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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    NJ - Susan Negersmith, 20, Wildwood, 27 May 1990

    Over Memorial Day weekend in 1990, Susan Negersmith traveled to Wildwood, New Jersey for a fun vacation with her friends. She attended a party that weekend and another party-goer was the last person to report seeing her alive, sometime around 2:30 A.M. Her body was later found in an alley behind a restaurant, with the initial conclusion being that she was the victim of a rape and murder.

    A month later, the coroner concluded that the cause of death was accidental, due to alcohol intoxication and exposure. This report did conclude that there were 26 areas of trauma on Susan's body which he attributed to "drunkenness". Indeed, many witnesses did say that during this night, Susan appeared to be heavily intoxicated but this conclusion still ignored crucial aspects of the situation.

    Susan's father never believed this and fought to have it overruled.

    A father wins a bitter victory Crusader: Kent Negersmith didn't believe the official reports that listed his daughter's death as an accident. After 5 1/2 years, authorities have acknowledged that he was right.- December 4th, 1995

    The crime scene photographs depicted a classic rape-murder. The county coroner found otherwise. Cause of death: alcohol intoxication and exposure. Manner of death: accidental.

    It was Memorial Day weekend, 1990. Susan Negersmith drove to the Jersey shore with six friends. They checked into a Wildwood hotel and spent the evening smoking marijuana and drinking. Susan left the motel about 10 p.m. From midnight to about 2:30 a.m., she stopped at a local gym, accompanied a man she met there to a party and then was seen on the porch of a nearby house, according to police reports.

    Mr. Negersmith sought a second and third opinion from forensic pathologists. They reached the same conclusion as Dr. DiMaio: Susan was a victim of a homicide.

    The fight was going on three years when a new prosecutor was named for Cape May County. After reading the Negersmith file, prosecutor Steve Moore reached the same conclusion as Susan's family. He lobbied state law enforcement officials to reinvestigate the case.

    The extensive review by the state police led them to the same finding: homicide.

    Time and evidence were lost during the initial investigation since Susan's death was deemed non-suspicious. Her father has kept many journals on the case but 25 years later, the murder remains unsolved. Susan's sister (who was two at the time) has now taken a leadership role in getting answers.


    But with her father's health failing, Emily now is taking up the gauntlet to pursue justice for the sister she barely knew.

    Emily came to Middle Township last month to meet with investigators about the case.

    "They didn't even know why I wanted to come down," she said. "They remembered me as the baby sister."

    Other Articles:

    '90 Report on Woman's Death Is Doubted - March 20th, 1993

    How 1990 Wildwood 'Accident' Became A Homicide After Susan Negersmith's Body Was Found, Battered And Bloody, "There Were Some Mistakes Made." - July 25th, 1993

    Father of slain woman pleads for information - August 3rd, 2010

    Cold cases linger in the memories of investigators, families - July 5th, 2014

    New Clue In 25 Year Old Unsolved Wildwood Murder - May 27th, 2015

    Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor revealed that a single hair found at the crime scene in 1990 could provide the DNA evidence needed to crack the case, thanks to technology that didn’t exist then. However, Taylor cautioned, he’s awaiting advice from experts before proceeding because there’s a risk that analyzing the hair could destroy it before vital evidence is extracted.
    Wildwood slaying once ruled an accident remains unsolved - May 29th, 2015

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014


    She was found there nude, dumped by a garbage can but had clean feet. It was clear she did not walk there. The worst was given that law enforcement told the family her death was accidental.

    This is the initial death certificate, "manner of death, accidental". It would take the family years to get it changed, maintaining the town wanted to protect tourism.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    I was just looking at this case the other day, thanks for making a thread for Susan JWBS.

    Supposedly there were screams heard that night and even a witness who saw a guy dragging a person fitting Susan's description into a alley. One article I read talked of numerous exchange workers from Russia and Europe in town that weekend. They have submitted what they suspect is the perps DNA into the databases so maybe in time this case will be solved.

    Imagine your daughter or sister being murdered and having to fight the county officials in order for them to acknowledge that her death was indeed a murder and not accidental. I really admire the Father for the persistence it took to get the findings reversed.

    I found this quote from a old philly .com article troubling to say the least..

    There was blood all over Negersmith's T-shirt, which was pushed up around her neck. Her jeans were pulled down and twisted around her left ankle. Her tennis shoes were missing and her feet were clean, showing she hadn't walked without the shoes. Tests showed she had had sex not long before her death.

    Still, Goode, his assistant, Mary Ann Clayton, and the Cape May County medical examiner, John Napoleon, ruled that Negersmith's death was accidental
    A conspiracy minded person, which I am not, would have a field day with the original autopsy findings and manor of death classification but for now I'll chalk that up to incompetence.

    I must admit, my ears perked up a bit when I read her shoes were missing. Kind of reminiscent of a set of strangulation murders 16 years later and up the shore a piece.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I found this article today.....I live near this area and was looking for cold cases in the county when I read about Susan.

    ~ shine on you crAzy diamond ~ Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Wildwood nj
    I've always wanted to see this case solved. I was very upset that there was not more coverage on the 25th Anniversary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    I grew up outside of Philly and my family spent just about every weekend in Wildwood when I was growing because we had a houseboat docked there...I don't remember hearing about this case, though. I think my parents bought the bought in 1989 so I'm sure they knew about this but my brother and I were too young. Definitely a heartbreaking case...I hope DNA technology can help them finally find the killer.

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