NV - Albert & Joan Musalo, both 75, Montreux, 28 March 2006

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Tricia, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia Owner Websleuths.com Staff Member Administrator

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    Here is a very sad 10-year-old cold case.
    Shout out to the member who sent me the link. Thank you

    Anyone care to sleuth this case for us?
     
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  3. DexterMorgan

    DexterMorgan Active Member

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    It seems like a contract killing or robbery gone wrong. Maybe a son in -law felt that would be a quick way to get money in his house hold. Idk. The detectives have been quiet all of these years. So I'm probably way of course with that possibility. But idk.
     
  4. Tomgreen1164

    Tomgreen1164 New Member

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  5. tlcya

    tlcya Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Case#: 06-3486
    Musalo Family
    Victim: Albert and Joan Musalo
    Location: Montreux
    Date of Occurrence: March 27, 2006


    Synopsis:
    On March 27, 2006 Albert and Joan Musalo, both in their 70's, were murdered in their home located in Montreux, a gated community south of Reno, Nevada, located off the Mount Rose Highway (SR 431).


    Al and Joan had been married 53 years. Their tragic deaths left behind children and grandchildren who would like your assistance in solving the murder.


    The family is offering a $35,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.


    Washoe County Sheriff's Office is investigating the murder and Detectives are requesting information pertaining to the Musalos. Any and all information about the couple could help solve this case.

    https://www.washoesheriff.com/sub.php?page=unsolved-homicides

    Joanne Kohls would be the one to find her parents dead at their home on March 28th. They were both shot dead at their Montreaux home, a gated community, where until that time most residents felt safe.

    [...]

    One year later our cameras followed Joanne Kohls, her brother Rick Musalo and family to Albert and Joan's gravesite. They said while they had full faith in Washoe County's Sheriffs Office even an arrest would not bring them closure.
    KOLO 8 News talked to Joanne Kohl late Friday afternoon when the news broke about the "person of interest." She says up until today, investigators have never mentioned the name Stephen Goins to her.

    http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/16912926.html

    Lt. Tom Green with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office tells News 4, "We want to report now that the phone lines were cut to the home, and I think that's an important piece that's going to create some questions with people as far as whether that changes their theories about the case, or what they think, or who could have been involved."

    http://mynews4.com/news/local/detectives-release-new-information-in-montreux-murder-case


    The Musalos, both in their 70s at the time of their deaths, were an old-school couple. They both grew up in Brooklyn during the Great Depression, meeting each other while working for the power company in the borough. Eventually they married, staying together for the next 53 years.


    "My dad was very bright, very intelligent. Active. He skied, golfed, played tennis," Kohls said.


    Mr. Musalo worked as a flight engineer for Pan American Airlines before retiring in 1988. The family often moved because of his work, including stints on both coasts and in Europe.


    Mrs. Musalo stayed home to take care of the children, Joanne and her three siblings. Kohls said her mother was incredibly social and loved throwing dinner parties.


    “She loved to cook,” Kohls said. “Loved to have people over for dinner. It was always a good meal. You never went over and didn’t have something to eat.”

    http://www.rgj.com/story/news/crime...-gone-musalo-murder-remains-mystery/82278524/
     
  6. :+:MrTT:+:

    :+:MrTT:+: Cold Case Files

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    Strange. This was 2006. Cell phones were in wide use then. I am assuming the couple had cell phones. So why cut the landline phone lines on the outside. Or was there an alarm system tide to the phone lines. Was the killer trying to disable a security system by cutting the phone lines on the outside........Anyone?

    If I find the answer about the weapon, ill post it. But was it a shotgun?

    No sign of forced entry. So I assume that means the killer entered through an unlock door or window?

    They built the home in 2004. two years later there shot dead in the home.
    Whom built this house? I am assuming there was a crew helping to build it. Took a few months i assume to finish it and move in. So they lived in it probably less than two years.

    They were shot in there bed. A big house, they could have been anywhere inside. Yet it seems the killer entered went right to the bedroom and shot them dead. As if the killer knew that is where they were. Was he watching and waiting for the lights to go out, then cut-lines and entered?

    Had they been away for the day? Did they return home late that night? Were they home all day?
    I was thinking the killer was already in the house waiting. But the dirty footprints seem to indicate he entered after they arrived home. Unless they got home late and didn't notice the dirty prints on the floor that would have told them someone is/had been inside while they were gone.
     
  7. Betty P

    Betty P Active Member

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    Why do the police believe the information about the cut phone lines is relevant to getting new information? They also mention they're narrowing down the route the killer took to get in and out of the gated community.

    Do they think it was someone with the phone, cable or electric company? They mention in an earlier article that they found footprints going from the back of the house to a fence that surrounded the gated community. Could it have been that two workers came into the community via the main gate earlier in the day? One stayed to commit the crime and the other left via the main entrance to avoid drawing suspicion?

    Are they trying to encourage the accomplice to come forward?
     
  8. Tomgreen1164

    Tomgreen1164 New Member

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    Thank you for the interest. We have very specific information on the weapon used, which we are keeping as a holdback. I can tell you it was not a shotgun.

    The doors were all locked and secure when security went to the home to check the welfare.

    All indications are that they were killed after they went to bed. Based on the mud in the home, and Joan Musalo's standard of cleanliness, we doubt the killer was hiding in the home.

    Thank you,

    Tom Green
     
  9. Tomgreen1164

    Tomgreen1164 New Member

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    At this point, anyone to come forward is what we hope for!
     
  10. Island_Chica

    Island_Chica New Member

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    You know, some aspects of this case remind me of the Dermond murders in Georgia: retired couple, both originally from the NE USA, both occurred in gated communities with pricey homes, neither couple said to be flashy. The big discrepancy, of course, is that the Musalos were killed in their beds and left there, where the Dermond's murderer removed Shirley from the home and decapitated Russell. Still, reading this case made me think of the Dermonds.
     
  11. :+:MrTT:+:

    :+:MrTT:+: Cold Case Files

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    From reading what little there is, I assume they were keeping the type of weapon used classified. Something only the killer would know....My thought was if it was a weapon that could have been used as a throw away. Used just for this crime. Would one have to have a permit or buy and take home after a background check, or if purchased at a gun show probably no paper work involved.

    I wont ask about the gun anymore.

    He got in somehow. Either through the door where the prints were found. Either the door was unlocked, or he was able to unlock it somehow to enter, or he knocked and someone answered.

    But I am interested in the phone line information. Did they have a alarm system inside, to where when you enter you had a certain amount of time to enter a code to disable the alarm before the company called to make sure everything was OK. If that is the case, that could explain the cutting of the lines, since the killer would not have know the code perhaps.

    Those muddy prints. I assume they were going away from the door into the house, or going towards the door to exit. Or both. In and out.

    There is a motive in every murder. Regardless if its for shoes, or I just dont like you. There is just premeditation involved in this case but not alot...........First had to obtain a weapon, I dont think it was a weapon that could be traced to a owner, unless stolen. More than likey it was purchase at a gun show etc wehre not much of a paper trail was left.........The cutting of the wires. And the cutting probably was more like snipped instead of cutting like with a knife............Doing this at night at a big house, would require some time to find the box perhaps to cut/snip.

    I do wonder about there last day. What they did that day. Did they have an encounter with someone. A negative encounter, argument with anyone. DID they P''''' someone off that took revenge.

    A guarded community. So the killer had to park or walk around that, so told in the story, and made there way to the house, cut the wires, entered the house somehow without doing damage to it, went upstairs and shot them and then left, and locked the door behind him...........STRANGE.

    To extreme for a simple thrill kill. Plus we have two not one. Easier ways to carry out a thrill kill.
    Seems it could have been a revenge killing. Something happened to drive one to carried out this attack.

    I don't think this was a total random act. I think the killer knew them, or they knew the killer etc in some aspect. An acquaintance of there's from somewhere, church work, something they came into contact with. Someone became enraged with them over something. Or at least one of them but killed both because they were there.

    I know the police have looked at every angle. Including a revenge killing over something one of the kids may have done to someone. Co workers, etc etc.

    My hunch for now, would be it was someone living inside that community at the time. Was living there as it was being built etc. Would know the comings and goings of the couple. There routines. They were killed not even two years living there, after the home was built.

    You think about it. Ask around. See if you can find out about any conversations they had with someone about someone else being angry with him/her them over something.

    Instead of looking probable suspects, lets look at least likely to commit this. Someone in there midst whom became very angry over something. This was not random. But had intent. To end something once and for all.
     
  12. Backwoods

    Backwoods New Member

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    Brought the Dermonds' murder to mind for me, too.

    The other case it made me think of: Israel Keyes' victims Bill and Lorraine Currier in Vermont. The linked article says Keyes cut the phone lines to test for an alarm system ...?

    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-n...sf/2012/12/missing_vermont_couple_fought.html

    I looked briefly at the Keyes timeline and didn't see anything to rule in or out, completely, the possibility.

    WS thread on Keyes timelines: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?220907-Israel-Keyes-Timelines-*NO-DISCUSSION*

    Of course, it would not be usual practice for Keyes to leave his victims where they died. I also assume DNA, which apparently LE has, would rule him out. Still -- did the couple actually die in bed, as though while asleep...or were they up and about IN the bedroom? Any sign that there was torture, binding, attempt at sexual assault, attempt to move them elsewhere (before death), anything like that?
     
  13. Backwoods

    Backwoods New Member

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    Unlikely a suspect as Israel Keyes may seem, I added the Musalos to the "West" category in the Possible Victims threads in the Israel Keyes section of the WS Serial Killer forum:

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?220898-West/page3

    I decided to do so after further looking at the IK timelines, which certainly don't seem to me to rule this out. Also, LE's statements that they think a "blitz" attack during the night may have occurred remind me so much of the way IK described his initial attack on the Curriers in Vermont. He said he wore a headlamp and reached their bedroom within seconds of entering the house -- which he had never been in before-- going by where he deduced the master bedroom was likely to be.

    I've said before -- I imagine DNA makes this a rule-out, but just in case.... I can't quite shake the idea yet.
     
  14. Betty P

    Betty P Active Member

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    This link, from the post above, has 2 photos of the crime scene

    http://www.rgj.com/story/news/crime/2016/03/27/unsolved-10-years-gone-musalo-murder-remains-mystery/82278524/

    One shows the dirt/mud footprints leading from the front entrance of the home through the front hallway and into another room

    The other photo shows the hallway outside the Musalo's bedroom. At the end of the hallway is a cabinet of some sort with the door ajar. Was the killer looking for something to steal or simply making it appear a robbery had taken place?

    Photos of the lovely home show it was, like others in the neighborhood, set apart some distance from next door neighbors and surrounded by trees. Even with outdoor lighting, it would have been possible for the killer to approach the home, cut the phone lines and enter by the front door without easily being noticed.

    According to the articles linked above and information provided by TomGreen1164 , we know:

    The community is gated, staffed by guards who check every car coming in. Is it staffed 24-7?

    The killer entered the home through the front door, at night, while the Musalo's were asleep, and killed them in their bed

    The killer then exited the home via the back door, walked across their back yard and climbed a fence to the road that runs behind the development.

    There were no signs of forced entry, they had intimate knowledge of the layout of the house

    The Musalo's didn't employ anyone who would have had knowledge of the inside layout of the house

    There was nothing of significant value taken

    Family and everyone who worked at Montreux was investigated

    Their last known contact with anyone was a furniture salesman at noon that day

    Their computer activity at home showed they were active until that night, showing they had been at home most of the day


    The road that runs outside the housing development is rather remote in this area. Late at night, it doesn't seem there would have been a lot of traffic. Did the killer have someone waiting to pick him up, or did he park his car somewhere nearby, knowing he wouldn't be able to get back out through the security gate? IMO, it sounds like more than one person involved in the plan - the killer and someone who drove him into the development earlier in the evening, then picked him up outside later on.

    I keep coming back to the idea of a worker at the housing development or golf course/country club as the driver and an acquaintance as the killer. The killer could have hidden in the worker's car to get in, hidden in a shed or storage area, etc. on the premises, etc. Someone who worked at the development would likely have knowledge of the floor plans of various homes, including the Musalo's. Perhaps it was a failed robbery, with the perps somehow having the mistaken impression the couple had valuables in their home. Sort of like the Clutter family murders. The couple were killed to avoid having witnesses.

    If it were someone who lived in the development, why would they leave over the back fence to walk along the deserted highway late at night.

    Also, IMO, phone lines were cut to keep the couple from calling for help. Ten years ago, not everyone, and certainly not older people, had cell phones. Most were still using land lines.

    Might help to look, not just at workers at Montrose, but any friends or relations they might have that were known to come to work with them or hang around.






    They brought their own weapon, so the attack was likely planned in advance
     
  15. Betty P

    Betty P Active Member

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    Here's a link to Google Maps view of the Montreux development

    https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3670156,-119.8315551,1227m/data=!3m1!1e3

    The gated entrance is to the north of the golf course on Bordeaux Dr. If you zoom in close enough, you can see where the perimeter fence runs around the development. Even today, it's fairly rugged terrain outside the fence.
     
  16. Betty P

    Betty P Active Member

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    Edit on my previous post.

    On google maps, you can see a separate housing development just south/southeast of Montreux. Assuming it was there 10 yrs ago, it seems likely the perp exited via that subdivision. May have either lived there, knew someone there or parked his car there. This development is open, with no security gate and is just a few hundred yards or less from the street where the Musalo's lived.

    Did LE find an evidence of someone climbing over the fence to enter Montreux from a different location?
     
  17. ABrauning

    ABrauning New Member

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    I am a stay at home mom and I get bored while the kids play and as I was rocking my son for his nap, I thought maybe to make my time useful while the kids play and the house is clean I can help with people that have cases unsolved and maybe help to picture on what happened.

    So here are my findings and thoughts on the case. Cause its still unsolved.
    The location is a gated community so everyone must know everyone, gated there had to be a code or they climbed the fence. Every home is built is either a different model or b the same model. So it had to be someone that studied the structure of the home or someone that new them personally and had worked for them maybe around the house. Being a gated communities there are activities in their communities so it could be worker that works on the community but didn't live there. I read the report that the phone line was cut, so it was planned cause what robbery or a person is instantly going to cut the phone line. So the murders could have been planned. you have a shoe size correct cause reading through the reports they said the person walked in with muddy shoes so were the foot prints a male shoe size or a female shoe size. It will narrow down the female or the male. I know I know i am not like a professional on this but something is telling this was planned accurately, just by the information I just read. I am still doing more reading and researching, but it must have been planned. My reason why it had to planned 1. you have the phone line cut, again if someone was going to rob someone they don't automatically go for the phone lines. 2. They probably knew their routine they had to be watching them for awhile cause he or she knew exactly where the phone line was so they had to be studying the structure of the house while watching them do their routine throughout the day. 3. They had to know that couple were a retired couple cause walking into a robbery the robber don't know who they are robbing. 4. they knew it would be an easy get away since its by the high way SR 431. Every murder could be done by a robbery gone wrong but this one seems to me that they knew this person very well. If you could help me get any information so i could put pieces together it may make more sense to me in mind.
    could be a lot easier to find the person to do so. Thanks
     
  18. Rgonzalez

    Rgonzalez Member

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    Similar to case 20 years prior in las vegas june 25, 1981, "Jack and Xenia Rabinowitsch were discovered murdered inside their home. Both victims were found face down on the bed with their hands behind their backs. They had been shot and the initial investigation characterized the deaths as an execution. Investigator located several safes, which had been opened, throughout the house. Money, jewelry, and rare coins were still in place. Other items of great value appeared to have gone untouched. One drawer from one of the safes was missing. "
     
  19. MelmothTheLost

    MelmothTheLost Well-Known Member

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    About the DNA left by the intruder:

    (1) Can we take it that the DNA was compared to that of close male members of the couple's family, eg sons, nephews, brothers etc, and that they were all thereby ruled out? (This seems obvious since otherwise one of them would have been arrested for the killings, but one has to ask.)

    (2) Has the DNA left at the scene been compared to samples on various databases of convicted criminals and those of unknown perpetrators from other crime scenes, and not found to be a match to any? In other words, is this assumed to be either an isolated crime in terms of the perpetrator or a crime by a serial criminal and that this is the only case where he has left DNA? (Again, one assumes it has but one has to ask.)

    (3) Could the DNA be used to create a possible image of the killer using molecular photofit techniques?
     

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