1136 users online (211 members and 925 guests)  



Websleuths News


Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 69
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    156

    IL - Christine Dewitt, 15, murdered in Dolton/Calumet, 1974

    Years ago when I was in high school, a girl I went to school with was murdered. While she wasn't a good friend, she was an acquaintence. She was abducted and murdered at 15 years of age in 1974. As far as I know, the murder went unsolved and to the best of my knowledge, nothing ever came of it...no suspects, no nothing. I never met her parents, but was told that her parents are unable to deal with it at all.
    Right around the time her body was found, a man had attempted to abduct me. I'm a bit haunted by that experience, mostly because I never told an adult about it for fear that my parents would forever keep me locked up in my room out of fear that I'd be kidnapped because I apparently didn't have enough common sense not to approach a stranger's vehicle.
    I remember the car (a large white car) and I remember what the man looked like. I've always wondered if there were any witnesses or anything, because maybe there was a connection.
    I've looked in newspaper archives, on microfiche (sp) at the local libraries, and can't find a thing about this case. The only thing I was able to find is a local author who wrote a fiction book about a girl who was murdered, and fictionalized the real life murder of this girl in the book. I did have contact with the author, and she suggested I contact the police department in the city where the girl's body was found. My son in law is a police officer, and he said that it's pretty much certain that nothing would be done. Plus, I'd hate to open old wounds for any of her family members.
    Does anyone know how to find out if the guy who tried to abduct me was by any chance involved in this murder?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,356
    What was the victims name, and where was she murdered, where was she found. How were you abducted, when and where and describe the incident??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    Posts
    14,502
    I think you should contact a law enforcement agency in that area and let them tell you what to do. Possibly the dectective that worked on the case is still with the force.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    156
    I spoke with my son in law, who is a police officer, and he said that it'd do no good going to the police because I really have to information that would help them in a case that is over 30 years old.
    The girl's name is Christine DeWitt (known as Chris DeWitt). It happened in (as I remember) May of 1974 in Illinois. I believe she was from Dolton Illinois, and her body was discovered in Calumet City Illinois. There is just nothing online about it, and I'm really surprised by that.
    I wasn't abducted. I was almost adbucted. A man, probably about 25 to 35 years old with dark hair and a mustache pulled to the side of the road and asked me (I was walking) for directions. I couldn't hear him clearly, and realized after the fact that he was mumbling on purpose with the hope that I'd get closer to his car so I could hear him. After telling him "what?" a couple of times, I ended up right next to his car, on the passenger side. He asked me the location of a nearby street, and as I turned to point in the direction of the street, he leaned over from the driver's side and grabbed me by the collar and pulled me into his car. My legs from the knees down were still hanging out the window, and luckily, he had both of his hands occupied. One was holding onto the collar of my shirt, and the other was down the front of my shirt. I was literally less than an inch from his face, and his eyes had a crazed look. I balled up one of my fists and I punched him as hard as I possibly could right in the nose. He let go of me when he reacted by grabbing for his own face, and I backed out of the window and ran like the dickens.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,356
    Well, geez, I'm glad you got away!!! Do you know the name of the suspect in the murder ??? You were very lucky.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    156
    To the best of my knowledge, the crime was never solved. I don't even know if they ever had a suspect. I do remember something about a Camaro or Firebird being chased, but I don't know if they even were able to establish any sort of solid connection between the murder and the car. The guy who tried to abduct me was definitely not driving a Camaro or Firebird. It was more like a Cadillac or Lincoln...maybe a Mercury or Buick though.
    I think it's so bizarre in this day and age that there isn't some sort of all encompassing database out there for all unsolved murders.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,356
    maybe you should start one daga . I think it would help solve a lot of crimes. How old were you when you were almost snatched ???

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    156
    I was a month or so short of my sixteenth birthday.
    I wouldn't even know where or how to begin to start a database of all unsolved murder cases. I'm lucky enough to be able to turn this computer on. I'm not terribly internet savvy. I must say though, I have read through some of the threads, and I'm amazed at the folks on here who investigate as a hobby. Many of you missed your callings...you should be detectives or private investigators.
    I would think that states/counties/towns would have thought to do something like this. Even Cook County, which is a huge county, doesn't have much in the form of unsolved murders up on the internet.
    I started out thinking this was going to be relatively easy under the circumstances, but it's almost like this poor girl never lived or something, considering there is just no information out there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    23,799
    Does the county where she was found have a cold case unit?

    Your son's suspicion's could be right. But there can sometimes be exceptions. If a detective who worked the case got attached. If there is a cold case unit. If there was a suspect at the time who might have matched the description you gave, but they didn't have enough info on him.

    Keep in mind, it never hurts to talk to LE. There is no statue of limitations on murder. A lot of things have progressed since she was found. New forensic tech, DNA, and new fingerprint tech. among other things.

    Plus, it has bothered you some for 30 years. That's long enough. It might help, just to tell
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    156
    I doubt there is any cold case unit in Calumet City. Cal City is just south of Chicago and is a relatively small town. I also doubt if any of the cops who were in CC's department in 1974 are still there. The area has changed drastically and most everyone who lived there 30 years ago is long gone.
    I wouldn't mind speaking with law enforcement if I weren't worried about two things...opening old wounds for the family and coming across like some sort of nutcase. Thinking about most anything for 30+ years sounds even strange to me.
    If I could read even what was in the newspaper, it may help me decide if I really should throw caution to the wind and do something as far as speaking with law enforcement goes. I was hoping that someone would have some idea where I could go to read about it. I went to a newspaper archives site and even paid to join so I could look, and nothing at all was in any of the Chicago newspapers. I want to see if anyone was ever questioned or suspected like my potential abductor. I think I could pick that guy out of a group of pictures to tell you the truth.
    Does anyone know where I could find something besides the PD at this point? If I read something that seems relevant, I would definitely follow up on it, although I'm sure there's the possibility that one had absolutely nothing to do with the other.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,356
    Daga, I'll look later on tonight and see if I can find anything.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    14,797
    The real answer would come from her parents. They would remember who was on the case and any, or all of the information that pertained to the murder. A parent never forgets how their child was murdered and taken away from them.I know this isn't what you wanted to hear but that is the best source. Afterall, it has been 30 years and most detectives would have retired by now and a lot of newspapers then and now give a cursory mention with no follow-up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    156
    I don't know her parents, and I would have no idea how to contact them, but I wouldn't anyway. The author that I had contacted a few months ago had told me that someone had come to one of her book signings and knew the family, and was told something along the lines that the parents don't want to deal with it whatsoever.
    Occasionally I save emails. I should go deep into my mailbox and see if I can find exactly what this woman told me. If I find it, I'll post it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    156
    Ok, I did have the email. It is long, so I left some stuff out, but this is essentially the email (the author's words are between the *****):
    ********
    Yes, it is based "loosely" on the Christine DeWitt case. I say loosely because all I took was a crime I knew about when I lived in Cal City and completely fictionalized it. I read all the newspaper accounts and even have a copy of the autopsy report so I could get the terminology right. But that's as close as I ever get to the actual case. Christine was 14. Christine's killer was never found. In my book the focus is on the fact that the killer is on death row but my detective knows he's innocent and she has to prove it before he is executed.
    What I found interesting after reading Sue Grafton's Q is for Quarry is how similar the crime in her book was to Christine DeWitt's. Sue's is based on an actual murder and they not only haven't caught the killer but they haven't I.D.'d the victim. Both victim's were killed almost in identical fashion and even the victims look identical. I contacted the Santa Barbara police department and they asked if I would send them what info I had and the autopsy report. In Sue's book the crime took place I believe about 5 years before Christine's. And back then police departments were not hooked up via computer to share information and see a pattern of murders across the country. It will take a lot of leg work and phone calls but Santa Barbara is still working their case and as long as a case is unsolved, it is considered open, even in Cal City.
    Someone who came to one of my signings knows her parents and said the parents don't like to talk about it at all. So many years have past it would be difficult to find everyone familiar with that event. But you should be able to find a sympathetic ear at the Cal City PD. As I said, the case is still open. Or even contact Bill Curtis who does a lot of the cold case files for one of the cable networks. He's in the Chicago area and they have the manpower to do the legwork. Even the police chase with the Camaro should be on record as far as the police checking out the owner of the car and if he has/had a police record.
    Thanks for writing. If I ever get the guts to do a true crime or know of a reporter interested in the case, I may contact you for a list of any names you remember from those years.
    Sandy Tooley
    *********
    I had totally forgotten that she had mentioned a similarity between Christine DeWitt and another murder. Sandy Tooley sounds like someone who should be a member of these boards.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    14,797
    I actually have "Q" For Quarry by Sue Grafton.I will reread it and let you know.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast


Similar Threads

  1. GUILTY IL - Rosemary Newman, 18, pregnant, murdered, Calumet City, 23 April 2011
    By AuburnPoet in forum Recently Sentenced and Beyond
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-27-2016, 01:03 AM
  2. VA VA - Christine Marie Wright, 7, Dinwiddie, 12 Feb 1974
    By shadowangel in forum Cold Cases
    Replies: 165
    Last Post: 08-21-2016, 10:26 AM
  3. GUILTY NY - Leslie Neulander, 61, murdered, husband charged, DeWitt, 17 Sept 2012
    By peedoffinny in forum Recently Sentenced and Beyond
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 06-28-2016, 02:17 PM
  4. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 12-08-2013, 01:59 AM
  5. MD MD - Phyllis Bohle, 23, murdered in Severn, 1974
    By UdbCrzy2 in forum Cold Cases
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-16-2013, 12:26 PM

Tags for this Thread