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  1. #1
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    IA - Michelle Martinko, 18, Cedar Rapids, 19 Dec 1979



    http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/cold-...rtinko-n275866

    It was at the height of the holiday shopping season in December of 1979 when high school senior Michelle Martinko was stabbed to death in the parking lot of Westdale Mall. The 18-year-old had not been robbed or sexually assaulted, but had been stabbed several times to her face...

    Martinko was last seen driving to the mall after a school choir banquet on December 19th, 1979, to shop for a new winter coat. Police found her body in her family's Buick early the next morning. No weapon, fingerprints, or any other clues identifying any possible suspects were found.

    Nearly 27 years later in 2006, a new cold case detective with the Cedar Rapids Police Department discovered what he believes to be the killers blood. Although Doug Larison hasn't released where he found it or how he knows it belongs to Martinko's killer, he told the Gazette he is certain the blood came from a cut on the killer's hands.
    http://www.cbs2iowa.com/news/feature...ko-32593.shtml

    Janelle says the savage nature of the attack made it appear very personal, like someone in a jealous rage, "It was brutal, a violent struggle in that car. The police said that she was stabbed 19 times, in the face, in the chest, with defensive wounds on her hands"...

    Investigators say in the violent frenzy inside the car, the killer apparently stabbed himself and likely had a large gash. DNA testing in recent years on the blood left behind has cleared more than 70 people that Michelle knew and thousands more in prison databases all across the country.
    http://thegazette.com/2009/12/20/30-...-who-knew-her/

    “My mother was a very emotional person, she felt everything deeply, and it destroyed her,” Stonebraker said. “My father was consumed with anger, wanted to get the person. My mother just missed Michelle. It absolutely destroyed their lives.”

    Michelle was born when her mother was 44. She was a “gift” to the family, Stonebraker said, after her parents had spent years trying to have a second child...

    Martinko was a tall, willowy girl with definite plans to attend Iowa State University and study fashion design, her sister said. She worked at a clothing store in Westdale, sang in the choir, acted in plays and performed in musicals. She was popular with boys but had “kind of a rough time with girls” over one of the boys she started dating in the months before she died, her sister said.

  2. #2
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    No robbery, no sexual assault. DNA cleared more than 70 people she knew. Could this have been an obsessive stalker she had never met or barely knew? It's one of the few remaining possibilities that makes sense to me.

  3. #3
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    Someone in the Serial Killers forum suggested Michelle could have been one of DeBardeleben's victims. I haven't looked into that, so I don't know if he was even in the area at the time. Surely LE would have his DNA in the system, though.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OkieGranny View Post
    Someone in the Serial Killers forum suggested Michelle could have been one of DeBardeleben's victims. I haven't looked into that, so I don't know if he was even in the area at the time. Surely LE would have his DNA in the system, though.
    I looked up James DeBardeleben and it seems like he could have been anywhere in the US when Michelle was murdered. Interesting theory though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek View Post
    No robbery, no sexual assault. DNA cleared more than 70 people she knew. Could this have been an obsessive stalker she had never met or barely knew? It's one of the few remaining possibilities that makes sense to me.
    And how many of those cleared by DNA were female?

    Just did a google search for I had forgotten. They say DNA can determine the sex. What they have they believe there looking for a Male.
    Not telling where they found this is strange. It would have to be in the car , door etc.

    If I was a betting man I would bet this was done by female. But they seem certain there killer is male. But I have my doubts.

    So testing females would not be an option since they collected DNA from a man.

    I believe it was female regardless of the DNA. 19 times, stabbed. Including the face. From the cases I have read a man in that situation would have stabbed her several times in the chest, and perhaps slid her throat. But the stabbing to the face, 19 times total leads me to believe it was done by a jealous female for whatever reason.
    Last edited by :+:MrTT:+:; 12-31-2014 at 12:21 AM.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by :+:MrTT:+: View Post
    And how many of those cleared by DNA were female?

    Just did a google search for I had forgotten. They say DNA can determine the sex. What they have they believe there looking for a Male.
    Not telling where they found this is strange. It would have to be in the car , door etc.

    If I was a betting man I would bet this was done by female. But they seem certain there killer is male. But I have my doubts.

    So testing females would not be an option since they collected DNA from a man.

    I believe it was female regardless of the DNA. 19 times, stabbed. Including the face. From the cases I have read a man in that situation would have stabbed her several times in the chest, and perhaps slid her throat. But the stabbing to the face, 19 times total leads me to believe it was done by a jealous female for whatever reason.
    I was thinking the same thing, Mr. T- a female killed her. Stabbing her in the face 19 times- they wanted to destroy her beauty.

  7. #7
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    I agree as well considering she didn't get along with most of the girls at school.

  8. #8
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    In an exclusive interview during the holiday season, the family of cold case murder victim Michelle Martinko pleaded for those with information to do the right thing and call police. Now we know, Cedar Rapids investigators and cold case unit members did receive tips.

    The 18-year-old Kennedy High School senior was found dead in her family car in the parking lot of the newly opened Westdale Mall in December of 1979. Despite numerous suspects and 35 years of searching for the killer, there has never been an arrest.
    http://www.cbs2iowa.com/news/feature...er-34006.shtml

  9. #9
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    Jun 2013
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    Glad to see this case on here. I lived in Cedar Rapids for a few years in the mid 2000's and heard about this case several times. It definitely tainted Westdale Mall's image because I remember people talking about it being the "Murder Mall" even all those years later. Definitely seemed very personal.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2017
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    An image has been generated based on DNA, resulting in new tips:
    http://www.kcrg.com/content/news/UPD...425332173.html


  11. #11
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    Nov 2017
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    Burleson, TX
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    I lived in Cedar Rapids when Michelle was murdered. Her father was a watch maker in a jewelry store in downtown CR. The following link is to a story which contains a DNA profile of her murderer. He is Fair with blue eyes and blond hair.

    http://www.thegazette.com/subject/ne...lling-20170516



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