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  1. #1
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    AK - Jessica Baggen, 17, Sitka, 4 May 1996

    Hello to all here at Websleuths! This is my first post as I just found this site.

    I am hoping that there is someone, somewhere who will be able to help with this cold case. I lived in the small Alaskan town of Sitka and everyone pretty much knew everyone else. The Baggen family and our family had 5 daughters. My daughters were around the same ages as theirs were. Sitka was a fabulous place to raise children and that is what kept us there. The night of May 4th, 1996 changed that forever. As far as I know, there never was before or since a murder such as this.

    Jessica was killed on her 17th birthday, walking home from her party. I am attaching the links below to let you know the limited amount of information that was given to the public to help solve this.

    There was a man, Richard Bingham, who came forward a few days after the murder and confessed, but it was found that he was not the murderer. For a town as small and innocent as Sitka, Alaska, the Police Department would have had literally zero experience in investigating this type of a crime. Even the state investigators would have minimal experience.

    I just have a hard time accepting that this murder has gone unsolved and, having a daughter the same age as Jessica, and seeing her grow up to be a woman just breaks my heart for the Baggen family.

    If anyone can help in ANY way with advice or anything at all, please help me. I know it's going to be so difficult to solve, but I feel it is my place to try. Thank you so much in advance for any help you can give.

    http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/...36915202.shtml

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...mSPLy7izmMs6-A
    Last edited by Kimster; 01-16-2011 at 10:58 PM. Reason: add prefix
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





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  2. #2
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    Bumping this up in hopes that someone can find more information on this sad case.
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





    https://www.facebook.com/groups/621913531276073/

  3. #3
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    How horrible! My heart goes out the friends and family of Jessica. The whole community must still feel uneasy knowing that the killer is still out there somewhere.
    I tried to find Totem Park on Google maps. Is it the same place as Sitka National Historical Park?
    Here's a map of the area:

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,0.057507&z=15

    I found this link:
    http://www.victimsofthestate.org/AK/

    In 1996, Richard Bingham made a videotaped confession to the rape and murder of 17-year-old Jessica Baggen. He was acquitted at his 1997 trial because jurors saw on tape that he kept missing all the cues the interrogators fed him as they steered him to the correct details. DNA testing excluded Bingham as the source of the semen found in the victim. The foreign hair found on the victim's body was not Bingham's nor was the fingerprint found on a cigarette pack at the crime scene. Bingham was also unable to describe the unusual properties of the physical scene where the body was found nor the unusual way in which the victim had been silenced. [3/06]
    BBM
    I wonder what that could mean!

  4. #4
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    I found a few more links.

    There's a video here:
    http://www.ktva.com/iteam/ci_15164950?source=pkg

    And this is an article from August 8, 2000:
    http://www.corpus-delicti.com/Sitka_sentinel_080800.htm

    Among the new technologies, McLendon mentioned a recently proven process that can lift latent fingerprints off clothing. McLendon said results of tests on Baggen's clothing are still pending.

    The police chief said that in the past several months investigators have analyzed blood and hair on Baggen's clothing and from the place where her body was found. From that analysis, they determined hair and blood were present from one person other than Baggen.

    The detectives have also been going over a list of "several hundred" possible suspects, who are being asked to submit DNA samples.

    "We've been getting a substantial-amount of return on that," the chief reported. "We've been able to exclude a large number of people from the suspect list."
    BBM

    Sounds like she put up a fight.

  5. #5
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    Thanks so much KAE for posting this! I had seen the articles but not the video.

    Totem Park is a part of Sitka National Historical Park and what the locals call it.

    My fear about this is that Bingham did it, but that the police were not used to recovering DNA and it was somehow contaminated. It's just such an odd thing to happen there in that small town. If it wasn't Bingham, perhaps a student at Sheldon Jackson College that is also right next to there.

    I just took on the job within myself of trying to bring this more to the attention of media to perhaps get the word out so that someone, somewhere may have heard another person talking about it, etc.
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





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  6. #6
    Jessica is our featured Cold Case from January 16th to January 23rd, 2011.

    Justice for Jessica!

  7. #7
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    In a time when DNA is able to provide so many answers, it is beyond frustrating to have this all-important clue, and not get any hits, as it is inconceivable to me that this would be a one-time crime for such a perp.

    All the links and footage were quite interesting, but it would be nice to learn more about Bingam's confession and details regarding the victim at that time in her life. Could this have been somebody on the periphery of her life, or her sister's life, somebody who may have known about the birthday gathering?

    What would put somebody in that location at that time of night if this was a crime of opportunity? Or was this a well travelled path, even at 1:30 in the morning? Causing a predator to lay in wait?

    Without more details, it is hard to even hazard a guess. I wonder what those P.I.'s came up with in 2000.

    Norest4thewicked, you may be onto something with the original arrest being the correct one. Do we know what happened to Bingam after the trial, and was there any proclamations from LE and the DA regarding the jury making a wrong decision, or did they concede that they had been to hasty?

    I will look forward to any new information, and my heart goes out to this young girl who died far too young and to her family who must live on without her and any definitive answers.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimster View Post
    Jessica is our featured Cold Case from January 16th to January 23rd, 2011.

    Justice for Jessica!

    I can't thank you enough. This case deserves much more attention than it was ever given. Also, the family deserves to know.
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





    https://www.facebook.com/groups/621913531276073/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesikah1 View Post
    In a time when DNA is able to provide so many answers, it is beyond frustrating to have this all-important clue, and not get any hits, as it is inconceivable to me that this would be a one-time crime for such a perp.

    All the links and footage were quite interesting, but it would be nice to learn more about Bingam's confession and details regarding the victim at that time in her life. Could this have been somebody on the periphery of her life, or her sister's life, somebody who may have known about the birthday gathering?

    What would put somebody in that location at that time of night if this was a crime of opportunity? Or was this a well travelled path, even at 1:30 in the morning? Causing a predator to lay in wait?

    Without more details, it is hard to even hazard a guess. I wonder what those P.I.'s came up with in 2000.

    Norest4thewicked, you may be onto something with the original arrest being the correct one. Do we know what happened to Bingam after the trial, and was there any proclamations from LE and the DA regarding the jury making a wrong decision, or did they concede that they had been to hasty?

    I will look forward to any new information, and my heart goes out to this young girl who died far too young and to her family who must live on without her and any definitive answers.
    Thanks for commenting, Jesikah. I am going to try to get all of the public records in my possession to look through them. But, remember this is a small town in Alaska and on an island, so not sure what response I will get.

    I would hope that when they re-opened the case that they would have compared the known DNA. But, if the DNA from Bingham had been contaminated, then who knows? A lot of law enforcement goes by the original case work and wouldn't re-do a DNA sample, but I would. I wonder if anyone even knows where this guy is? His name is fairly common.

    About the park...it is a fairly well traveled park, but at 1:30 in the morning? I know it was summertime, and more people would be out because it's only dark dark there from around midnight to 3. She would have been walking in the darkest part of the night. I do wonder though too about someone who might have followed her from the party or, someone who knew what path she'd travel going home and left a little before her to hide in wait.

    So many unanswered questions.
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





    https://www.facebook.com/groups/621913531276073/

  10. #10
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    Bumping for Jessica.
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





    https://www.facebook.com/groups/621913531276073/


  11. #11
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    May 4, 2009 Article...

    Last edited by :+:MrTT:+:; 01-31-2011 at 11:58 PM.

  12. #12
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    ?...

    Quote Originally Posted by :+:MrTT:+: View Post
    ...
    Does anyone have a picture of this deformed tree?
    Any visual aids at all? Such as the path she was walking to get home?
    Only thing missing from her when found was her weed pipe and pouch she carried her weed in.

    Left on her own, to walk about a mile home from her birthday party that others attended.

    No other match, to DNA on record to this day.

    Things like this don't happen there, they stated in the video.
    But it happened this time, and so far no one else has been find murdered since then?

    From what i have seen read, she left alone. No one walked with her back home after the party. She was-not concerned about her safety.

    If LE was here to answer questions.
    The first question i would ask would be about the others at the party. All around the age perhaps of 16-19 etc.
    And not knowing how many were there, i would ask if every male whom was there at the time, has been asked to donate there DNA to see if it is a match to what they have.

    Every male whom is still alive and with us, whom was at that party should volunteer there DNA just for comparison, so we can eliminate all as being involved.

    Do I believe this was a random attack?
    Right now i would say NO!

    She is a very attractive young lady. Whom would light up a room she was in as they say.

    If any of her friends are here, I would ask them if they knew of anyone whom had a obsessive attraction towards her?

    Just speculating, but until we know for sure to discount.
    Perhaps this person/demon wanted her so bad he raped and killed her, so no one else would have her. And then he took her weed and pipe and pouch with him.

    Looking to hear from some friends of hers, about the obsession attraction that may had been shown towards her, and or told to friends of her about a guy who was obsessed with her.

    THE ABOVE ALL MOO AND SPECULATION ON MY PART.
    NOTHING POSTED AS BEING FACT UNLESS OTHERWISE KNOWN TO BE.




    :+:Anneliese Michel:+:

    [21 September 19521 July 1976]

    [Second chapter twelfth verse of [
    :+:Philippians:+:]
    [Work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling]
    :+:Emily Rose:+:




  13. #13
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    Mr TT...I lived in this community about 17 years ago. I moved away and wasn't even living there when this happened. But, the community is a very small town (under 9,000) and another interesting fact is that there are no highways on or off the island. You must either come and go by airplane or boat.

    The path she took home had the park on one side (an Alaskan park...not a manicured lawn type park but a heavily wooded one) and one of the two main roads on the other. The college that Bingham either worked at or attended (I don't remember which) is backed up to the park on a far side. Her house was only a couple of blocks from the college.

    If someone had seen her walking home and were in a vehicle, there is a spot that you can park and, if you knew the path well, would be able to run to get well ahead of her before she came to a spot where she could be grabbed and pulled into the trees. However, I would wonder why, if he had a car, why he would rape and murder her there in the park since the average temperature in May is only in the 40s to 50s.

    I go back and forth on this - thinking that Bingham did it even though the DNA doesn't match and thinking that the DNA was somehow contaminated. I'd love to talk to this guy today after all of these years and hear what his story is now.

    You did get me thinking about the possibility that it was someone at the party. I've always thought that it was someone who knew her and knew she'd be going through the park. The most terrifying part of this is that if this were true, then there is a murderer living in that community that is probably still there. I have always felt that it was a younger person than Bingham as well because of the theft of her paraphernalia. But, I guess you don't have to be a teenager to smoke pot.

    I don't think that there are any family members here on the forums. I've had no responses to this or comments. I know the family was just beyond devastation and even after all these years don't want to talk about it. But, my thought is that if no one talks about it, it will just get brushed away and forgotten like so many other cases. I know that I'd want someone to do this for me, even if I couldn't do it for myself if it were one of my daughters.
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





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  14. #14
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    If they would release the official LE files on this case, so we could discuss it here that would be FANTASTIC!

    Or at least release some of the official LE files/documents/visual aids, from the investigation early on, so we can get a better perspective on things and not spend countless hours speculating on outdated theories and so forth.

    Being small community with only 9000 or so as you mentioned
    and access to the area by plane or boat only.

    I did-not read where there was any type of celebration going on on the island that would have had, persons coming in on boat or plane to attend that weekend?

    This seems local, and from your description of the place at that time it may be correct.

    Do you recall any head shops there? A place where the locals could go and buy there stuff for lack of better word, to smoke there weed?

    And she had to buy her weed from someone yes?
    We assume the demon took her weed, but there is that chance it was lost somewhere on the path during a chase or struggle of some kind.

    I did read, though speculative, that she may had been taken from that area and then returned later on to answer your question about the temperature and if the demon had a vehicle.

    And if perhaps the demon still lives there, there is that chance that he has been good, and not even charged for jaywalking since the crime. A citizen in good standing with the community now. Someone whom did this once, and then stopped.

    Without any input from LE on our theories, or a family member from the time here to read and answer questions for us.

    Its all speculation on possible theories on whom did this and why.

    And i am not just interested in any young people that were there at the party, but any adults as well. Even if those adults just stopped by for any other reason then to celebrate this young woman's birthday!

    Perhaps one day soon, we will get someone official here, whom could help guide us into what is known and what is unknown and speculative, so we may concentrate on more as to what happen and why.
    Last edited by :+:MrTT:+:; 02-01-2011 at 10:25 PM.

    :+:Anneliese Michel:+:

    [21 September 19521 July 1976]

    [Second chapter twelfth verse of [
    :+:Philippians:+:]
    [Work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling]
    :+:Emily Rose:+:




  15. #15
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    Within the next few weeks, I am going to contact LE and the family. I am just trying to get up the courage and also to plan exactly what I want to say. It's definitely going to happen soon. I've only been here a short time on WS, but I do see a tremendous amount of speculation and unproductive chat which (I'm definitely not trying to offend anyone so I hope no one takes it that way) won't solve most cases. I think this is a wonderful site, and if anyone other than LE can solve this, it would be the great people here!
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.





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