MA MA - Warwick, WhtFem, dismembered, at Route 78 rest area , Jun'89

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by hmg, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I haven't seen anything about this case on here or the Doe Network but it caught my interest looking through local newspaper archives.

    On June 24, 1989 legs, arms, and a torso were found off of a rest stop on Route 78 in Warwick, MA, just 1 mile from the New Hampshire border. The parts were originally thought to be from a man in his 30s (most newspapers reported this) but later studies suggested that the parts are actually from a woman. She was white, approximately 5'5" and "robust". The other parts of the body including the head were never found. The body was badly decomposed but I don't think authorities were exactly certain of when the victim died.

    Newspapers reported that there was a concern about this being related to a cult or other ritualistic killing. Two corpses of headless dogs were found approximately 25 feet from the human remains. Many people in Worcester county also reported that their pets went missing around the same time (the body was left in Franklin county, but that does boarder Worcester county). That being said, these incidents are not definitively linked to the body.

    I haven't seen any updates on this case in the local media since the late '90s.
     
  2. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One mistake in my original posting. I said that the torso had been found with the body (according to one newspaper article) but it is clear from subsequent articles that the torso of this victim was never found.

    Human body parts found; homicide probe launched
    WARWICK- Police have failed to find the head and torso belonging with human remains discovered Saturday off Route 78, but have uncovered two headless animal carcasses nearby. Northwestern District Attorney Judd Carhart said, "We don't have much information yet, but we can say we have a homicide." Asked if there were ritualistic overtones concerning the headless body, Carhart said, "That is a definite concern."
    ... State and local police yesterday continued to search 1 1/2 miles of dense woods between the site and the New Hampshire border. Roberts acknowledged the remains were cut away from the rest of the human body, but declined to comment whether they had been surgically removed. He discounted the possibility of animals ripping away the head and torso. He said one animal looked like it may have been injured and then killed by a gunshot and that both unidentified animals, found within 25 feet of the human remains, had apparently been at the scene for a longer time than the human remains.
     
  3. DBinMA

    DBinMA Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Western Mass is also still mourning the unsolved abduction and murder of Molly Bish. I'm not saying it's related necessarily, just noting another unsolved situation.
     
  4. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Absolutely. Molly was the impetus for me getting interested in unsolved crimes in New England. Parts of her body and bathing suit were sadly found right down the street from my stepfather's old house.

    It is actually important though not to discount possible involvement with a variety of unsolved crimes across Massachusetts. In the early 1990s, many LE thought it was possible that this body was some how connected to Sharon Galligan case (a UMass student stabbed to death in the Hampshire Mall parking lot in 1990) or the Lisa Zeigert case (a teacher's aide who was killed while working in a store alone in Agawam in 1992). Galligan's case was solved and clearly not involved, but Zeigert's case is still not solved.

    There's also a "western Route 2" string of missing/ murdered girls that may or may be involved. Route 78 is directly off of Route 2. Given the time gap these are unlikely but possible.
    -Lynn Burdick, 18, went missing from a Florida, MA store in 1982. It is strongly suspected that she was abducted and murdered.

    -Cynthia "Rocky" Krizack, 17, was abducted from Williams College in 1976 and found strangled to death in Windsor, MA.

    -Kim Benoit, 18, was from North Adams and was found strangled to death in Florida, MA in 1974.

    Another possibility is a link to the Connecticut River Valley Killer. The last known victim of the Valley Killer was in 1988 but New Hampshire police are known to be involved in this case and this location is near I-91 (all the Valley Killer's crimes were committed near I-91/ the Connecticut River).

    I have a few other possible connections which I will post later.
     
  5. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
  6. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
  7. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    believe 09, I definitely think that both of these are a possibility and I was actually going to post on both cases in a future message.

    Michelle Ashley was the commonlaw wife of Michael Nicolaou who continues to be the suspected as the Connecticut River Valley serial killer back in the 1980s. Warwick is very close to the spot where Jane Boroski was attacked in 1988. Michelle was 5'4", the victim at Warwick was suspected to be around 5'5" and at a potential 160 lbs may be considered rotund. I definitely think Michael Nicolaou was Michelle's killer (he later killed his wife and stepdaughter) and if he is also the Connecticut River Valley serial killer he would be proficient with a knife and familiar with the area. The timing does seem a little off though because I believe LE thought the Warwick body had been killed between March and May of 1989. Michelle disappeared sometime in November or December 1988. Considering other mistaken guesses LE initially took with the body it wouldn't shock me if the victim had been killed earlier.

    I don't know much about the New Bedford area serial killer but he was active during the time this victim was killed. It would be a long drive to Warwick from New Bedford, but we know serial killers can be quite mobile.
     
  8. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I actually have located a board with the PI who was hired by Michelle's family. She indicated in a post from last month that she believed she had located Michelle's body and that it was not in Mass. I pm'd her the link to this thread to get a sense of why she might rule this body out, but I think it stands to reason that Michelle would have been reserved for some serious vengeance and violence when he finally decided to kill her...imo...perhaps the reason it was so torn apart.

    Ugh.
     
  9. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Was that on the UM board? I actually just saw that last night but I didn't realize the PI said that Michelle's body was found outside of MA.

    I had hoped there was going to be a better ending to that case, but I guess that wasn't too likely.
     
  10. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
    OK-in terms of whether or not the UID might be Michelle Ashley Nicoleau:
    It does not at this moment seem to have been considered. Michelle went missing from Holyoke and the remains were found on the MA/NH border. The good news is that there is DNA available in CODIS for Michelle and a fingerprint card, although there is no information at the moment as to whether or not her fingerprints are in AFIS.

    The UID has fingerprints in AFIS, correct HMG??

    You rock on all the work you have done btw....
     
  11. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
    i also think it is worth noting that it is almost a straight line between Holyoke, Warwick and Keene NH along hWY 91...
     
  12. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The UID in Warwick DOES have fingerprints listed in AFIS! I'm so happy to hear that Michelle does too because I don't think DNA is available.

    I definitely agree on location being perfect. I had mentioned earlier on here that I thought there was a possibility that this was a victim of the Connecticut Valley River Killer with Nicholaou in mind because of Warwick's proximity to Keene/ Swanzey where Jane Boroski was attacked.
     
  13. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Now we hurry up and wait while everyone else starts to dust off the files....
     
  14. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Bumping this one to remind myself to close the loops!!
     
  15. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for keeping up on this Believe. I wish I had some new information on this case.
     
  16. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bumping...
     
  17. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been thinking about this case a lot lately and there was one other angle I initially overlooked. Warwick is perhaps most famous for at one point hosting The Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, one of the largest communes in the United States. The commune later moved to nearby Turners Falls and later Gill, Massachusetts. It closed down in 1988 which really caught my eye since it seems plausible that this UID could have been killed in late 1988. Could the commune or someone who disliked the commune had something to do with the body found? The arms and legs were found near the old commune sight and Gill, where the commune dissolved in 1988, is a short drive from Gill.

    In the 1973, Peter Luban, a member of the commune, was stabbed to death when hitchhiking in the area. That case also remains unsolved and it is uncertain whether the murder was directly connected to the commune (someone who didn't like the commune, some sort of inner commune problem, etc.) or is just pure coincidence seems uncertain.

    The commune was not dangerous or violent in any way and it can't really be considered "a cult" in the way that LE thought a cult might be involved with this murder. But it does seem like a possible angle LE should look into it.
     
  18. future criminologist

    future criminologist Active Member

    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    36
    let's not forget the case of the Swedish nanny, Karina Holmer, in 1996, whos remains (or, half of her), were found in a dumpster in downtown Boston. that case is also unsolved, and the rest of her has never been found.

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18885
     
  19. hmg

    hmg New Member

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Future Criminologist, do you know when they say "the top half of her torso was recovered" if they mean her entire upper half or just the actual torso? I actually don't know too much about this case. Don't think these two are related but I am curious to know.
     
  20. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

    Messages:
    28,114
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I put a call into Holyoke PD today-I want to see if they ever did a DNA comparison between the body parts and Michelle. I noticed on the web that our comparison has been lauded as a likely match on a few different crime sites-mainly those that are looking for a Michael Nicholaou match as a possible abductor of Maura Murray.
     

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice