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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Massachusetts
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    436

    MA - Theresa Corley, 19, Bellingham, 4 December 1978

    A new blog entry on my New England unsolved blog that I haven't seen mentioned here:

    Thirty years ago this week, Theresa Corley was murdered in Bellingham, Massachusetts but the case remains unsolved.

    On the night of December 4, 1978 nineteen-year-old Corley and some friends went to a bar in nearby Franklin to celebrate a friend's birthday party. After getting drunk, Corley began fighting with one of the friends and decided to leave the bar. Without any transportation though, she was forced to hitchhike. Three men picked up her up and drove her back to their apartment in Franklin where all three attempted to sexually assault her. She ran out of the apartment with one of her own shoes and one of the assailants shoes. On Route 140, Corley continued hitchhiking. She was picked up by two separate Garelick Farms trucks running their early morning routes. Both drivers reported that Corley was intoxicated. One said that Corley told him she had been sexually assaulted so he dropped her off at the Bellingham Police Department, just one mile from Corley's house. Corley decided not to go into the police station. Instead, she was last seen hitchhiking at 5:30 AM on December 5, just outside the police station.

    Two days later, Corley's body was found in a ditch off the northbound side of I-495 on the Bellingham/ Medway line. She had been strangled, most likely with a ligature, and was completely nude. Her jeans and jacket were found beside her. Her top garments and shoes have never been recovered. Her body did not have any drag marks on it, leading investigators to believe that at least two people probably disposed of the body.

    The day Corley was found, a man identifying himself as "John Burlington" called into the Bellingham police station on an inside (non-911) line and claimed he was from Connecticut and found a body in a ditch while urinating off the side of highway. Police immediately found this suspicious as someone from Connecticut would not know that the location on I-495 was in Bellingham and he called an inside line which only local residents would know.

    Another unusual event happened later that day when a man came into the police station and asked the dispatcher if it was Theresa Corley who had been found in the ditch. This was highly suspicious since it had not been announced over the radio that a body was found in this area. It is believed that "John Burlington" and the man who came into the station are one in the same.

    The man who walked into the police station is known to police but police have been unable to link him to the crime. Additionally, the three original attackers who brought Theresa to the apartment have been thoroughly questioned and are not believed to be the murders. They have not, however, been entirely ruled out as suspects.

    Anyone with any information about this case should call the Theresa Corley tip hotline at the Norfolk County DA's office at 617-593-8840.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,768
    "Bellingham, Franklin police look to dig up details in unsolved murder"

    http://www.milforddailynews.com/arti...NEWS/150639954

    “It is believed that those involved are still out there,” Bellingham and Franklin police said in a joint statement. “Someone knows just what happened to Theresa. Whatever the circumstances were or may have been, Theresa should not have perished in such a cruel and careless manner.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by hmg View Post
    A new blog entry on my New England unsolved blog that I haven't seen mentioned here:

    Thirty years ago this week, Theresa Corley was murdered in Bellingham, Massachusetts but the case remains unsolved.

    On the night of December 4, 1978 nineteen-year-old Corley and some friends went to a bar in nearby Franklin to celebrate a friend's birthday party. After getting drunk, Corley began fighting with one of the friends and decided to leave the bar. Without any transportation though, she was forced to hitchhike. Three men picked up her up and drove her back to their apartment in Franklin where all three attempted to sexually assault her. She ran out of the apartment with one of her own shoes and one of the assailants shoes. On Route 140, Corley continued hitchhiking. She was picked up by two separate Garelick Farms trucks running their early morning routes. Both drivers reported that Corley was intoxicated. One said that Corley told him she had been sexually assaulted so he dropped her off at the Bellingham Police Department, just one mile from Corley's house. Corley decided not to go into the police station. Instead, she was last seen hitchhiking at 5:30 AM on December 5, just outside the police station.

    Two days later, Corley's body was found in a ditch off the northbound side of I-495 on the Bellingham/ Medway line. She had been strangled, most likely with a ligature, and was completely nude. Her jeans and jacket were found beside her. Her top garments and shoes have never been recovered. Her body did not have any drag marks on it, leading investigators to believe that at least two people probably disposed of the body.

    The day Corley was found, a man identifying himself as "John Burlington" called into the Bellingham police station on an inside (non-911) line and claimed he was from Connecticut and found a body in a ditch while urinating off the side of highway. Police immediately found this suspicious as someone from Connecticut would not know that the location on I-495 was in Bellingham and he called an inside line which only local residents would know.

    Another unusual event happened later that day when a man came into the police station and asked the dispatcher if it was Theresa Corley who had been found in the ditch. This was highly suspicious since it had not been announced over the radio that a body was found in this area. It is believed that "John Burlington" and the man who came into the station are one in the same.

    The man who walked into the police station is known to police but police have been unable to link him to the crime. Additionally, the three original attackers who brought Theresa to the apartment have been thoroughly questioned and are not believed to be the murders. They have not, however, been entirely ruled out as suspects.

    Anyone with any information about this case should call the Theresa Corley tip hotline at the Norfolk County DA's office at 617-593-8840.
    Hi, I am Theresa's sister and and actively seeking information even after all these years. I would be interested in how you know there were no drag marks on her body? The State police did have 1 of her shoes and a shoe from one of the apartment assailants. Any information you have I would be interested in. Thank you. Jglah3@aol.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3
    Also the tip line number has changed....it has been that long. The DA is now
    781-830-4800.
    It has recently been reported that 3 men picked her up that morning in front of the Dairy Queen in Bellingham, two were brothers. I am seeking the name of the third man. I am believing they brought her to a house and later in that day or evening there was a party. From that point I am not sure what happened. If I had to guess and this is a guess, I am wondering if Theresa's girlfriends might have been there to "help" her from the night before. Somehow things got out of hand. The blanks need to be filled in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    933
    Hi Gerri,
    I'm so sorry for your loss. I was in about the 6th grade in Franklin and I vaguely remember this being in the news then. One thing about the about the police force in Franklin (and possibly Bellingham) back then was that it was corrupt as all get out. Probably not unusual for small town forces (and at the time Franklin was a small town) but very insular and with more than a few mob ties. During the 70s and 80s most of the people who lived in the area who were local business people or part of the town government, churches, or police force were all related to each other by marriage. I wouldn't rule out that this case was bungled either maliciously or due to incompetence at the time. There were a number of rapes and sexual assaults in Franklin over those years that were covered up because the perpetrators were related to law enforcement.

    edited to add a link with more information: http://www.milforddailynews.com/arti...NEWS/150628629
    even more detail here: http://www.woonsocketcall.com/sites/...CAL-070515.pdf
    Last edited by marble; 08-05-2015 at 01:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3

    Thank you Marble

    Quote Originally Posted by marble View Post
    Hi Gerri,
    I'm so sorry for your loss. I was in about the 6th grade in Franklin and I vaguely remember this being in the news then. One thing about the about the police force in Franklin (and possibly Bellingham) back then was that it was corrupt as all get out. Probably not unusual for small town forces (and at the time Franklin was a small town) but very insular and with more than a few mob ties. During the 70s and 80s most of the people who lived in the area who were local business people or part of the town government, churches, or police force were all related to each other by marriage. I wouldn't rule out that this case was bungled either maliciously or due to incompetence at the time. There were a number of rapes and sexual assaults in Franklin over those years that were covered up because the perpetrators were related to law enforcement.

    edited to add a link with more information: http://www.milforddailynews.com/arti...NEWS/150628629
    even more detail here: http://www.woonsocketcall.com/sites/...CAL-070515.pdf
    I have heard similar rumors and I am finding out some info in relation to one of the men in the apartment could have had a relative on the Franklin PD----Gerri

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,768
    Cold Case Spotlight

    Plea for Answers in Massachusetts Teen Theresa Corley's 1978 Murder

    The story of Massachusetts teen Theresa Corley is one shrouded in questions.

    "It's been 37 years, that's a long time for us to be in pain," Gerri Houde, Theresa's sister, told Dateline. "It's senseless, truly senseless what happened and is still happening to my sister."
    Their call for answers is almost too late, at least to the Corely family. They remain frustrated with the progress, and at times dedication, to Theresa's case. "I've heard from many people that this case is truly solvable, but people just don't seem to want to extend more energy on it after this many years despite what is said at times," Gerri told Dateline. "Our family does feel like the ball was dropped."

    According to Gerri, there are several key pieces of evidence in Theresa's case that have been lost or accidentally destroyed, and there is more officials could do to push the case forward.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,768
    Family still searching for closure in decades-long murder case

    http://www.wcvb.com/news/family-stil...-case/42066884

    "If we could find his DNA evidence on Theresa's body, I truly believe he is the one that killed her," Houde said.

    Corley's six surviving siblings are now pressing to exhume her body for another autopsy.

    In a statement , the Norfolk District Attorney's Office said investigators "continue to take any and all investigative steps, that we have reason to believe will advance this case and potentially lead to solving this murder."

    Not satisfied, the family is raising the money to do so on their own.

    "This is our last ditch effort for our family. This is our last chance," Houde said. "If we exhume her nothing to be found then ill say we did all we could."



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