FL FL - Shirley Badger Trenner, 61, Clearwater, 3 Aug 1985

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Sleuthster, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    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?i...YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3090,5366432&dq=shirley+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.
     
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  3. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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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?i...YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5016,6060382&dq=shirley+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.
     
  4. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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    Interesting situation where a retired executive was working for a future wino. Anyone suspected this man may have been involved in the murder?
     
  5. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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    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 can't fit the young guy in either, we'd need more details on the case.
     
  7. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    You've made some good points, thanks!
     
  8. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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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.
     
  9. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. yankeerose

    yankeerose New Member

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    How do you know anything at all about the corporation?
     
  12. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    www.sunbiz.org has information on corporations in Florida.
     
  13. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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    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.
     
  14. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  15. MajorCynic

    MajorCynic New Member

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    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
     
  16. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  17. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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  18. atthelake

    atthelake Former Member

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    I'm from Clearwater. I hope the new publicity 4 days ago helps! So did they find the cold case unit again?

    ETA my first boyfriend's last name in Clearwater was Badger.. Your mother's maiden name.
     
  19. Jillbenson

    Jillbenson New Member

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    I am also Shirley Trenners daughter and thank you for getting this out there again.
     
  20. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    My mom ran a travel agency in a plaza on 19 a block from where your mom worked at the computer place in the 80's. I lost her to cancer when I was 22 in 1988. I can't imagine losing her to a horrific crime and not knowing who did it. I don't remember the computer shop but I assume it was some kind of repair/sales of the old commodores. I don't feel that robbery was the motive as they probably did not have that much cash on hand and when I googled the location from old news articles it didn't look like it sat right on 19 and had major viability. To me it has always appeared personal.

    I know one article mentioned a man seen by the restaurant in the plaza, did they ever do a sketch of him?
     
  21. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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