The nation has a fascination with crime. Just look at successful shows like Criminal Minds, the variety of Law and Order’s and the networks that are devoted to true crime stories. Within an hour, we get to see the crime, the investigation, and the conclusion and be happily satisfied. But what about the cases that never got solved? The cold cases that fill up boxes and boxes in police basements, waiting for some new tip or evidence to spark the case back into the spotlight? We can only hope that at some point, the cold cases become solved ones and families of the victims can get the closure they so rightfully deserve.
Nancy Noga, New Jersey
Nancy was 17 years old when she was brutally murdered on her way home from work. Crossing through a shortcut in the woods, on January 7, 1999, she was killed by blunt force trauma to the head. She was found in a ravine days later, frozen from the winter snow. She hadn’t been raped, or robbed, but investigators say it wasn’t an accident; this homicide case has been open since 1999 with no new leads. The only thing detectives had was that a man lurked outside her job the night of her murder. No suspects, no new evidence, nothing to bring this case to a close.
Sarah Fox, New York
Sarah Fox was found nude and strangled in a park in 2004. She disappeared after a jog, where she was later found. A leading person of interest, Dimitry Sheinman, returned from South Africa to give police information, claiming he was a clairvoyant. The information he provided was never released to the public, and though he remains a suspect, he has yet to be charged. No DNA evidence was ever linked to Sheinman.
Patrick Kennedy Alford, Jr., New York
In January of 2010, 7 year-old Patrick Kennedy Alford was living in Brooklyn with a foster family selected by the Administration of Children Services when he disappeared. His foster mother, Librada Moron, told police when she went to throw out the trash, she came back to find him missing. Patrick’s biological mother, Jennifer Rodriguez, told investigators that during a supervised visit, Patrick acted differently: throwing a chair, crying, acting out. He allegedly said he wanted to go home and be with his mother. Unfortunately, Patrick is still missing and no new leads have been found.
Clifton Walker, Mississippi
A World War II veteran, Clifton Walker was ambushed by KKK Klansmen while driving home from his job over 50 years ago. They surrounded his car on a dirt road and shot him several times in the face, and later bled to death. One of the most violent of supremacist groups, White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan were believed to be responsible, however none were convicted or even charged.
Kerry Ann Graham and Francine Trimble, California
The two girls, Kerry Ann (15) and Francine (14), went missing in December of 1978. Foul play was suspected in both their deaths when a local Sacramento man found their bodies in the woods. It was only recently that both bodies were identified as the missing California girls. Because so little is actually known about the disappearance, there are no suspects or clues in the case.
Ann Rich, Utah
In May of 1999, a 31 year-old Ann Rich was found dead, her body lying in the roadway near a railroad track. Witnesses claim to have heard arguing prior to her body being found, but the case has never been solved and police are still looking for information leading to the arrest of her murderer.
Karen Marchioni, Massachusetts
On October 8, 2001, police were called to a Framingham home where Karen Marchioni, 41, was stabbed multiple times. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital where she later died. Marchioni was in the middle of a divorce from her 2nd husband, however he was in jail at the time of her death. Karen’s daughter, Jennifer, who was 14 at the time of her murder, believes police aren’t doing the best they can to capture her killer because she was a former drug user. Though police have said an Aaron Sutton was the murderer, the case is still open and pending.
Stephen Spina, New York
In 2007, Stephen Spina was found dead in his Larchmont apartment by his girlfriend; he had suffered multiple stab wounds. Police say three of his ex-girlfriends were suspects, and even his current girlfriend at the time, Tamara Acevedo. Acevedo continues to claim innocence as police continue to investigate the murder. There’s a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of his killer, which was funded by softball tournaments held in his memory.
Derryck Harris, California
In 2014, 19 year-old Derryck Harris was shot and killed, along with his best friend Lamar Broussard, while driving in Oakland. Only days earlier, Derryck’s 13 year old brother was also murdered while walking home from Boys & Girls Club of Oakland. Their devastated mother doesn’t believe the killings are linked, claiming no one knew they were brothers outside of their own family. Police believe Derryck’s murder may have been linked to a dispute over the younger deceased brother. No one has been arrested or charged for either murder.
Amber Bass, Florida
In 2013, Robin Lezcano found her younger sister, Amber Bass, with a gunshot wound to the chest. There were no suspects, motives, or leads. The family of Amber Bass created a Facebook page to raise awareness in hopes that someone will come forward with information that will lead to the arrest of her killer.
Michelle Norris, Rhode Island
In May of 1988, Julia Tager-Norris was fighting a kidney infection at home; while resting, her daughter Michelle, 7, and her brothers and friends headed to the park behind the elementary school she attended- that’s where she disappeared. No one heard a scream or cry and no one saw her walk away with anyone. After extensive searches, her body was found naked and bruised. Michelle had been sexually assaulted, beaten, and strangled. Her mother Julia says that Michelle was a fighter and wouldn’t have just gone easily with a stranger, so police presume it was someone she knew, however, there has been no leads in the case despite efforts to find her killer.
Summer Smith, Washington
In January of 2015, the body of 18 year-old Summer Smith was found with trash bags near by filled with a knife and bloody clothing. Relatives hadn’t heard from the troubled teen since November of 2014, and friends say they worried about the group of people she associated with. Strange texts that were out of character for Summer were sent while living on the street. No arrests have been made in the case.
Ashleigh Love, Wisconsin
In October of 2009, a man wearing a bandana over his face broke into the home of Ashleigh Love, 19, and shot her dead. Police have said they believe this wasn’t a random shooting. Love had been involved with a man during the months prior, but he has not been named a suspect. No leads or arrests have been made.
Sherry Prather, Florida
Sherry Prather vanished in October of 2012 after leaving a bar, Boots n Bottles (since closed), on the back of a motorcycle with a man. She hadn’t been heard from since; surveillance footage showed the mother of two stumbling out of the bar. In November of 2012, a single bone was found in a wooded area. The only way they were able to identify her through the bone was that it had an ID# on it from neck surgery she had in the past. Her mother, Norma Ellis, was devastated to learn she had been laying in the woods, dead, eaten by animals. Though the police know the identity of the man on the motorcycle, no arrests have been made.
Editor’s Note: In November of 2016, charges were filed against Johnny Johnson for the murder of Sherry Prather.