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View Full Version : IL IL - Tammy Zywicki, murdered after car broke down in Lasalle, August 1992


imamaze
03-03-2009, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by:anneinchicago, moved to cold case board for discussion.


Justice for Tammy Zywicki? (http://www.littlemotors.org/antifreeze/archives/2007/07/justice_for_tammy_zywicki_1.html)
This time of year, my thoughts always turn to Tammy Zywicki. On August 23, 1992, she went missing after her car broke down on Interstate 80. Her body was found nine days later, wrapped in a blanket and dumped along Interstate 44 in Missouri. She had been stabbed eight times.
Her killer has never faced justice... More...

Murder of Tammy J. Zywicki (http://crime.about.com/od/unsolved/p/zywicki.htm)
The Crime:
On August 23, 1992, Tammy J. Zywicki departed Evanston, Illinois, for college in Grinnell, Iowa, where she was expected to arrive that evening. Later that day, Zywicki's car was found by an Illinois State Trooper and ticketed as being abandoned. On August 24, 1992, the vehicle was towed by the Illinois State Police. On that same evening, Zywicki's mother contacted the Illinois State Police and advised them that her daughter had not arrived at college...More...

Cubby
03-04-2009, 07:52 PM
I remember when this happened like it was yesterday. I recall the description of the semi seen parked near where Tammy's car broke down. It had an unusual striped design and IIRC one of the colors was purple. I've searched for info on Tammy over the years and long before I found WS. I have read about two 'suspects' or persons of interest. One with the last name Mendenhall who confessed to other murders and another, Lonnie Bierbodt, who has since passed away. (I'm unsure if Mendenhall is still living.) What I can't find is whether or not either of these two men were ruled out via current DNA testing. Does anyone know? I live near an IL state trooper and the next time I bump into him I'll ask him if he knows or can find out.

I'm glad to see this posted here at WS. Hopefully we can find some answers that Tammy's family so deserves.

Cubby
03-15-2009, 04:46 PM
I finally ran into my neighbor who is a state trooper. I passed along the two names previously mentioned regarding dna testing and asked if he could check into whether or not they were ruled out or for any updates.
He is not a detective, but hopefully he can find out.

I'll update when I get any further info.

Also, I did give him the info on WS, so perhaps he might drop in and read here a bit.

imamaze
03-15-2009, 07:01 PM
I finally ran into my neighbor who is a state trooper. I passed along the two names previously mentioned regarding dna testing and asked if he could check into whether or not they were ruled out or for any updates.
He is not a detective, but hopefully he can find out.

I'll update when I get any further info.

Also, I did give him the info on WS, so perhaps he might drop in and read here a bit.

Thanks Cubby, that would be great if you could let us know if he finds out any info!!

scrabble
06-28-2009, 05:12 PM
Did they ever find the killer of poor Tammy Zywicki?

traveler
06-30-2009, 01:20 PM
I was in college in northern Illinois when this happened and I have been looking for updates for years, but I was spelling her name wrong and couldn't find anything. I'm glad to see Tammy's case here on WS, but so sad that her murderer has never been caught. It's hard to believe it has been almost 17 years.

scriptgirl
11-07-2009, 02:30 PM
I heard about this case and never forgot it. It got a lot of publicity and then I never heard about it again Details are sketchy, but this is what I remember.

College had let out and a girl was driving home from college. I think her car broke down somewhere in the midwest-maybe michigan (?) and long story short, her body was found, as was her car. The girl was dressed in rather racy underwear that her mother said her daughter never would have worn. A witness saw a truck near the girls's car or either a truck was found that cops suspected the abductor drove. It was white with either a red or orange stripe on it. Anyone remember this? Deta

Richard
11-08-2009, 09:53 AM
I heard about this case and never forgot it. It got a lot of publicity and then I never heard about it again Details are sketchy, but this is what I remember..... Anyone remember this? Deta

You provide some interesting details. It would help if the location and date were narrowed down better.

I would suggest that you start by going to the State Police websites for states that you think this took place in, and see if they have a section for unsolved murders. From there, you would get more details and maybe some status as to the investigation. Or at least more leads.

scriptgirl
11-08-2009, 12:41 PM
It's weird that I can't remember-but it was a HUGE case in 92. I do know she went missing in a midwestern state and this case was probably on unsolved mysteries.

Richard
11-09-2009, 12:35 AM
Hope this helps. From a 2007 article...

... Tammy Zywicki would have turned 36 last spring, but tragedy forever keeps her 21 in her mother's mind: Long blond hair and glasses, always looking tan. Nice, pretty teeth in a family where good choppers aren't the norm. Never a fan of makeup, "she had a good, clean scrubbed look," JoAnn Zywicki recalls.


"She was just natural; that's a good word. For lack of a better term, she was an all-American girl," the mother said recently in a telephone interview from her home in central Florida. "She was not a really girly girl. She was more comfortable in T-shirts and shorts than anything. She just had a well-rounded attitude."


The kind of young woman, one of her coaches once remarked, who would be comfortable eating cheeseburgers for breakfast. The 5-foot-2, 120-pound woman loved naps, cats, photography and soccer.


She played halfback at Iowa's Grinnell College, the small school where she was to be a senior in the fall of 1992. Tammy, then from Marlton, N.J., was mulling graduate school, aspiring to perhaps teach Spanish some day.


It wasn't meant to be.


Tammy had just dropped off her younger brother at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago and had turned her 1985 Pontiac T1000 toward Grinnell on Aug. 23, 1992, when the car broke down along Interstate 80 near LaSalle, Ill.


A passer-by caught the last glimpses of her alive there at mile marker 83, hunched over her car's raised hood with a trucker who had stopped, ostensibly to help. A tractor-trailer was seen parked behind her car.


Tammy's body turned up nine days later hundreds of miles away along an interstate highway in southwest Missouri, shrouded in a red blanket sealed with duct tape. The young woman, who once wrote in a high school journal she didn't want to suffer when she died, had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest. She bled to death.


The horror of the story grabbed headlines: A college co-ed, in distress after her car fails her along a freeway, is snatched up, possibly by a predator trucker prowling the nation's highways posing as a Good Samaritan.


JoAnn Zywicki doesn't allow herself to think about what her daughter went through.


"I kind of put it in the past," the mother says, content clinging to one thing survivors of the slain can't always cling to as solace: "At least we have a body."


Finding the killer is another matter.


After Tammy's body was found, Illinois State Police joined forces with the FBI and other agencies in a task force, but it disbanded the next year. The investigation since, the FBI's Ross Rice laments, has been nothing short of "very frustrating."


"There haven't been any fruitful leads," punctuated by the lack of arrests or charges, Rice says from the FBI's Chicago office. "Nothing has panned out."


Truckers suspected in killings and sexual attacks elsewhere, from North Carolina to California, eventually were eliminated from suspicion in Tammy's death.


"After so many years, you always have hope, but you don't let it take over," JoAnn Zywicki says. "Whenever something has come up, you learn to handle it in a better way. As you get older, you try to take as much stress out of it as you can."


"You just never know what the one little thing is that holds the key to everything," she says. "There's somebody who knows something."...
More at link...

LINK to Life on the Row - ~ The Unsolved Murder Of A Daughter ~:

http://lifeontherow.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=ucrimes&action=display&thread=2151

scriptgirl
11-09-2009, 11:27 AM
Thank you. That is the case I meant

gaia227
11-09-2009, 02:11 PM
I remember this case. I grew up in Springfield, MO. Tammy's body was dumped along I-44 stretch between Springfield and Joplin. The summer of 1992 saw the disappearence of three women from Springfield and the area was still reeling from that when Tammy's body turned up. At first it was speculated it was one of the three missing women as it matched the description of Suzi Streeter one of the missing women - those women have never been found. There is an extensive thread about them here in the spotlight forum.


Here are some additional links about Tammy:


http://crime.about.com/od/unsolved/p/zywicki.htm

http://www.iowacoldcases.com/tammy_zywicki.html

http://thecando.blogspot.com/2009/02/tammy-zywicki-coincidences.html

http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.true-crime/2007-08/msg01962.html

Julessleuther
11-09-2009, 02:12 PM
More info:

http://crime.about.com/od/unsolved/p/zywicki.htm

http://cbs2chicago.com/local/Tammy.Zywicki.Cold.2.1201697.html

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seekinfo/zywicki.htm (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seekinfo/zywicki.htm)

theforgotten
11-09-2009, 03:45 PM
Was this case ever on Unsolved Mysteries? For some reason I think it was.

gaia227
11-09-2009, 04:03 PM
I looked through their website and it is not listed there. That doesn't mean it wasn't profiled at some point during the shows history though.
http://www.unsolved.com/murder.html

gaia227
11-18-2009, 01:57 PM
Nice overview of this case on TruTv's Crime Library
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/unsolved/tammy_zywicki/1.html

Cubby
06-12-2010, 01:20 PM
Nice overview of this case on TruTv's Crime Library
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/unsolved/tammy_zywicki/1.html

from page 4 of the above link:


Bierbodt, 31 at the time of Tammy's death, was a convicted felon who'd been serving two concurrent 20-year terms for a pair of armed robberies until he was paroled in 1990. He lived in Missouri, close to that stretch of highway between Springfield and Joplin where Tammy's body was discovered. After his release, Bierbodt began to drive trucks, specifically a Kenworth truck. The red blanket in which Tammy's body was found was decorated with a Kenworth logo. A further coincidence was that Bierbodt had been visiting some family in Illinois, mere minutes from the spot on I-80 where Tammy was last seen. Yet after Bierbodt was questioned and swabbed for DNA, he was released and no arrest was made. With no other leads, the task force dedicated to Tammy's case was disbanded shortly thereafter.

Nothing I can find indicates the results of the DNA test on Bierbodt. While I asked my neighbor, an ISP - but not a detective- over a year ago he never got any info for me and I don'twant to keep bugging him about it. It would be nice to know if both Bierbodt and Mendenhall were officially ruled out via DNA.

Also, according to the above link there is a 150,000 reward for Tammy's case. If that is still active, I wonder why this one hasn't been solved?

Still praying for answers on this one.

Cubby
09-16-2011, 02:05 PM
:bump:


bumping for Tammy. It still amazes me this case has not yet been solved.

I wonder where things currently stand with this case with today's forensic technology. Especially with testing for DNA on the red blanket wrapping Tammy's body.

I posted upthread in 2009 that I had asked my neighbor regarding any conclusions to rule in or out the two possible suspects. I never heard anything from him about it. Next time I bump into him I'll ask if he has heard any recent news on her case.

Incredibly sad this case still remains unsolved.

Cubby
09-16-2011, 02:18 PM
I wonder whatever became of those DNA test results on Bierbodt as a possible suspect.

I don't recall reading far enough into the trutv link originally posted by gaia227 upthread to realize Bierbodt died in June of 2002. It really makes me wonder if IL just drops cases if the primary suspect is deceased. (Off the top of my head, I can't recall any IL cases which were solved and closed after the perp was deceased. though that doesn't mean none exist. I just don't recall any.)

Also from the trutv link.

An FBI task force were assigned to the case. Fourteen investigators set out to gather any information regarding Tammy's killer. In January 1993, an anonymous female witness called the task force and told investigators that the wife of a man who matched the FBI's description — the bushy hair, the age and height — entered her workplace for some routine bloodwork. The woman showed the witness a watch her husband had given her. The Lorus-brand wrist watch was unique — it had an umbrella on the face and played the tune "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head." It matched the description of one of the personal items Tammy was said to have had with her when she disappeared but which were never recovered after her body was found. The witness and the watch led investigators to Lonnie Bierbodt.



http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/unsolved/tammy_zywicki/4.html

STANDREID
09-16-2011, 04:53 PM
Was this case ever on Unsolved Mysteries? For some reason I think it was.

I'm fairly certain that the case wasn't ever on Unsolved Mysteries but I do believe that it did get on one of the 30 minute syndicated Unsolved Mysteries clones such as Missing: Reward with Stacy Keach or Prime Suspect with Mike Hegedus.

This case was also a substantial cause of the cell phone boom.

scriptgirl
11-02-2011, 02:51 PM
How did the use of cell phones boom after this-is there evidence to support that?

STANDREID
11-02-2011, 06:39 PM
I heard several people say that this case is why they bought one or got one for their kids. They knew she would still be alive if she'd had one.

mikej73
12-08-2011, 11:07 AM
I knew Tammy and her brother Darren from our high school cross country team in SC. She was remarkable. I can't believe no one has been held accountable after so long.

scriptgirl
12-08-2011, 12:28 PM
How would Tammy still be alive? People with cell phones are killed all the time.

Cubby
12-08-2011, 11:28 PM
I knew Tammy and her brother Darren from our high school cross country team in SC. She was remarkable. I can't believe no one has been held accountable after so long.



Welcome to WS mikej73! :welcome:

Thank you for joining us. :welcome:

I still remember this case like it happened yesterday. I was working in EGV IL, at the time, in what was then and is still the largest Industrial park in the US. I think every one of us in the office kept an eye out on every semi we saw in the area hoping to id the truck that was seen parked behind Tammy's car. It seemed so surreal a young college student on her way to school would befall such a tragedy.

Since joining here, I've looked and have never seen any updates regarding the dna/forensic testing of the two suspected persons of interest. I happen to live very near an IL State trouper. He's not in the same district Tammy was murdered. I asked if he knew if either were ruled out via dna. Sadly, I never heard back from him which could be because it is an ongoing investigation.

In any case, this coming year marks the 20th anniversary of Tammy's unsolved murder. DNA and forensics have made such great advancements in the last few years and continue to advance. This is one crime, I honestly thought current forensic technology could and should be able to solve.

I pray before the 20th anniversary arrives this coming August an arrest has been made and the person responsible charged. Or if the perp is deceased, Tammy and her family still deserve answers and closure.

Tammy and her family continue to be in our prayers.

Winward1
12-14-2011, 05:44 PM
This one was huge news in IL. My cousin was murdered in '79 on a highway. They'll never find his killer either.

akika666
03-21-2012, 11:34 AM
I remember being so personally touched by this disappearance, because she looked so much like I did, and I was also spending lots of time on the road traveling back and forth to school... my mother was terrified something would happen to me even before this.

I have always remembered this case and though I knew it had gone cold, I lost track of it. I had assumed that with the advent of more sophisticated forensics, the guy would've been caught by now. He left a WEALTH of forensic evidence behind... blanket (fibers? hair?), sheet (body fluids), duct tape and evidence of the sexual assault...? How can this STILL be unsolved? This isn't the crime of a first/one time offender!

I don't like the lack of response to the forensic evidence from the state cops. It seems, l don't know, just suspiciously wrong. Tammy deserves justice, even if the guilty one is dead. Something reminded me of Tammy this morning, and I've been searching for this case for about an hour and a half. (didn't think to search it as a cold case). Now I'm mad and sad.

Claudette
07-29-2012, 06:28 PM
This year is the 20th anniversary.

"A witness told McCarthy she saw a man matching Bierbrodt’s description with Tammy Zywicki and her broken-down car as she passed by on the interstate. The Datsun pickup truck the witness said she saw behind Zywicki’s vehicle matched one Bierbrodt had before he steam-cleaned and sold it just days after the killing, McCarthy said.

Not long after the killing, Bierbrodt gave his then-wife a musical watch similar to one Tammy was said to have taken with her on the trip back to college. Tammy’s body was found wrapped in a blanket with a Kenworth logo, and Bierbrodt drove a Kenworth-made truck.

Yet McCarthy says prosecutors resisted charging Bierbrodt, figuring there wasn’t enough evidence to take the case before a grand jury. Bierbrodt was 41 when he died of AIDS in 2002.

“In 20 years, let’s face it, no other suspect has come forward other than Bierbrot. He’s a helluva suspect,” said McCarthy, 65 and now retired in Wheaton. “I’m an old cop, and these kinds of things just bug the hell out of me. But I’ll keep fighting.”
www.dailyherald.com/article/20120729/news/707299933/

STANDREID
07-29-2012, 07:46 PM
How would Tammy still be alive? People with cell phones are killed all the time.

Let's call a game halt - because she would have phoned police instead of relying on the killer to help her.

Cubby
07-30-2012, 01:53 AM
Bierbrodt looks like the perp. The evidence is so strong against him - the truck logo, giving his ex wife a watch that exactly matched Tammy's.

With all due respect to Tammy, her family, and the investigators who were assigned to this case when it happened, I think I see a pattern with cold cases in Illinois. Even if perhaps a small pattern.

The pattern I have noticed: If the crime occured in Illinois, the suspect is deceased and the victims family resides outside of IL, I simply do not see cases being solved.

This case, imo, is screaming to be solved. If DNA can be obtained from the crime scene and compared to Beirbolts, I'd bet my last dollar this case would be solved.

I wish the retired detective McCarthy would find us here, because I would love to ask why the state is not pursuing closing this case.

Additionally, I would love to see my small but noticable pattern challenged. What cases which occured in IL with the perp deceased and the victims family residing outside of IL have been solved?

Why isn't Illinois doing something similiar to what occured with Adam Walsh's case? Perp is deceased, but authorities are certain who is responsible and can now close the case type thing. Tammy's family deserve answers. The case should not sit dormant because the suspect is deceased and I am afraid that is exactly what happened. And that throughout Illinois if a perp can not be brought to trial, the case is left unsolved and on the books purposely.


Praying this case is solved soon and not forgotten because the perp is likely deceased. :praying: :rose:

Tammy is not forgotten and will never be forgotten. :rose:

Cubby
07-30-2012, 01:58 AM
“In 20 years, let’s face it, no other suspect has come forward other than Bierbrot. He’s a helluva suspect,” said McCarthy, 65 and now retired in Wheaton. “I’m an old cop, and these kinds of things just bug the hell out of me. But I’ll keep fighting.”
www.dailyherald.com/article/20120729/news/707299933/ (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120729/news/707299933/)

Respectfully snipped. It bugs the hell out of a lot of us here at WS too Mr. McCarthy, it really does. And I am very glad to hear something coming from Wheaton regarding the very old likely solvable but probably collecting dust cold cases here in Illinois.

STANDREID
08-22-2012, 10:50 PM
20 years - 8/23

Snufamonbobball
08-22-2012, 11:30 PM
http://www.kcci.com/news/central-iowa/Will-new-reward-crack-Iowa-cold-case/-/9357080/16223898/-/item/0/-/7bo547z/-/index.html

On our local news tonight. New 50,000$ reward for info on her murder. I was just getting ready to go to college when this happened, myself and the people of Des Moines have never forgotten Tammy.

wfgodot
08-23-2012, 09:30 AM
FBI offers reward for tips about decades-old killing (http://www.joplinglobe.com/crime_and_courts/x946187185/FBI-offers-reward-for-tips-about-decades-old-killing) (Joplin Globe)
Tammy Zywicki was last seen alive, police say, 20 years ago today near LaSalle, Ill., after her car broke down along Interstate 80. Her body, wrapped in a blanket sealed in duct tape, turned up nine days later in Southwest Missouri.
---
Zywicki, 21, was returning to Iowa’s Grinnell College, where she would have been a senior, from her home in Marlton, N.J., on Aug. 23, 1992, when her Pontiac broke down along the interstate. Some witnesses later said a tractor-trailer was seen parked behind her car. Others said they saw a pickup truck.
---
Over the past two decades, investigators have looked at truckers suspected in killings and sexual attacks elsewhere but eventually eliminated them from suspicion in Zywicki’s death.

Authorities had specifically focused on Bruce Mendenhall, a trucker who was arrested in 2007 and suspected of fatally shooting women in several Midwest states, and Lonnie Bierbrodt, an ex-convict trucker who was from the area where Zywicki was last seen alive and who died in 2002.
more about the reward at link above; Joplin is on I-44, 40 miles west of Mt. Vernon

Cubby
08-23-2012, 02:33 PM
It's not a new reward. The reward was offered 10 years ago according to MSM. Let me see if I can find the link.

Cubby
08-23-2012, 03:01 PM
FBI spokesman Ross Rice told the Globe by telephone Wednesday from his Chicago office that a reward for information in Zywicki’s case has been offered by the FBI for years.

“The case is unsolved, and we’re still looking for the person or persons responsible,” he said

http://www.joplinglobe.com/crime_and_courts/x946187185/FBI-offers-reward-for-tips-about-decades-old-killing


On the 10th anniversary of Zywicki's death, the FBI offered $50,000 for a tip that breaks the case. A decade later, the offer still stands.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-zywicki-anniversary-20120823,0,1713278.story


I'm really curious what happened with the Bierbodt lead.

There is too much evidence pointing to Bierbodt and I'd like to know if LE has completely ruled him out? He is deceased, so naming him as a suspect is not going to jeaprodize their case. If he is ruled out, why not make that public given all the strong evidence against him previously made public?

States other than Illinois generally make a public statement about who they suspect and can close the case if the perp can not be brought to trial because he or she is deceased.

Until the authorities say one way or another what happened with the Bierbodt lead, I'm afraid this case is sadly stuck in limbo.

It's good to know if justice does not come in this life, it will in the next for whomever is responsible and that justice is not comparable to the worst possible sentencing in this life.

wfgodot
08-23-2012, 03:03 PM
This must be National Renew Your Reward Offer week. Here in OK today, the OSBI re-pledged its $10,000 reward for information leading to the solving of the murder of Pastor Carol Daniels in Anadarko in 2009.

Hope something helps.

sgrump
12-11-2013, 05:56 PM
I remember when this happened like it was yesterday. I recall the description of the semi seen parked near where Tammy's car broke down. It had an unusual striped design and IIRC one of the colors was purple.

Purple??? No, I had always remembered it vividly as orange, I thought I saw similar trucks but never had anywehere to 'report' the find. I think the trucks in the fleet of S Abraham and Sons trucking match. The new logo SAS is nothing like what was on the trucks 20 years ago, it was like an orange line of a electrocardiogram. They're a MI company with delivery services all over the midwest.

STANDREID
12-11-2013, 06:04 PM
Hmm - I thought the trailer had a brown diagonal stripe.:confused:

sgrump
12-11-2013, 06:54 PM
http://www.nwitimes.com/uncategorized/police-stop-truck-fitting-description-of-one-sought-in/article_a6c80038-716f-54ab-b077-2655161c4a87.html

http://www.sasinc.com/aboutus_distributionarea.aspx

sgrump
12-11-2013, 06:59 PM
I lived in Evanston at the time and was deeply saddened by Tammy's murder. I watched the news closley and kept remembering a truck with orange diagonal graphics. I no longer drive much out of state but the SAS trucks were and are a huge fleet with multiple DCs. But it was the old logo. I'll try to look for a picture.

Winward1
12-11-2013, 09:46 PM
I remember when this case happened, huge news in Chicago. I recall some of the details but not Evanston. Was she from there?

eileenhawkeye
12-11-2013, 09:55 PM
I remember when this case happened, huge news in Chicago. I recall some of the details but not Evanston. Was she from there?

I believe Tammy's brother went to Northwestern in Evanston, and after she dropped him off, she headed to college in Iowa.

Cubby
12-11-2013, 10:18 PM
Thank you for the links and welcome to WS, sgrump. :welcome:

Now that I think about it perhaps the purple was on a truck I thought resembled the description.

I'm glad to see some new discussion on the thread. I was just thinking about it within the last day or so. I'm still wondering why this case has not yet been solved. I've never heard or read anything about Bierbodt being excluded as a suspect and I find myself wondering if the ISP has stopped looking at this case because the primary suspect is deceased.

I'm still holding out hope this case will be solved.

sgrump
12-12-2013, 08:27 AM
I spent hours last night looking for an image of their old trucks and logo to no avail. I remember the trucks as big delivery trucks but not 18 wheelers. They were white and the name was written in orange as S Abraham & Sons, perhaps even orange accentuated with yellow and red, not the current shorter logo SAS. The trucks were mostly white with the name and graphic diagonal lines.

I'm sure Tammy's family has never forgotton her and have empty hearts to this day. I pray they can find closure.

sgrump
12-19-2013, 11:40 AM
http://www.aandbfreight.com/

I may have been mistaken???

I saw a truck from this company in northern IL this morning and it's what I remember the SAS trucks looking like.

scriptgirl
03-24-2014, 08:19 PM
But the prime suspect in this case is dead, no?

RichKelly
03-29-2014, 09:37 AM
This was the case that lead me to get into Law enforcement and study behavioral analysis.

I sent this case to former FBI profiler Candice DeLong for a brief review of it , its her feeling that Tammy most likely accepted help from the 1st person who offered, and that person jumped at that "opportunity" to help a pretty blonde,....however unfortunately this individual was most likely an experienced serial predator.

The FBI highway Serial Killings initiative,
http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2009/april/highwayserial_040609
lists over 500 murder victims, and over 200 potential suspects

These cases can be amongst the most difficult to investigate, and prosecute , victims of ANY transient style killer, as opposed to a geographically stagnant, individual, can be transported thousands of miles, left in any number of conditions, evidence could be potentially strewn across country, not to mention a moving/changing crime scene if the vehicle is the assault site, you may have one victim in Florida, and the next in Oregon with not much to go on in either .

Which makes evidence gathering difficult if not impossible , in some cases. Chances are that at least some of these crimes are very similar, therefore, its difficult to determine if 2 similar killings, were from the same individual, barring physical evidence to support the claim.

Even "signature" in these cases, is that some are very similar if not identical.

In Tammy's case, I tend to agree, this wasn't someone's 1st time, (or their last most likely) ..the police had a strong suspect, who passed away. I would want to know what happened to the mickey mouse watch he gave his wife, im sure he probably gave her other items, that could possibly identify other victims.

It seems like Law Enforcement, "fell off" once their prime suspect died.

scriptgirl
03-31-2014, 01:29 PM
Has the wife ever been questioned? Has their house ever been searched?

RichKelly
04-06-2014, 07:31 PM
Has the wife ever been questioned? Has their house ever been searched?

I believe she was questioned, but the whereabouts of the watch (along with other items that mysteriously appeared) remain a mystery

scriptgirl
04-07-2014, 12:57 PM
Does the wife believe her hubby killed Tammy?

RichKelly
04-07-2014, 06:51 PM
Does the wife believe her hubby killed Tammy?

You're taking me back a long time ago... if I recall, I believe she said after hearing of the evidence, she believed he may've been involved in Tammy's murder, as well as others

Don't quote me on it though

STANDREID
04-07-2014, 07:15 PM
Both my parents and their families were from Albion, IL where Mendenhall lived. He actually ran for mayor of the town at one time but lost the election.

I was there last November for my uncle's funeral. He was 99.

trisha_mc
04-08-2014, 02:24 AM
I manage a restaurant, and one rule we have is that chefs cannot wear wristwatches. This is a health code violation because of all the nooks and crannies on a watch, which cannot be properly cleaned, therefore bacteria can live there and causes a risk of cross-contamination.

Seemingly OT, but the point is, it seems to me that a watch would be a great potential source of DNA. If LE could have gotten a warrant for this wife's watch at the time they were investigating the suspect, they might have been able to find the victim's DNA in the watch, either through shed skin cells or sweat stuck in the watch/ band/ fastener.

Not an expert's opinion, just MOO.

sgrump
04-08-2014, 11:45 AM
There is a cold case in WI being investigated that may be linked to Tammy's murder. Berit Beck was also driving alone and she was found murdered in 1990, two years before Tammy. The prime suspect is a truck driver from Kenosha named Dennis Brantner. I hope they investigate who he was driving for in 1992. He is now 60. WI authorites are sure he murdered Berit but can't connect all the dots. Maybe they can link the cases together. Fingers crossed for both families.

http://www.wisn.com/news/officials-to-discuss-possible-break-in-berit-beck-murder-case/25354972

There's another cold case in WI too that was opened this past weekend. A 14 girl from IL found dead in Burlington WI.

RichKelly
04-08-2014, 03:26 PM
I manage a restaurant, and one rule we have is that chefs cannot wear wristwatches. This is a health code violation because of all the nooks and crannies on a watch, which cannot be properly cleaned, therefore bacteria can live there and causes a risk of cross-contamination.

Seemingly OT, but the point is, it seems to me that a watch would be a great potential source of DNA. If LE could have gotten a warrant for this wife's watch at the time they were investigating the suspect, they might have been able to find the victim's DNA in the watch, either through shed skin cells or sweat stuck in the watch/ band/ fastener.

Not an expert's opinion, just MOO.

And an excellent one,

unfortunately, I believe they were never able to recover the watch .

Cubby
04-09-2014, 10:22 AM
I was unaware police never recovered the watch. If police believe Bierbodt is responsible but never had enough to bring the case to trial, why wouldn't they say so now that Bierbodt is deceased and call the case solved?


I would love to know what LE has stated about Bierbodt to Tammy's mother, and I would love to know why it was believed their wasn't enough to bring this to trial.

Bierbodt seems like a slam dunk in this case......


http://thesouthern.com/news/local/mystery-lingers-years-after-co-ed-s-killing/article_68a6dcd0-d8fa-11e1-aaef-0019bb2963f4.html

scriptgirl
04-09-2014, 02:52 PM
I thought Mendenhall was the suspect?

RichKelly
04-09-2014, 05:52 PM
I thought Mendenhall was the suspect?

Lonny Bierbodt was the primary suspect, they had some circumstantial evidence linking him to Tammy


http://iowacoldcases.org/case-summaries/tammy-zywicki/"

"News Facts Released on 10-Year Anniversary

The FBI marked the case’s 10-year anniversary with a renewed public plea for any information, and announced a $50,000 reward — which joined a standing $100,000 reward from an anonymous private source in Zywicki’s New Jersey hometown — for any information leading to an arrest. FBI officials also confirmed for the first time that it had DNA evidence, collected from Zywicki’s body 10 years earlier, in relation to the murder.

Along with the FBI’s newly released information, former task force member McCarthy came forward with allegations that Lonnie Bierbodt should have been arrested but was never formally held as a suspect. McCarthy also presented several previously unreleased facts, which he believed pointed to Bierbodt as a suspect. Those facts included


◾Bierbodt lived close to the Missouri area where Tammy’s body was discovered.
◾Bierbodt had been visiting family who lived only a few minutes from where Tammy first disappeared.
◾The blanket in which Zywicki’s body was found bore a Kenworth logo — the same type of truck Bierbodt drove.

Bierbodt also had a criminal record. He committed two armed robberies in the 1980s and was considered a “violent felon.” Before his parole release in 1990, he’d been serving three concurrent 20-year terms."
Bruce Mendenhall came up later as a possible suspect, however Mendenhall's victims, were mostly prostitutes

I know he was looked at for a connection to the case, however if they indeed have DNA now Im sure Mendenhall would've been charged already, they also took hair and blood fro, Bierbodt so im not sure if he was cleared, or the investigation was botched at some point