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  1. #1
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    FL - Shirley Badger Trenner, 61, Clearwater, 3 Aug 1985

    http://www.pcsoweb.com/pages/unsolved_murders.html


    Name: Shirley Badger Trenner - Age 61Case #: 85-79978Date Last Seen: 8/3/1985Location Found: Learn-A-Bit-About Computers
    3178 US 19 North
    Palm Harbor, Florida
    Synopsis: The victim was working alone at the business and preparing to open the store at 1000 hours. There was evidence of a struggle. Her vehicle was stolen and recovered on the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Clearwater. The suspect description is from a witness who saw a strange subject near the store prior to it opening. The suspect is a white male, mid 20's, 5'10" to 6', 170 lbs., dark hair, orange t-shirt and blue jeans.

    Anyone with information related to this case should call the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit by telephone at (727) 582-6200 or by email at mring@pcsonet.com.


    The store was actually in Clearwater

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...hirley+trenner

    I find this case interesting because it does not say robbery was the motive yet she appeared to be a normal store clerk, married, kids, etc. I am wondering if this was someone she knew or knew her family. Very strange.
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  2. #2
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    Another interesting thing I just found on this, the corporation was involuntarily disolved 11/85 only a couple months later.


    and

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...hirley+trenner

    The owner listed in this newspaper article Robert W. ( I dont believe he was the owner though according to records) is an interesting character, over 4 dozen arrests since this happened. Mostly for vagrancy, and loitering at stores. Apparently he is a homless wino.
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuthster View Post
    Another interesting thing I just found on this, the corporation was involuntarily disolved 11/85 only a couple months later.


    and

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...hirley+trenner

    The owner listed in this newspaper article Robert W. ( I dont believe he was the owner though according to records) is an interesting character, over 4 dozen arrests since this happened. Mostly for vagrancy, and loitering at stores. Apparently he is a homless wino.
    Interesting situation where a retired executive was working for a future wino. Anyone suspected this man may have been involved in the murder?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlK View Post
    Interesting situation where a retired executive was working for a future wino. Anyone suspected this man may have been involved in the murder?
    According to the pinellas clerks website, the property owner started eviction on this guy right after Shirley Trenner was murdered.

    It is strange that he became a wino and makes me wonder what happened in his life that made him hit the bottle to this degree. It could have possibly been that fact that the business closed. On Fl corporate website he was not the owner so maybe he was just the manager, not sure what the deal was either.

    I cant figure out what his motive would be though. Make it look like a robbery? And then there where witnesses that saw a young guy brown hair thin with blue jeans and an orange tshirt. I saw his pic on sheriffs website but it is hard to tell what he looked like before becoming homeless and an alchoholic. I doubt he would have been runing around in parking lot in blue jeans and tshirt though.

    Really weird case.
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuthster View Post
    According to the pinellas clerks website, the property owner started eviction on this guy right after Shirley Trenner was murdered.

    It is strange that he became a wino and makes me wonder what happened in his life that made him hit the bottle to this degree. It could have possibly been that fact that the business closed. On Fl corporate website he was not the owner so maybe he was just the manager, not sure what the deal was either.
    Maybe he was the owner of the store but just a tenant of the building. Selling computers in the 1980's was risky business. Machines were massively expensive and people not yet convinced they would ever become a useful household item. Because of this suppliers only provided tight credit to small retailers and many of those lost their shirt. Those who succeeded however became huge in the 1990's. Maybe this guy didn't have money to pay his employee and got into an argument over it with her? Or maybe she threatened to tell on him about illegal sales practices (selling computers under the table to avoid sales taxes was common practice until the lates '80's, it was done through bogus lease contracts), she doesn't strike me as one who would go along with such schemes.

    It would be extremely useful to know how business was going for this guy at the time. If you exclude robberies most violent crimes that occur at a work place are related to work/business issues.

    I cant figure out what his motive would be though. Make it look like a robbery? And then there where witnesses that saw a young guy brown hair thin with blue jeans and an orange tshirt. I saw his pic on sheriffs website but it is hard to tell what he looked like before becoming homeless and an alchoholic. I doubt he would have been runing around in parking lot in blue jeans and tshirt though.
    I can't fit the young guy in either, we'd need more details on the case.

  6. #6
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    You've made some good points, thanks!
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  7. #7
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    Another possibility is a fake robbery gone wrong. Perhaps the store owner hired the younger man to rob his store so he could inflate losses and collect insurance.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlK View Post
    Another possibility is a fake robbery gone wrong. Perhaps the store owner hired the younger man to rob his store so he could inflate losses and collect insurance.
    That's a possibility also. The thing I find interesting is that it was on a Saturday morning. So either this guy had a 9-5 m-f job (construction?) or he knew that she would be there alone or he knew that many of the businesses would be closed. I am trying to find exactly where the shop was, the address they give is an old US HWY 19 address and they have changed the street #'s since then. What I could find it was near Nebraska and US 19 but I could be wrong. My mother worked at a travel agency in a big plaza at that corner in 1983 and there where a few businesses that where not open on Saturdays.

    The knive thing is interesting too. I have often considered stabbings to be personal. What I mean by personal is a personal gratification. Usually robberies are commited with firearms especially when someone is killed.
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  9. #9
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    I spoke to Shirley's daughter Laurie tonight on the phone. Some information I cannot divulge on here due to the on going case and possible suspects accessing this information on here by searching, but she did ask me to relay certain information. She also said that she read this thread and expresses her gratitude for what we are trying to do on WS.

    First off, The day she was killed was Shirley's last day at the computer store.

    She had lent Bob and another person the money to start the store.

    Laurie was suprised at what we had found out about Bob being homeless now.

    She said that robbery was not the motive as there was money left in the cash register and her purse had been dumped out and money left behind but the purse was taken.

    The car was found on the Pinellas side of Courtney Campbell Causeway.

    The perp locked the front door and put the closed sign up and exited the back door.

    There is a cold case detective with PCSO that is actively working on the case.
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  10. #10
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    Question The Corporation

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuthster View Post
    Another interesting thing I just found on this, the corporation was involuntarily disolved 11/85 only a couple months later.


    and

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...hirley+trenner

    The owner listed in this newspaper article Robert W. ( I dont believe he was the owner though according to records) is an interesting character, over 4 dozen arrests since this happened. Mostly for vagrancy, and loitering at stores. Apparently he is a homless wino.
    How do you know anything at all about the corporation?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yankeerose View Post
    How do you know anything at all about the corporation?
    www.sunbiz.org has information on corporations in Florida.
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuthster View Post
    The knive thing is interesting too. I have often considered stabbings to be personal. What I mean by personal is a personal gratification. Usually robberies are commited with firearms especially when someone is killed.
    The knife is the reason why I thought this may have been a fake robbery, although store robberies at knife point is not uncommon especially with teen perps and spur-of-the-moment robbers (such as junkies), or other individuals without easy access to firearms. Granted, these rarely end up with someone getting killed though.

  13. #13
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    The whole thing with the money from her purse and register not being taken still just blows my mind. I think I remember that the dd told me that LE was looking at someone close (not Bob) to Shirley. To me, if this where true, why didnt the perp atleast take the money from the register to make it look like a robbery? I dont necessarily buy that. Now on the other hand if it was a hit, they would have done their job and left without a care about whether it looked like a robbery or not. One would assume however that a hit would involve a gun not a knive. The knife thing still puzzles me too.

    What if? What if the perp went there to have a discussion with Shirley and it led to an arugument and then the stabbing? In a panic they left without thinking about taking the money or anything.
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  14. #14

    Shirley Badger Trenner 1985 Clearwater, FL

    Hi,

    I realize that this thread is over 8 years-old, but I'm hoping that people who were initially interested in this case will read this.

    Shirley Trenner was my mother. About 6 years ago Pinellas County established a Cold Case Unit and a detective was assigned to take over this case. A few years ago, the Unit was closed down due to budget restraints. The detective handling the case, Mike Bailey, has done a lot of work on the case, but because there is no longer a Cold Case Unit, he doesn't spend as much time on it. So frustrating.

    He and I have discussed getting some media exposure to refresh the case, which could hopefully result in new tips. Who knows? It's worth a try. The case was featured on CrimeStoppers in 2008, but it's time to get it out there again.

    This has been very hard on my family. My prayer is that this case will be solved BEFORE all the people involved die of old age or other reasons, which would deprive me of the opportunity to stare into their eyes with disgust and maybe find out why the person committed such a heinous act against a 61-year-old part-time shop clerk. Hopefully that day will come.

    I've read everything posted on this page and have thought about what has been said about the business owner and the Bob the Wino. Bob was the owner's boyfriend at the time. I believe he was checked out and, although he's a *******, eliminated as a suspect.

    We've had some ups and downs in this case - mostly downs. Because it occurred in 1985, the forensics are sketchy. They just did not preserve stuff the way they do now. However, there is some forensic evidence, so I'm crossing my fingers that something may emerge.

    Thank you in advance to all the WebSleuths. Any suggestions on how to get this case into the public eye would be very appreciated. All ideas will be welcomed.

    Sincerely,

    Cynthia

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorCynic View Post
    Hi,

    I realize that this thread is over 8 years-old, but I'm hoping that people who were initially interested in this case will read this.

    Shirley Trenner was my mother. About 6 years ago Pinellas County established a Cold Case Unit and a detective was assigned to take over this case. A few years ago, the Unit was closed down due to budget restraints. The detective handling the case, Mike Bailey, has done a lot of work on the case, but because there is no longer a Cold Case Unit, he doesn't spend as much time on it. So frustrating.

    He and I have discussed getting some media exposure to refresh the case, which could hopefully result in new tips. Who knows? It's worth a try. The case was featured on CrimeStoppers in 2008, but it's time to get it out there again.

    This has been very hard on my family. My prayer is that this case will be solved BEFORE all the people involved die of old age or other reasons, which would deprive me of the opportunity to stare into their eyes with disgust and maybe find out why the person committed such a heinous act against a 61-year-old part-time shop clerk. Hopefully that day will come.

    I've read everything posted on this page and have thought about what has been said about the business owner and the Bob the Wino. Bob was the owner's boyfriend at the time. I believe he was checked out and, although he's a *******, eliminated as a suspect.

    We've had some ups and downs in this case - mostly downs. Because it occurred in 1985, the forensics are sketchy. They just did not preserve stuff the way they do now. However, there is some forensic evidence, so I'm crossing my fingers that something may emerge.

    Thank you in advance to all the WebSleuths. Any suggestions on how to get this case into the public eye would be very appreciated. All ideas will be welcomed.

    Sincerely,

    Cynthia
    Welcome Cynthia! I grew up in Palm Harbor/Dunedin area and that drew my interest to this case. I spoke with your sister at one point many many years ago, I believe she was living up in the Panhandle area.

    I didn't know that PCSO had closed there cold case unit. that is awful! So many cases with no closure in Pinellas.

    Someone knows something out there about your moms case it's just finding the person that holds the answers. I have this belief that there are 3 people who know who the perp is, the victim, the perp, and the person they told. For some reason they feel some sort of absolution in confessing to someone IMO.

    Would love to help anyway I can just let me know.
    Cindi
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

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