7-5’9
Weight: 140-150 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Brown
Scars, marks, tattoos: She has pierced ears and her fingernails had been bitten down to the flesh. She has a hyperpigmented scar below her left eye, a hypopigmented scar on the left side of her neck, multiple hyperpigmented transverse scars on both her forearms and a scar above her right eyebrow.
(Just to better understand the summary, the difference between Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation is HYPER means the scar is darker than the rest of the skin, and HYPO means the scar is lighter than the surrounding skin.)
Jewelry: Silver colored ring with the letter Y, gold colored ring with 21 white colored stones, gold colored ring, black colored rubber ring.
Circumstances: The victim was found on September 14, 1984 in East Orange New Jersey. 
Photo of the Victim:

_______

Unidentified Deceased White Male
Case #: 13-85
NIC #: U184106426
Body found on February 21, 1985 
Estimated date of death: Unknown
Estimated age: 25-45
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 5’5-5’7
Weight: 140-160 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eye color: Unknown 
Clothing: Socks on feet.
Jewelry: Gold colored ring with crucifix, gold colored necklace chain, gold colored chain with a medal
Other: Dental charts show many amalgam (silver) fillings. Dental X-rays and body X-rays available for comparison 
Circumstances: (this area was surprisingly left blank?)
Photos of jewelry:

______

Unidentified Deceased Black Female
Case #: 07850615
NIC #: U181466651
Body found on February 27, 1985
Estimated date of death: January 1, 1985
Estimated year of birth: 1950-1960
Sex: Female
Race: Black
Height: 5’3
Weight: 130-140 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Brown
Scars, marks, tattoos: Double pierced ears
Clothing: None
Other: Fingerprints, partial x-rays, and dental records are available for comparison
Circumstances: On February 27, 1985, the victim’s body was found in the Passaic River in Newark, N.J. 
Fingerprints, partial x-rays and dental records are available for comparison.
No photos available.

______

If you have any information about these cases or the identification of these individuals, please contact:
The New Jersey State Police at 1-800-709-7090.

The Nameless Essex County

The Nameless 

Unidentified in NJ 

I will be posting my lists of unidentified persons in my own order of choice, continuing with an area of New Jersey called Essex County.
I am doing this to promote awareness of small town Doe’s that do not receive nearly enough media attention.

All of my information came from: https://www.njsp.org/unidentified/essex/index.shtml 

Unidentified Deceased White Male 
Case #: H207671
NIC #: U640793063
Body found on October 24, 1976
Estimated date of death: April 1, 1976
Estimated year of birth: 1926-1936
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 5’5-5’6
Weight: Unknown
Hair: Brown
Eye color: Unknown
Scars,marks, tattoos: Unknown 
Clothing: Unknown
Jewelry: The victim was found wearing a “Hamilton Electra” watch.
Circumstances: The victim’s skeletal remains were found on October 24,
1976 in a wooded area off of I-80
Full X-rays are available for comparison.

No photos available.

______

Unidentified Deceased Black Male
Case #: H207857
NIC #: U640787887
Body found on December 30, 1978
Estimated date of death: April 1, 1978
Estimated year of birth: 1933-1938
Sex: Male
Race: Black
Height: 5’5-5’8
Weight: Unknown
Hair: Black
Eye color: Unknown
Scars, marks, tattoos: Unknown
Clothing: Unknown
Circumstances: The skeletal remains of the victim were found off of a
highway.

Full X-rays are available for comparison
No photos are available.

______

Unidentified Deceased Male
Case #: H207918
NIC #: U640775061
Body found on May 15, 1979
Estimated date of death: April 1, 1979
Estimated year of birth: 1942-946
Sex: Male
Race: Black or Hispanic
Height: 5’6-5’8
Weight: Unknown
Hair: Brown
Eye color: Unknown
Scars, marks, tattoos: Unknown
Clothing: The victim was found wearing a brown leather jacket, black leather boots with a zipper on the side (9”), a black “GENO” button down shirt, a light colored turtleneck pullover sweater, and “double-knit” brown trousers.
Jewelry: The victim was wearing a silver band with a Star of David and flowers on his right wrist.
Circumstances: The victim was found on May 15, 1979 in a wooded area on the southbound berm of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Full X-rays and dental records are available for comparison.

Photo of Dental chart

Photo of the bracelet with the Star of David

______

Unidentified Deceased White Male
Case #: 8085554
NIC #: U201236069
Body found on December 22, 1980
Estimated date of death: January 1, 1980
Estimated year of birth: 1915-1935
Sex: Male
Race: White 
Height: 5’3-5’6
Weight: 150-170 lbs.
Hair: Gray
Eye color: Unknown 
Scars,marks, tattoos: None
Clothing: None
Circumstances: The victim was found on December 22, 1980 in Newark,
Essex County, New Jersey.
Full X-rays, dental records, and fingerprints available for comparison.
Photo of face reconstruction

Composite Sketch of Victim

______

Unidentified Deceased Black Female
Case #: 07812451
NIC #: U220067286
Body found on September 29, 1981
Estimated date of death: September 1, 1981
Estimated year of birth: 1946-1951
Sex: Female
Race: Black
Height: 5’4-5’5
Weight: 145 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eye color: Unknown
Scars,marks, tattoos: Left ear pierced, unknown if right ear is pierced.
Jewelry: The victim was wearing a silver “cameo type” pin on her jacket lapel, a whitte post earring in the left earlobe, and a silver bangle bracelet on her left wrist. 
Clothing: The victim was dressed in a floral print blouse, blue blazer jacket, and a red skirt.
Other: X-ray revealed that the victim had suffered from a fractured right arm. She had 4 upper front teeth missing. The victim had received extensive dental work at a clinic.
Circumstances: The victim was found murdered in Newark on September 29, 1981.
Fingerprints, a full X-ray and dental records are available for comparison.

Photos of the victims reconstruction

______

If you have any information about these cases or the identification of these individuals, please contact:
The New Jersey State Police at 1-800-709-7090.

The Murdered Cynthia Leeds

The Murdered
Cynthia Leeds
Brick Township, Ocean County NJ


Cynthia Leeds was born on March 29, 1955 in Queens County New York.
At 21 years of age, she was 8 months pregnant and living with her husband, Charles, in an apartment in Kentwood Village, in Brick Township, Ocean County New Jersey in August of 1976. On a Friday evening, August 27th 1976, Cynthia was found by her husband and a friend, strangled and stabbed to death in their first-floor apartment at approximately 5PM. She was found nude, on the bed. She had been stabbed in the chest, and a large slash wound exposed the fetus, leading investigators to believe that the killer might have wanted to take the baby, based on the fact the uterus was exposed by the wounds. A key piece of evidence in the murder, a bloody knife found in the kitchen, was destroyed when the knife was “inadvertently” washed off in the sink when someone washed their hands after police arrived at the scene. (What?!) Blood and any possible fingerprints were gone.
Robbery was ruled out due to money being left out on the counter in Cynthia and Charles’ apartment.
There is no reason to believe Mrs. Leeds let the assailant into the apartment. The most likely scenario is that entry came by removing a screen from a window and reaching around and unlocking a nearby door.
Cynthia’s husband says the last time he saw his wife alive was the morning of August 27, 1976 when he left for work. He was a truck driver for a beverage company.
“Charlie said he got up, went to the bathroom, made coffee and departed through the front door after saying goodbye to his wife.” according to James A. Churchill, head of the major crimes squad in the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
Due to her pregnancy, Cynthia stopped working about 2 weeks before the murder. Every morning while she was still working, Charles Leeds would drive his wife to the train station in Manasquan where she caught one of the earliest of the commuter trains, leaving for New York City sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 am. That practice continued, even after the couple moved from Manasquan to Brick Township, because Leeds place of employment was a short distance from the train station. During her days of commuting to work this way, Cynthia apparently became acquainted with a man who took the same route to work every day. This man has been called a “key piece” of the investigation.
It was Mrs. Leeds’s routine to get on the third or fourth car of the train and walk to the first car where she would either join or be joined by the man. They would sit and talk and appeared to be friendly, investigators learned from the few people willing to talk about it, they believe the man also boarded the train in Manasquan. The two both got off the train in Newark but went in separate directions. He headed toward the PATH trains linking Newark with the financial district in Lower Manhattan. Investigators would like to talk to the man who rode the same train even after Mrs. Leeds stopped working to await the arrival of her baby. The mysterious commuter stopped riding the train the day after the murder and although several people have confirmed that Mrs. Leeds sat with and talked to the stranger, this man has never been identified or questioned.
Churchill says “we believe he might be able to give us some important information about the victim.” He was described as a white man in his early 20s, no more than 5’9 inches tall. He dressed casually, wearing a golf jacket, sweater and possibly saddle shoes. The two never entered or left the train together.
Based on conversations the victim had with others, it was determined that the commuter may have been in the banking business and may have been transferred to Richmond, Virginia about the time of the murder.
Investigators questioned hundreds of apartment residents and employees, they even once saturated the early commuter train with leaflets and photos of the dead woman and asked for any possible information, but no one responded.
Churchill believes the murder may have been committed by a person suffering from monomania. (Definition- a mental disorder characterized by irrational preoccupation with one subject.) “This type of individual is usually a loner, and lives in close proximity to a victim, and they are usually five years younger or five years older than the subject of their attention.”
“This person has a crush on someone, and he makes his feelings known. Depending on how he is rebuffed, he can snap and do some pretty weird things. A monomaniac usually kills but once, because the person killed, and therefore eliminated the subject matter of the monomaniac.”
The last entry in the Leeds murder file was July 24, 1984, 8 years after the slaying. It concerned a possible suspect and it was investigated, but it led nowhere. There may be people living in the large apartment complex who may have seen or heard something that day or might know something about the victim that would help investigators. One witness who was outside one of the apartments the morning of the murder saw a Hispanic man wearing a white T-shirt running around behind the complex. That man has never been identified.
6 months after the slaying, police put out a composite sketch of an individual Mrs. Leeds was supposed to have argued with, outside of a physician’s office. After additional investigation, it was determined the woman who had supplied the information about the suspect had made up
the story about the man and the argument.
Cynthia’s grave is located at Saint Catherine’s Cemetery in Sea Girt, Monmouth County, New Jersey.


Anyone with information is urged to contact Ocean County prosecutor’s office at 973-929-2027 or brick townships detective peter ramsey at 973-477-7615.


Sources:
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92387691/cynthia-leeds
https://img4.newspapers.com/image/clipping_id=23850652&fcfToken=eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJmcmVlLXZpZXctaWQiOjE0NTA5OTA0OSwiaWF0IjoxNjA2NzcwNTgwLCJleHAiOjE2MDY4NTY5ODB9.eiSdUa0_C_TfliXiEKLQw756rHT2HgZxofiUR23e6h8
https://www.app.com/story/news/crime/2019/06/30/nj-cold-cases-unsolved-murders-cynthia-leeds-diane-mary-zaleski-raul-suarez-joseph-hoopengardner/1337947001/

The Murdered Alys Eberhardt

NJ Cold Case
Alys Jean Eberhardt
Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, Bergen County, NJ
Alys Jean Eberhardt, an 18 year old student nurse was last seen leaving the dormitories at Hackensack Hospital School of Nursing at 2:30pm to go to her home at 3-34 Saddle River Road Fairlawn, on Friday, September 24th, 1965. When her father returned to the home at 5:30pm, he walked into a gruesome scene. He found Alys in the living room, lying on her back, with an 18-inch kitchen knife protruding from her neck. She had a fractured skull on both sides of her head, and a total of 61 post-mortem stab wounds to the neck and chest. Her white shirt and bra was pushed up around her neck, she was nude to the waist. A souvenir letter opener dagger was left at the scene on the floor in between her legs. No penetrative rape had been reported.
Alys’ ultimate cause of death was a double skull fracture with a blunt object to the left and right side of the head.
According to reports, the attack started in the bedroom upstairs and progressed down the stairs into the living room. There was no sign of forced entry into the home. She was murdered between 4:15 and 5:15pm.
The unique, curved dagger left at the scene turned out to be a four-inch souvenir from the Jordan Pavilion at New York World’s Fair in 1964 to 1965. There were only one thousand
daggers made and sold, between the fair and in New York City at a place called the House of Jordan Store, located on 38th Street and Third Avenue and the Acropolis 44th Street and Eighth Avenue. The sheath for said dagger was never found.
Her murder hasn’t been solved. Below I placed a picture of Alys.


I also found a video of the “Jordan’s Pavilion at New York World’s Fair in 1964” which is one of the places the dagger was sold:
https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVADIXB5P5PG13KQ7ISR6E1N1U9H-USA-JORDANS-PAVILION-AT-NEW-YORK-WORLDS-FAIR

Here is a photo of the Jordans Pavilion:


Source of Photo: https://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/jordan.htm
Source of information: http://newjerseygirlmurders.org/cases.htm

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office at (201)-336-3500.

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