Author Topic: GRANBY JANE DOE: F, 19-26, found in Hampshire County, MA - 15 November 1978  (Read 271 times)


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Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA)
June 17, 1998
Section: News
Page: 11

A final resting place, 20-year-old murder case goes unsolved;
Granby tries to raise funds for grave marker

GRANBY - The grave of an unidentified murder victim found in Granby nearly 20 years ago is marked by a white wooden cross that simply reads: Unknown Girl.
Now the Commissioners of Burial Grounds in Granby want to mark her final resting place with something more permanent, more poignant.
Her initial resting place off Amherst Street near the intersection with Route 116 was a grisly scene. She was shot in the temple, shoved under a log and left to rot. Her decomposed body was found Nov. 15, 1978, by loggers working in the area.
Police never learned her name, never identified her killer. State police refused to release records of the case because, according to their lawyer, it is still an open and ongoing case. The officer who investigated the case retired several years ago.
"She probably was not from the area," said Granby police detective David Trompke. "Otherwise, I'm sure she would have been identified."
She was wearing jeans and a short-sleeve, polka-dot blouse with a swan embroidered on the back, Trompke said, which are among the few clues to her identity.
According to newspaper reports from that time, state police said an autopsy revealed that the woman had been dead three to 12 months, was white, with long brown hair, and between 19 and 26 years old.
She had a "chunky build," size 14-16, and her front teeth were noticeably decayed.
In addition to the swan blouse, according to newspapers, she was wearing vinyl wedgie-style shoes, a blue tank top and a black windbreaker. A brown leather belt found around her neck was used to drag the body to its original shallow grave.
Inquiries were made at local colleges, papers reported, as Route 116 is and was often used by college students hitchhiking or traveling between Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley and Amherst-area colleges, but no women were reported missing.
Police asked for the public's help in the first week of January, 1979, after the lone lead in the case did not pan out, newspapers said. A motel operator had reported that a woman answering the description stayed at his establishment in early 1978 but she was located alive and well.
DNA tests would not be useful, Trompke said, because scientists need to compare the results to another sample, perhaps of a direct relative, and police have no idea where to look.
Tony Regan found out about the unmarked grave when he became a cemetery commissioner five years ago. He made the white cross that stands at her West Street Cemetery grave and decorates it each Christmas and spring. Others people occasionally leave flowers, he said, but he does not know who.
Now Regan and fellow commissioner Robert Kingsley are trying to raise money to place a permanent stone marker there.
It will cost about $300, Regan said. If they raise enough money they might have the stone inscribed with an epitaph, he said, or a poem, to remind those who see it that that life, no matter how short or anonymous, is precious.
"So she isn't completely forgotten," Regan said. "She had a mother and father."