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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    CA - Robert Turchun, 26, Napa, 20 Oct 1974

    At 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 1974, the body of 26-year-old Robert Jack Turchun was discovered in the trunk of his 1970 Plymouth. A CHP officer noticed the car parked several feet from the curb on Second Street, between Juarez and Silverado Trail, near downtown Napa. When the officer approached the car, he noticed blood on the rear bumper near the trunk. The officer found the keys in the ignition and opened the trunk where he found the victim naked and stabbed nearly a dozen times in the chest and abdomen. Police found the victim’s clothing neatly folded on the front seat, his glasses atop the pile.

    Police recovered physical evidence from the vehicle but no weapon. A robbery motive was ruled out as the victim’s wallet containing $30 remained in his pants pocket. Police theorized Turchun had been stabbed while naked as his clothing did not contain any holes. Police determined the murder had not occurred at the location, in the vehicle or in the victim’s apartment. Unable to determine a motive for the slaying, a detective publically ruled the murder a crime of passion committed by someone who held a vengeful anger toward the victim.

    An autopsy revealed the victim had attempted to fight his attacker, as evidenced by the numerous defensive wounds on his arms and hands. The coroner estimated the victim had been dead three days and bled out from his wounds prior to placement in the trunk.

    Turchun’s girlfriend reported him missing to police on Wednesday, October 23. During the investigation, she told police that she last saw the victim the afternoon of Sunday, October 20, washing his car in front of his apartment, located at 2579 Laurel Street, Napa. She said they had argued. Three hours later she saw his car parked in front of Hunter Electronics, 3148 Jefferson Street, where he worked as a television repairman.

    Detectives publically disclosed that the victim worked irregular hours. According to Turchun’s employer, he did not report to his job the week of October 21.

    Friends and coworkers described Turchun as “a real straight character” who “never drank much, never used drugs.” Originally from New Jersey, Turchun had lived in Napa two years.

    The case remains an unsolved homicide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    This is sad because I tried to do a search on this case using his full name, Robert Jack Turchun, and only one link came up under Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community on Facebook. Nothing else showed up regarding this man's murder. Heartbreaking, indeed. Many thanks to you for posting this, hopefully something may come out of it. Looks like it will require some deep digging to get any information. The girlfriend looks like someone to take a closer look at, her story has my interest peaked.

    I don't use Facebook so am assuming the account belongs to Websleuths.com. If I am wrong, please accept my apologies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Yes, the girlfriend seems a likely suspect. The original newspaper articles repeatedly mentioned how she and the victim argued the afternoon he disappeared, then she drove by his workplace three hours later. The articles did not reveal her name. She had to have been a suspect. Turchun did not have any family in Napa. He was described as a good guy by friends and coworkers. Perhaps his girlfriend was cheating on him with a man that caught them in bed together. Or, Turchun was cheating on his girlfriend and she caught him. Such a vicious attack suggests the murder was committed by someone physically able to overpower the victim. If the victim was caught off-guard, perhaps naked and asleep in bed, that would account for a female being able to overpower a male victim. Also, it was repeatedly mentioned in articles that Turchun worked irregular hours. That suggests the killer was someone who knew his schedule. The fact that a CHP officer discovered the car also raises questions. Turchun's car was located across the street between Juarez and Silverado Trail. Why was a CHP officer driving near this area at 2:30 a.m.? It seems more likely that a city police patrol unit would have found the vehicle.

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