Author Topic: LADY OF THE DUNES: WF, 27-49, found in Provincetown, MA - 26 July 1974  (Read 690 times)


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A Suspected Serial Killer Confessed To Murdering Her

While behind bars for murdering two people, Hadden Clark told a cellmate he killed the woman known as the Lady of the Dunes. The convicted murderer, a paranoid schizophrenic, told his fellow inmate that his alternate personality, a woman named Kristen, killed the Lady of the Dunes in 1974, as well as nine-year-old Sarah Pryor in 1985. Clark, who authorities believe is a serial killer, was a suspect in several other murders. He also showed investigators where he allegedly buried some of his victims.

However, officials from Massachusetts searched the places on Cape Cod where Clark indicated he hid his victims' bodies, and they didn't find any evidence to support the convicted killer's claims. While the authorities haven't ruled out Clark as the person responsible for murdering the Lady of the Dunes, the Provincetown police doubt he was involved in the unsolved killing.

Police Thought She Might Have Been An Escaped Inmate

Another theory is the Lady of the Dunes is Rory Gene Kesinger, a 24-year-old woman who was arrested during a drug raid in Pembroke, MA, near the beginning of 1974. A few weeks after she was apprehended, Kesinger escaped from the Plymouth County House of Correction and seemingly disappeared. Some to suspect she was murdered - possibly by one of the many criminals the young woman was known to associate with during her short life.

Kesinger ran away from home when she was just 15, and she was known to rob banks, use drugs, and went by five different aliases. So it's possible she made up a new identity to start over after she broke out of jail. Still, due to the similarities between the Lady of the Dunes and Kesinger, police compared DNA taken from the unidentified woman found in Provincetown and with a sample collected from the escaped inmate's mother. To the surprise of many officials involved in the case, experts determined Kesinger was not the Lady of the Dunes.

She May Have Been In A Blockbuster Film

In 2015, author Joe Hill, son of writer Stephen King, proposed another theory about the Lady of the Dunes after watching Steven Spielberg's classic film Jaws. In the movie's Fourth of July scene, a woman - who is similar in appearance to the Lady of the Dunes - is clearly visible for a few seconds of the film, wearing jeans and a blue bandana like the ones discovered under the murder victim's head.

Much of Jaws was filmed in the summer of 1974 in Martha's Vineyard, which is approximately 100 miles from where the Lady of the Dunes was discovered. Hill theorized the two women might be one and the same, which the writer himself admits is "a pretty wild bit of speculation." While some people - including Hill - find it highly unlikely the Lady of the Dunes was an extra in a summer blockbuster, the information collected by the writer was passed on to law enforcement officials.

A Woman Said She Might Have Witnessed Her Murder


In 1987, more than a decade after the Lady of the Dunes was murdered, a young woman in her early 20s claimed that while she was visiting Provincetown, MA, approximately 15 years earlier, she saw her father strangle a woman. Because the young woman lived in Canada at the time, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police passed the information on to the Provincetown police chief and the Massachusetts State Police.

However, by the time authorities in the United States learned about the woman's disturbing allegations, she had moved to Montreal. In 1987, the investigators made efforts to locate this woman, but were never able to find her. They also couldn't corroborate the information she provided.