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NJ NJ - Walter 'Whitey' Burd, 57, Ledgewood, 8 July 1980

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by ClaireNC, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. ClaireNC

    ClaireNC Well-Known Member

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    This case has haunted me for years. I grew up and lived very close to where this happened. Here is the link the the Morris County, NJ CrimeStoppers site that is the only place I have found it mentioned.

    http://mccrimehomicides.blogspot.com/2003/03/7880-walter-whitey-burd.asp

    Here is the listing from Crimestoppers:
    I was teen at the time this happened. Ledgewood was a still small town with one traffic light. Everybody pretty much knew everybody. While the above reference says it was a robbery attempt, Whitey's murder was much more.

    He was a local character and was often seen walking around. He was probably homeless or living in a nearby low income boarding house or fleabag hotel. There were a few such characters that we called "hobos". We knew them, they always waved and said Hello. They were never seen as a threat of any kind.

    Now, back to the murder, there was no robbery. According to some township workers at the time, Whitey was tortured and brutally murdered. His eyes, tongue and ears were cut out. The local LE thought it was a message of some sort, possibly mob related. The hypothesis was that Whitey, and, some of his friends or the other homeless people in the area, might have witnessed something "big" and the message was to keep quiet. The ears, eyes and tongue being removed were interpreted as a "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" kind of gesture.

    Since he was just a "throwaway kind of human" (sarcastic), the local police never did much to try to solve the case. The thought at the time among LE was that eventually somebody would talk/brag and the case would be solved. Well it's been 30+ years and nobody has.
     
  2. acanfld

    acanfld New Member

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    Whitey had "shell shock" from the Korean War, lived in the bowling alley and was its janitor and nightwatchman.
    This is all hearsay from a former Hackettstown police officer who had grew up in Landing and had close ties to the Roxbury police force. This case was uncharged but not unsolved. Whitey died a slow, horrible death - the cache was his prized coins but the "boys" who did it, did it not only for the coins but for the fun of it. The officer told me the guys were watched very closely after that, but, their parents had ties to the force and they were never charged out of respect for their dads.

     
  3. Catmammy

    Catmammy Well-Known Member

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    This is so plausible, especially as far as motive and lack of any significant follow up investigation. The interpretation of his mutilation i.e. "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil", remains just that, an interpretation but a fine one nonetheless. I can see, however, jacked up punks with family connections acting out on a defenseless and not clearly thinking easy target. What a horrible ending for Whitey. I'm glad someone remembers and reminds us of him. It is the very least this victim deserves. May his murderer/s receive Life's justice.
     
  4. JrzyGirl70

    JrzyGirl70 Active Member

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    @acanfld so strange I grew up very close to Ledgewood, worked in LE for years and I never heard that.. The janitor and night watchman part yes, but there being POI's in it never. Interesting theory...

    Every few years, there is mention of it as one of Morris County's cold cases:

    Unsolved Mysteries: 31 Murders In Morris County Under Investigation
     

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