Tag Archive for ‘Unsolved’

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 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.

Sources: 

http://newjerseygirlmurders.com/cases.htm 
https://murderincorp.wordpress.com/2020/01/24/richard-cottingham/

The Missing Mark Himebaugh

Mark Himebaugh
Case #: 91-17695
County: Cape May

On November 25, 1991, 11 year old Mark Himebaugh lived with his mother and older brother in Del Haven, NJ and was a 6th grader at Cape May County Alternative Middle School. He was last seen walking towards a playground in the County Park, nearby to his home. The last person to see him was a park guard, claiming it was about 4:00 that afternoon. Mark was wearing a blue U.S.N sweatshirt, a gray jacket with a red blue and gray plaid lining and four outer pockets with velcro, a pair of gray docker pants and red and white sneakers. Mark’s mother Maureen told her son she was dropping off a neighbor to pick up their car at a repair shop in Middle Township. He did not want to go along because a fire had broken out in town and he wanted to watch what was happening a quarter mile away. By the time Maureen had finished her errand around 40 minutes later, her son was gone. At the time, Maureen assumed Mark was with neighborhood children, however he was never heard from again. His mother reported him missing at about 5:00 PM that evening after she still could not locate her son. Of note, the afternoon of his disappearance, traffic was rerouted past their house. 

Mark’s left foot was healing from a fracture at the time of his disappearance. He was also taking the antidepressant medication Prozac for his behavioral problems. Mark is classified as emotionally disturbed and he may have OCD. He frequently had tantrums and angry outbursts as a result of his conditions, but his behavior had been improving prior to his disappearance with the help of his meds and therapy. He had a habit of biting his fingernails and is right handed. He is a caucasain male, with blue eyes and red hair with freckles across his body. He was 4’6, 85 lbs.

There are unconfirmed reports from witnesses stating that Mark was seen at the entrance of a local park with an unidentified young girl at about 3:40 P.M. on the day Mark vanished. Her identity is still unknown. She was about 9 or 10 years old in 1991 with dishwater blonde colored hair. She was about 4 ft tall and 70 to 75 lbs. Wearing a dark blue ski parka that had a hunter orange stripe on the back. Police believe this girl has information about Mark’s disappearance, below is a sketch of what she looked like.

Two other men were also reported to have been seen with Mark on the day of his disappearance. One man was said to be 30 to 35 years old, ‘5’8 – ‘5’9 and about 150 lbs. He had dark reddish brown hair in a ponytail and had a scruffy, unkempt appearance. Below is a sketch. There is no available description of the other male.

Investigators did locate Mark’s left shoe, a hand-me-down L.A Gear sneaker at Sunray Beach approx. 75 yards from the family home later in the day of his disappearance. His footprints were also seen above the tide line, but these were the only solid clues ever found.

In 1993, A man named Thomas Butcavage Jr. was named as a person of interest in Mark’s disappearance. He resembled the sketch of the man Mark may have been seen with. A male prostitute named Daniel Coll approached the police and said that Butcavage was one of his regular clients and had shown him a video of himself having sex with a young boy who resembled Mark. The boy was handcuffed, gagged and appeared frightened. The prostitute asked Butcavage if the boy was Mark Himebaugh and Butcavage said it was. He also said he deliberately planted Mark’s sneaker on the beach to confuse the investigation. 

Butcavage has not been charged in Mark’s case but he has been imprisoned multiple times for drug offences and for sex with underage males. In 2015, authorities asked anyone who knew Butcavage in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to please come forward.

Mark is believed to have been abducted by a stranger. The case is still unsolved. Mark’s mother has kept unopened gifts for Mark and still uses the same phone number in case her son might one day be found alive. 

Sources:

https://pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/officials-continue-search-for-11-year-old-middle-township-boy-who-disappeared-almost-30-years/article_11492dc0-a654-5ecd-b294-2e0b272f02b9.html

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/kidnap/mark-himebaugh

https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/news/crime/article_6940ad04-2da3-11eb-9318-6b9a9f7fa33b.html

https://wpgtalkradio.com/today-is-the-28th-anniversary-of-mark-himebaughs-disappearance/

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Middle Township Police Department at 609-465-8700.

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-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

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