CO - Linda Hutchings, 17, Arvada, 15 August 1979

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by kitbits, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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    Hi all...I knew a lovely girl back in high school, Linda Hutchings, whose body was discovered, nude and beaten, in a field in Arvada, Colorado, back in September 1979. She had gone missing for about 3 weeks before this awful discovery was made. Here is a link to an article that I found, which discusses the serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas, and talks a bit about Linda's case (eventually, it was reckoned that his confession to her killing was just another one of his many lies):

    http://www.westword.com/2001-02-15/news/ghost-story/

    The article's main focus is another cold-case murder of a high school girl in Littleton, Colo., Hollie Andrews, nearly 2 years prior & another one of Lucas's apparent fabrications.

    I am just so curious if anyone anywhere is still looking into either of these cases. I wonder if they are related, after all. I wonder if Linda's killer carried on doing these awful things & if this person is still alive or will ever be discovered...I wonder a lot of things about it.

    Anyway, if anybody has any info to share or ideas, please let me know.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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    & a wee spelling correction: that should read 'Holly'.
     
  4. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    According to this February 2008 article from the Denver Post, Ricky Lee Harnisch was arrested for the 1976 murder of Holly Andrews, after a DNA match was made with semen taken from Holly at the time of her murder.

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_8244730
     
  5. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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    Wow--thank you very much for this, shadowangel. I'm pleased that Holly's case now has an arrest. I can only hope that Linda's will be solved one day. I've been browsing a lot of stories on this site & noting some very old cases being solved, so it does give one hope!

    Uber cool sleuthing--thanks again!

    Found some more articles in the Rocky Mountain News:

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/feb/02/76-murder-columbine-girl-sex-assaults-solved/

    and this appears to be the most recent, again in Feb 2008:

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/Feb/07/charges-to-be-delayed-in-1976-slaying-case/

    Hopefully, these delays will be sorted out!
     
  6. xila31

    xila31 New Member

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    I don't know if you're still around this place, but Linda Hutchings was my cousin. She went missing only a few days after I was born so I never got to know her at all. But I grew up knowing the story of her death. Her mom and my mom are first cousins. I always wonder if the person who killed her was caught, and I was just thinking about her and decided to search and see if I could find anything about it, and I found this forum. It seems like maybe that person was not caught. :(
     
  7. Balthazar

    Balthazar New Member

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    Hello, xila31 and welcome. My deepest sympathy regarding your cousin. I am posting in hopes that other Websleuth members will notice this post and try to help you with your cousin's case to any extent we can.

    First off, are there article links you could provide us with? That would help to start the discussion.
     
  8. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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    Hi, xila31--yes, i still come here. welcome to the forum.

    i am so sorry for your family's loss and that you never knew Linda--she was a year behind me in high school and we hung out in the same crowd. she taught me how to play the spoons! she was such a nice girl and she was always smiling. i knew her brother, Dave, also. i think the last time i saw him was in the early 80s.

    sadly, no...they never caught her killer. it will be 30 years next month--i cannot believe it. but i like to hold out hope that it will be solved.

    i found a site that is a database of cold cases in Colorado and there is a section that allows family/friends to post information about the victims and their respective cases. there isn't a story listed for Linda, so far...but she is listed in the database. here is the link:

    http://www.unresolvedhomicides.org/about.html

    it's also a support site/network for families/loved ones...not sure if you're still in touch with the family? it might be useful for them, for you. i think getting her story out there, keeping it alive could help.

    Princess Rose & xila--there was also an article published in the Westword paper a few years ago (2002) that talks about her case a bit. it's mostly about another victim from a couple of years before Linda's murder, and it was thought that the same killer could have been responsible, but they have since caught the other girl's killer. there is a link to all articles above, including how Holly's killer was caught (the other girl mentioned in Westword article).

    the Westword interviewed Linda's mom for that article. i was so annoyed to learn that LE treated it as a runaway case initially...anyone who knew her could have told them that there was no way that girl would run away!

    any other info you can provide, xila, would be helpful & of course, you'll get plenty of help here...I agree with Rose--let's bump this up & see what we can do. Holly's killer was caught & many older cases have been solved, so why not Linda's!
     
  9. xila31

    xila31 New Member

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    I used to see Lina's mom off and on but in recent years I have not seen her often. She is getting pretty far on in years now. Her and my mom were first cousins. I will be 30 only a few days before Linda's disappearance. I think that is why I have been thinking about her. I grew up on the story but her mom never talked about her or her brother who died. It was such a huge tragedy.

    Her other brother is still alive. He has kids. I used to see him sometimes but again not often any more. The family has really drifted apart as the older generation has died.

    I just hope someday they catch him. I would have liked to have known my cousin.
     
  10. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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    hi, xila...wow, i'm so sorry to learn of all this. i didn't know about a brother dying, either. is it Dave who is still alive? he's the one i knew--he was a year ahead of me (i think) and Linda one year behind. Yes, I think the 30-year anniversary has what has gotten me going again on it, thinking about it.

    it would be great if the case could be solved whilst the mother is still alive--i'm pretty certain she feels the same way.

    what do you think about adding Linda's story to that Colorado Cold Case site? i think it's helpful because it's keeps her story 'out there'.

    let me know your thoughts, as i am happy to help. i'm going abroad for one week on Tuesday, but can get started when i return. i have an acquaintance who is a journalist in denver & i could ask him if he'd be so good as to see if he can get ahold of archived press clippings from back then.
     
  11. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Could anyone provide a description and maybe a photo of Linda, along with a case summary of facts, dates, etc?

    Perhaps knowing some more specifics would allow someone to notice similarities between this case and another.
     
  12. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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    hi, Richard...I don't have any photos, unfortunately. not sure if xila can get ahold of any? the Westword article i posted has some information. i can only go on what i remember from the newspaper article my dad sent me in Sept 1979. when i get back from my trip (leaving early morning Tues & returning the following Tues), i will ask my journalist friend if he can locate any archived newspaper articles.

    from what i remember:

    in August 1979, she was out with friends & went to her boyfriend's & then i think she might have hitchhiked home (all in Arvada, CO). she didn't make it home and about 3 weeks later, her badly decomposed body was found by some walkers (dog-walking, i think) in a field somewhere near or around Arvada, probably in a rural area, from what i recall. i remember from the article (but i could be wrong!), that she was nude & that they determined it was blunt-force trauma that was cause of death. according to that Westword article, her mother stated that when she was reported missing, LE treated it like a runaway case, which was a HUGE mistake on their part. no way she would have run away, and anyone who knew her could have told them that.

    like i said, i'll see what i can do when i get back & in the meantime, xila, if you are able/willing, anything you can also provide would be helpful, even if it's just relating the things you used to hear growing up.

    thanks, Richard!
     
  13. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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  14. kitbits

    kitbits 9 Lives and holding

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    Richard, the link I've posted has a photo and description.
     
  15. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    Well...that article would certainly make one wonder about the boyfriend...drinking heavily, known to have a temper, and "has a bad feeling" the next morning that she didn't make it home?
     
  16. RazTaz

    RazTaz Never forget Teghan Skiba.

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    Linda and I were good friends in high school. I moved away about a year before she was murdered. I started looking for news a few years ago and am saddened that there still seems to be nothing.
    What happened to the cold cases that the Denver Post were investigating? Does Jeffco Sheriff have a cold case squad? And if so, what are they doing? Is there anything happening? Any news at all?
    Sorry for all the questions but I just joined Websleuths today so I coud ask. I think often of her mom, brothers & friends.
     
  17. margarita25

    margarita25 Jessica Ridgeway. Never Forgotten.

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  18. RazTaz

    RazTaz Never forget Teghan Skiba.

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    Thanks, I remember reading about him a few months ago and thought the same thing. I would hope that LE would have investigated that. I don't understand why they wiuldn't compare and release something. Was the MO (i.e. race, body, type, etc) the same. I've only been back a couple times in the last 30+ years, but weren't those addresses all pretty much in the same part of Denver? And how can we find out who 8 others are the DA "wanted to present evidence of Groves' ties"?
     
  19. RazTaz

    RazTaz Never forget Teghan Skiba.

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    :bump: for Linda.
     
  20. RazTaz

    RazTaz Never forget Teghan Skiba.

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    Justice for Linda.
     
  21. RazTaz

    RazTaz Never forget Teghan Skiba.

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    I think of you often, Linda. Praying that Lady Justice will find this case one day.
     

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