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View Full Version : PA PA - Rebecca Ann Triska, 15, Ambridge, 19 Sept 1958



Richard
08-24-2009, 03:35 PM
Rebecca Ann Triska
Missing since September 19, 1958 from Ambridge, Beaver County, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Age at Time of Disappearance: 15 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'1".
Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Red hair; blue eyes. Lots of freckles.
Clothing: Green cashmere sweater; black velvet slacks; black suede tie shoes.
DNA: Available
Nickname: Becky

Circumstances of Disappearance


Triska was last seen around 11:45pm in a car with an unidentified "older" male at the Route 88 Drive-In Restaurant in Harmony Township, just north of Ambridge, Pennsylvania on September 19, 1958.

She never made it home.

She had gone to a teen dance in Ambridge with friends. Becky left the dance at about 11:30pm. Some news reports say that she was going to catch a bus home. Others say that she told two of her friends that she was going to meet a girlfriend at the nearby Ambridge Theater.

Two boys who happened to leave the dance around the same time spoke to Becky in front of the theater. She was alone, but an "older" man, they estimated around 35, was standing in the area and offered to give Becky a ride home. The boys commented that the man was too old to give Becky a ride and, they said, he walked away.

Police arrested an Ambridge man when they learned that the car Becky was last seen in closely resembled his car. At the time, he was a parolee on a Florida morals charge. He denied knowing Becky, but refused to take a lie detector test. He was held on suspicion of a felony, while his car was sent to the Allegheny County Crime Lab. Investigators found some blood stains and strands of red hair in the car. An attempt was made to match the hair samples from the car against hair taken from Becky's hairbrush, but without the tools available today, it was never definitively proven that the hairs were Becky's. He stated that he had three nieces with red hair and the blood was his.

Additionally, he had an alibi. Police learned the identity of the girl that he had a date with on the night Becky disappeared. The girl told police that they had attended a football game in Alliquippa and had parted company between 11:30 and 11:45 that night.

With no body and not enough evidence, he was released. He was never charged for Becky's murder.

In 1962, this same man was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1961 beating death of 13-year old Jane Benfield of Centralia, Columbia County. His death sentence was later commuted to life. He died in prison of cancer in the '90s.

Rebecca Ann Triska was declared dead in 1967. Her date of death was recorded as September 19, 1965, seven years after she was last seen.

Her body has never been found.

Investigators

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Beaver County Detective Bureau
724-773-8576

Source Information:
Pennsylvania Missing Persons
The Doe Network: Case File 1804DFPA

LINK:

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1804dfpa.html

CCJD
08-28-2009, 02:10 PM
http://pennsylvaniamissing.com/triskarebeccaann.html

scriptgirl
11-11-2009, 02:14 PM
This case is crazy. I take special interest in any case from PA, as that is where I am from. I can't believe the cops bought that niece story and I wonder if they still have the red hair and blood samples from that car. Doubtful. That link states that the man suspected of killing Rebecca had a criminal past, but does not elaborate on what he was charged with. That is a very weak alibi that he had imho.

Here is a link to the court docs in the Jane Benfield case

Kat
09-10-2010, 01:18 PM
http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/t/triska_rebecca.html
POI named Frank Senk Jr.

Rebecca is not in NamUs at this time.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ySkNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4msDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5387,5079&dq=rebecca-ann-triska&hl=en
1958

A lot of articles for her.
http://news.google.com/archivesearch
just enter her full name in quotation marks at the search engine above.

This month marks 52 years that Rebecca has been missing. Come home soon.

tatertot
02-17-2012, 07:32 AM
News article: "Senator asks FBI to help with local cold case"

http://www.timesonline.com/news/police_fire_courts/senator-asks-fbi-to-help-with-local-cold-case/article_128c80c5-fb83-5c85-bf7a-0e656e617a0d.html

Local LE have done a good job of keeping the physical evidence and they still have Rebecca's hairbrush and the strands of hair found in the suspect's car, but years of handling the evidence have made DNA extraction impossible, at least so far.

Richard
02-18-2012, 11:54 AM
The really tragic thing is that this guy was on the loose until finally caught and convicted of killing another young girl in 1961. How many others were there in the interim?

Redwood146
02-24-2012, 03:27 AM
The really tragic thing is that this guy was on the loose until finally caught and convicted of killing another young girl in 1961. How many others were there in the interim?

You have to wonder.

Claudette
03-03-2012, 12:48 AM
Beverly Sharpman went missing from Pittsburgh, PA in 1947. She was 16. The place Rebecca disappeared from is nearby. Senk would have been in his mid 20s at the time.

http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PubCaseSearchServlet?act=viewChildDetail&caseNum=1148707&orgPrefix=NCMC&seqNum=1&caseLang=en_US&searchLang=en_US

Claudette
03-03-2012, 01:05 AM
Ugh.

I found another website that has an article copied and pasted but I can't find the original article. A classmate of his when he was younger was found murdered. I think this guy is a SK.

CCJD
03-03-2012, 07:29 AM
Beverly Sharpman went missing from Pittsburgh, PA in 1947. She was 16. The place Rebecca disappeared from is nearby. Senk would have been in his mid 20s at the time.

http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PubCaseSearchServlet?act=viewChildDetail&caseNum=1148707&orgPrefix=NCMC&seqNum=1&caseLang=en_US&searchLang=en_US

Beverly went missing from Philadelphia, not Pittsburgh. :)

Robin Hood
03-03-2012, 09:39 AM
Ugh.

I found another website that has an article copied and pasted but I can't find the original article. A classmate of his when he was younger was found murdered. I think this guy is a SK.

This is it I think - Classmate was Margaret Bankowski murdered in 1949

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=71QyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZLUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1612,2445434&dq=frank+senk&hl=en

parakeet
06-05-2012, 07:14 PM
Mr. Senk has quite a history of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault. The morals charge in florida was for statutory rape. Here is a link to a lengthy transcribed court document that contains details of the murder he was convicted of, and other assaults Frank Earl Senk, PA - Cold Case Investigations

Marilynilpa
06-05-2012, 10:13 PM
If Frank Senk was responsible for the death of his classmate Margaret Bankowski in 1949, Rebecca Ann Triska in 1958, and the Columbia County girl in 1961, that is a big time span.

If he was truly a serial killer, you know there are probably other victims out there.

Marilynilpa
06-05-2012, 10:27 PM
Regarding the Columbia County case, here is basic info:

Thirteen-year-old Jane Mary Benfield of Centralia, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, was last seen on 7/11/61. She left her home about 9:30 A.M. to deliver a jar of jelly to a neighbor who lived about 2½ blocks away. Several minutes later she got into a Pontiac station wagon after being seen trying to give directions to the driver.

About 7:00 P. M. on July 12, 1961, searchers located Jane's body. She was nude, had been sexually assaulted and was left in an abandoned, wooded mining area. Her death was attributed to a fractured skull and/or strangulation.

Senk confessed he killed Jane because she resisted his advances.

I can see him doing the same to Rebecca if she resisted him.

STANDREID
11-29-2013, 08:31 PM
I don't see where Senk's "alibi" lets him off the hook unless he was many miles away when he parted with his date. Beyond that, parents and romantic partners are notoriously poor alibis anyway.

rosario
11-29-2013, 08:37 PM
So scary

Veidt
11-30-2013, 03:44 AM
I don't see where Senk's "alibi" lets him off the hook unless he was many miles away when he parted with his date. Beyond that, parents and romantic partners are notoriously poor alibis anyway.

From what I understand, it's definitely not many miles away.

http://oi41.tinypic.com/296lkec.jpg

Point marked A is Alliquippa. Point Marked B is Ambridge.

I don't know if the route marked on the map existed in 1958. However, if it did, that's only a little bit over 4 miles, 9 or so minutes driving. Even if it didn't exist I assume it wouldn't have taken that much longer. He could also have taken less time if he was speeding.

Another thing I'd like to note. I can't see any other stadium in Aliquippa. Maybe I'm wrong, but that might be the stadium where the POI supposedly was. It's also possible it's a new stadium and that the older one was demolished, of course.

I couldn't find Ambridge Theater, when I search I only get hits for Ambridge Family Theater, which is near where it says Park Rd Park (bottom of the picture, next to the river, Ambridge side) but more inland.

I'm sorry, but this seems like a very short distance to me. There's a number of explanations for the time discrepancy when you're dealing with such a short period of time. Maybe the 'date' or one of the boys got the time off by a few minutes. Perhaps he left his date a bit earlier and then his 'date' lied or was manipulated into lying to protect who she thought was a nice man. Maybe he pressured into lying about the time, even his whole date. Etc. etc.

I just don't understand why LE would take this to be a trustworthy (or valid) alibi.

:twocents:, :moo:, etc.

Veidt
11-30-2013, 04:19 AM
I have a correction to make to my previous post, I apologize for posting it separately but I wanted to keep in that info in case it might be important to anyone, but also didn't want to make it sound confusing.

From the Charley Project page:


Her father gave her two dollars so she could go to a football game in New Castle, Pennsylvania. One of her friends didn't have enough money to go, however, so Rebecca and her friend went to a dance at the now-defunct Workingman's Beneficial Union instead.

Rebecca left the dance at 11:30 p.m. Some reports say she was going to catch a ride home; other state she told two friends she was going to meet another friend at the Ambridge Theater nearby. Two boys who left the dance at the same time as Rebecca spoke to her in front of the theater.

This puts her at a location other than the theater at 11:30 - at the Workingman's Beneficial Union, where she was leaving the dance. I misread this in the original post. From searching I found that in 1967, it was located at 332 Merchant Street in Ambridge (please note that by 2001 it had another address, so maybe it moved locations sometimes). If this is where it was located in 1958, then it's a bit farther south. It's not in the map I posted but you can get an idea. Look at where it says 65. It's a few blocks to the southeast from that. Again, this is provided the street numbering is still the same.

By the time she reached the Theater, it would be a few minutes later, unless it was right next door. I assume she would be walking, too.

According to Google Maps, it's about a 7 minute drive from where it says Park Rd on the map (I used that as a general reference point) to where it says Harmony Township.

So here's the general timeline: at 11:30, Rebecca leaves the dance. This is the earliest time Senk's date has given for him leaving the date also. By 11:40, he could be in Ambridge and see Rebecca by the Theater. So he offers a ride, gets scared by the boys, comes back and by 11:45 they're at the drive-in in Harmony.

This seems like a tight time frame but as I said, maybe he left his date slightly earlier than that. Maybe the 11:30 and 11:45 times given by Rebecca's friend and the drive-in were also slightly rounded up or down.

It seems odd he could have taken such a little time if he had to threaten her into not asking for help at the drive-in but maybe he lied and said he just needed to get some food and it'd be quick. The Charley Project page says she didn't live very far from Harmony. In fact, Baden (where she lived) is to the north of Ambridge. He could have said he was taking a quick detour east to Harmony before going northwest to her home.

I also wonder if she might know who he was. From one of his pictures on the Charley Project page he looks relatively young, maybe his 20s, so maybe he could have set up a date with her (I'm not blaming her at all, just saying that sometimes guys like this can come across as harmless and even nice and trustworthy).

:twocents:

OkieGranny
09-01-2014, 02:19 AM
http://www.timesonline.com/news/local_news/beaver-county-teen-s-disappearance-still-haunting-five-decades-later/article_6df8a699-0f2c-56dd-abed-05e08da9aa2d.html


About a month before Becky disappeared, Laurenza remembers she and Becky were sunbathing on the Triskas' lawn in Baden when a nice looking, dark-haired man approached the house. Laurenza said Becky asked her father who the man was, and he told the girls the man was a knife salesman. Laurenza can’t say for sure if the man was Senk, but she believes there are too many coincidences for him not have been Senk...

Senk had scratches on him when he was taken into custody. Laurenza said Becky was a strong girl. She recalled one time when they were joking around and Becky grabbed her hand. “God, she almost broke my finger... She was not weak at all,” she said. “She probably tried fighting him off”...

Along with the hair samples from Senk’s car, investigators also have strands of Becky’s hair provided to them by her family. The FBI has agreed to test the hair samples to see if any DNA could be extracted that would prove Becky was in Senk’s car. However, recent cases must take precedent, so it is unknown when the tests will be run.

Richard
09-25-2014, 12:05 AM
This case is now 56 years old.