Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: MI - Nancy Ludwig murder, 41, Detroit, February 1991

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,595

    MI - Nancy Ludwig murder, 41, Detroit, February 1991

    Family waits for answers in slaying, peace

    February 19, 2001

    BY BEN BURNS
    FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER

    Not a day goes by that Art Ludwig doesn't think about his wife Nancy, a Northwest Airlines flight attendant, and her long walk down a third-floor hallway at a hotel near Metro Airport 10 years ago.

    Her spirit and her unsolved slaying haunt him and his daughters. Today, he is wandering around California to get away from his Minneapolis home during the anniversary month of her death. Too many memories.

    His daughters, Linda, Sandy and Laura, want to do something to bring their 41-year-old stepmother's killing back into the public eye, but they don't know what to do. Do they come back to Detroit and hold another news conference? What do they say? There is no news.

    Five years ago, they checked into the hotel where Nancy Ludwig died. They stayed in a room four doors down the hall from where hers had been. More than 250 people, including television reporters, print reporters and the curious turned out to greet them. They held a candlelight vigil in the room where their stepmother died, and they prayed. Their prayers weren't answered.

    The world has turned; the media moved on. Nancy Ludwig now warrants a one-paragraph mention in a list of metro Detroit's unsolved murders. But her restless spirit is alive in the hearts of relatives, friends and coworkers at Northwest Airlines.

    "I think about her every day," Art Ludwig, a retired Minneapolis television executive, said last week. "Sometimes I see a woman from the back and it's the spitting image. 'It's Nancy,' I think. But of course it isn't. I am totally frustrated. But now they have the national DNA matching system up -- and someday, someday, they might find a match. They told me I'd be the first to know. But I've stopped bugging the police. They don't have anything to tell me."

    Ludwig, now 67, was sick in bed with a cold the night his wife died.

    That Feb. 17 about 9 p.m., Nancy Ludwig rode the elevator to the third floor of what was then the Hilton Airport Inn. The small brunette said good-night to a friend also on layover, pulled her luggage cart around a corner and walked down a long hall, past an alcove with a noisy ice machine, to Room 354.

    Romulus police detectives speculate she turned to open the door with a key card and her killer stepped out of a stairwell, then pushed her into the room. Defensive cuts on her hands showed she tried to fend him off, but he overpowered her, gagged her and tied her hands with rope. He tortured her, raped her and cut her throat. The killer then removed her clothes and placed her body on the bed and raped her again.

    He turned on the television to CNN's coverage of the Persian Gulf War, cleaned up in the bathroom, wiped the body with a washcloth, untied the hands and packed everything in the blood-spattered room that might identify him, including the wastebasket trash bag. He removed her earrings and rings, picked up her identification and luggage, hung a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and disappeared into the night. He made only one mistake: Police found enough material for DNA samples in the bathroom.

    Art Ludwig flew to Detroit the next day to identify his wife's body. He said later, in an emotional interview with a class of Wayne State University investigative reporting students, that his life was over, too. "He killed two people that night," Ludwig said. "He killed Nancy, and he killed me. My life was over as I knew it."

    Using all his television and media sources, he campaigned to publicize the slaying. Tips poured in and filled two file cabinets at the Romulus police station. The weird, the crazy and the would-be metaphysical came out of the woodwork to offer their counsel and advice. Rewards totaling $80,000 are still being offered.

    One person said the killing was an Arab spy plot to get Nancy Ludwig's passport. Another said a professional bowler had committed the heinous crime. The Romulus police checked thousands of tips and eliminated hundreds of men as suspects.

    Every time a killer is caught with a similar pattern of activity, his DNA is run against the Romulus samples. Hundreds of men nationwide have been checked. Meanwhile, the Romulus police wait for a break.

    Nancy Ludwig's picture appears at the top of the department's Web page. "She is a permanent fixture until we solve it," Executive Lt. David Early said. The page contains sketches of two possible suspects who were seen in the area of the hotel the night of her death. One rode the shuttle bus to the hotel with her and her friend and reportedly stared at Ludwig. The other was seen loading what looked like Northwest Airlines burgundy luggage into a 1978-80 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, light brown or bronze with a white license plate. Neither man has been found.

    The flight attendant's death has left a permanent mark on the lives of Ludwig, his daughters, her friends and the other attendant who was with her at the hotel that night.

    That attendant reportedly sleeps with a light on in her room to this day when she is on the road for Northwest.

    Since the killer had pictures of all of Nancy Ludwig's stepdaughters and her address book, Linda Ludwig moved to a different address and doesn't give out her home phone number. Countless other women, knowing Nancy Ludwig's tale, are careful when they check into strange hotels and motels. As Linda Ludwig put it: "We know that we are never safe."

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Romulus police at 734-942-6879 or 734-941-8400.

    Ben Burns is director of the journalism program at Wayne State University.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,985
    The murder was caught and convicted. He killed 2 women, Margaret Eby and Nncy Ludwig. The is a book about the murders called Blood Justice and Cold case files did a story about it. I tried to post links but I couldn't get the links to work, sorry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,595

    Serial killer

    I was able to locate a website with information about the convicted killer. It makes a person wonder how many others there were that he killed, but which have not yet been linked to him. This guy was particularly brutal, calculating, and cold blooded.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,985
    If you get a chance to watch the cold case files with this story you should watch it. it was interesting, the murderer was creepy and I'm sure there have been more, that was mentioned by investigators in the program.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,595

    Police Sketches

    Police made two sketches of a suspect or suspects in the Nancy Ludwig Murder. Did the guy convicted of killing her look anything like the sketches? Sometimes those sketches are amazingly accurate - like in the cases of Richard Davis (Polly Klass murderer). Other times they seem to be way off.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    Posts
    392
    Suspects name was Jeffrey W. Gorton

    Michigan State Police said that Gorton bears a resemblance to the sketches that were circulated following Ludwig's murder, and that he is a family man who they arrested at home Friday.

    Vienna Twp. - A sense of dread swept over police when they looked under Jeffrey W. Gorton's mattress in February 2002.
    With Gorton already on the hook for the murders of two women, investigators weren't sure what to make of the dozens of panties, panty hose, nylons stuffed between his mattress and box spring.
    http://http://www.mlive.com/news/flj...rgarments.html

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Yaya For This Useful Post:

    Kat

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,595
    Quote Originally Posted by Yaya
    Suspects name was Jeffrey W. Gorton, ... investigators weren't sure what to make of the dozens of panties, panty hose, nylons stuffed between his mattress and box spring ...
    This is a case where DNA on that evidence might link him to other unsolved murders or disappearances. His locations and travels should be studied carefully and published for all law enforcement personnel to check against similar violent crimes.

    Michigan prides itself in being the first state to abolish the death penalty (1846), so this guy is guaranteed a Life of Leisure in the Michigan prison system. Gorton might not do any confessing to other murders, however, if any of them might have been committed in a state which still has the death penalty.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    orange county, ny
    Posts
    2,396
    Michigan's view on the death penalty may have been on Marvin Gabrion's mind when he decided to take the life of the young lady he had previously raped and was set to testify against him. His fatal error was committing the murder on federal property.

    Death penalty opponents still lose sleep over that one.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,595

    Last Michigan Execution was in 1938

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    Michigan's view on the death penalty may have been on Marvin Gabrion's mind when he decided to take the life of the young lady he had previously raped and was set to testify against him. His fatal error was committing the murder on federal property.

    Death penalty opponents still lose sleep over that one.
    You make an excellent legal point. Although Michigan abolished capital punishment by state law in 1846, the last execution was carried out on 8 July 1938.

    This was because the condemned man, one Anthony Chebatoris, had murdered a bystander while robbing the Chemical State Savings Bank in Bay City. The National Bank Robbery Act, a federal law, had been enacted to stop a rash of bank robberies in the US, and Chebatoris was given the death sentence under federal law.

    So, not only is the death penalty possible, it has historical precedence.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    orange county, ny
    Posts
    2,396
    Gabrion was convicted in 1997 for the murder of Rachel Timmerman. Gabrion chained Rachel to blocks and threw her into a pond in a national park. He was sentenced to death in 2002 under the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994. He was the first person sentenced to death in a state without the death penalty since the act was reinstated.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,595

    Death penalty overturned in 1997 murder case

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel View Post
    Gabrion was convicted in 1997 for the murder of Rachel Timmerman. Gabrion chained Rachel to blocks and threw her into a pond in a national park. He was sentenced to death in 2002 under the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994. He was the first person sentenced to death in a state without the death penalty since the act was reinstated.
    Here is an update on the Marvin Gabrion case.


    ----------------------------------------------

    Death penalty overturned in 1997 murder case

    By Rina Miller
    August 2011

    A federal appeals court has overturned a death sentence for a Michigan man convicted of drowning a young woman. He killed her to prevent her from pursuing a rape case against him.

    Marvin Gabrion was convicted in 2002 of killing 19-year-old Rachel Timmerman.

    Her body was found in a lake in Manistee National Forest in 1997.

    Gabrion was sentenced to death because the body was found on federal property. Michigan does not have a death penalty.

    David Moran is clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan.

    “The argument that the defendant wanted to make – that had this body been dumped, or had the murder occurred just a few hundred feet further north – the death penalty would have been off the table.”

    The federal appeals court said the jury should have been allowed to consider that fact.

    The victim’s infant daughter was never found; prosecutors believe she was also killed by Gabrion.

    LINK:

    http://michiganradio.org/post/death-...97-murder-case

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,595
    JEFFREY WAYNE GORTON: Michigan Inmate Info...


    -----------------------------------

    MDOC Number: 428571

    SID Number: 2209583K

    Name: JEFFREY WAYNE GORTON


    Racial Identification: White

    Gender: Male

    Hair: Brown


    Eyes: Blue

    Height: 6' 0"

    Weight: 190 lbs.

    Date of Birth: 11/01/1962 (49)
    JEFFREY WAYNE GORTON

    MDOC STATUS

    Current Status: Prisoner

    Earliest Release Date: LIFE

    Assigned Location: Saginaw Correctional Facility

    Maximum Discharge Date: LIFE

    Security Level: II


    LINK:

    http://mdocweb.state.mi.us/OTIS2/oti...cNumber=428571

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Richard For This Useful Post:


Similar Threads

  1. MI MI - Keyaira Gay, 18, Detroit, 15 February 2013
    By BetteDavisEyes in forum Missing Forum Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-01-2013, 10:20 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-07-2007, 06:50 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •