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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    OH - Bricca Family, murdered in Bridgetown, 25 September 1966

    On September 27th 1966, two concerned neighbors went to the Bricca residence after no one had seen them in a couple of days. The lights were on and the dogs were barking but no one was answering. After the neighbors opened the door, a foul smell was immediately detected. Sensing the worse, they notified authorities. Inside the house, the bodies of Jerry Bricca, his wife Linda and their daughter Debbie were found. They had each been stabbed multiple times in what was described as a gruesome scene. The murders were believed to have taken place on September 25th.

    Fifty years later, this crime is still being investigated. Multiple theories have emerged but no one was ever charged, no motive was ever determined and the murder weapon was never discovered.

    Death on a Quiet Street - April 2008

    The (autopsy) report revealed that Jerry and Linda were bound before they were killed, which seems to contradict the theory that the murders were committed in the heat of the moment. Jerry was also gagged with a pair of socks that may have been taped into his mouth. (A piece of tape, according to one of the newspaper reports, was found on his chin.) Though newspaper stories at the time indicated Linda had been raped, the autopsy report does not list any such finding. Jerry was stabbed in the back and neck, while Linda was stabbed mostly in the chest, though her face was marked with shallow cuts, perhaps made while she fought the assailant. The position of their wounds (Jerry’s left back, Linda’s right front) seems to indicate a murderer who held the weapon—possibly a carving knife from a set displayed in the dining room—in his left hand.
    The police believed that the family knew the murderer because there was no sign of a struggle. Some drawers were open and Jerry’s wallet was missing, but the motive did not appear to be robbery. The dogs were sedated, and author Jeffrey Tesch theorizes that the killer stayed for hours to clean up the scene. The Monday Enquirer, which usually arrived around dawn, was missing among the newspapers in the Bricca’s yard. It’s possible that the killer wrapped the murder weapon in the newspaper and placed it in the trash cans by the curb, which were emptied that morning. Theoretically, this means the killer would have been in the house through much of the night. By the time the bodies were found, roughly 48 hours after the murder, the odds of finding the killer were already against the investigators.
    Who killed Bricca family? Fifty years later, one name stands out

    Now, as then, the suspects start with a veterinarian, Dr. Fred Leininger. There were rumors that Leininger and Linda Bricca were having an affair and Linda wanted to call it off. She worked for Leininger part-time at the Glenway Animal Clinic that he owned.

    "He was one person of interest," Det. Douglas Todd confirmed. "We have Mr. Leininger and then 50 other suspects."

    But Todd said the affair theory – people told investigators Jerry was having one, too -- didn't hold a lot of water.

    "There's a theory that it could have been something to do with an affair – husband or wife. The fact of the matter is we don't have any really solid proof of an affair with either of them. We have sightings of certain people together at certain times around Cincinnati, but it's just a little piece of evidence. It's not really a motive," Todd said.
    Linda's work as a stewardess might have gotten them killed, according to one theory. Before the Bricca murders, two stewardesses who had worked with Linda were attacked and beaten in Seattle. One was killed; the other beaten so badly that she said he had no memory of the attack.

    Linda was afraid and told a neighbor who sat for Debbie not to let her go outside by herself. She had said something about a drug case she knew about while working for the airlines.

    Todd didn't put much stock in that theory, either.
    There were also similarities between the Bricca murders and the stabbing death of 21-year-old socialite Valerie Percy, daughter of a U.S. Senate candidate, at their North Shore mansion three weeks before the killings in Bridgetown.

    Lt. Vogel was intrigued enough that he went to Chicago to talk to investigators working the Percy case, but they didn't make a connection.
    Horrific Bricca family murders still unsolved 50 years later

    Now the detectives are hoping a new look at this old case could finally solve it.

    "I think the answer is in that box," Todd said, pointing to large box of files and folders filled with notes, interviews and reports from 50 years of investigations.

    "It's just a matter of having that one piece that puts it all together," Todd said. "If you don't have it, things are kinda left unraveled."

    Todd and Williams say they keep going back over their files and reexamining evidence.

    "We're actually working on something right now, going back to the technology 50 years ago - simple fingerprints," Todd said. "But that's about all I can tell you right now."
    Coroner sending evidence from Bricca murder scene to FBI for DNA testing - April 2013



  2. #2
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    Thanks for starting a thread on this case. For some reason, assumed there already was one here.

    Interesting that there's still no word on the DNA testing that was done.in 2013. I guess we should assume it didn't belong to anyone they were aware of as a suspect?


    ETA: This blog post, written by someone who lived nearby, has more details. It mentions that the morning paper had been retrieved, after the time it was assumed the murders took place.

    http://historysstory.blogspot.com/20...urders_25.html
    Last edited by Betty P; 09-30-2016 at 03:02 PM.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty P View Post
    ETA: This blog post, written by someone who lived nearby, has more details. It mentions that the morning paper had been retrieved, after the time it was assumed the murders took place.

    http://historysstory.blogspot.com/20...urders_25.html
    From your link, about the dogs:

    But instead he tied them up, gave the dogs a sedative to keep them quiet, (as he was a Veterinary Doctor, this would be no difficulty at all) and then closed them in the basement.
    The Cincinnati Magazine article on this case also mentions the dogs being given a sedative. I think this gives more support to the veterinarian being responsible. I know Linda worked at a veterinary hospital but it still seems like an odd coincidence. Of course, this alone doesn't mean he's guilty but I wonder what other evidence they have that makes the current investigator doubt that Dr. Leininger is the killer.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2015
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    Bumping. The Percy case is back in the news, so I am bumping this. Perhaps they did have the same killer.



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