PA PA - Betsy Aardsma, 22, murdered in Pattee Library, Penn State, 29 Nov 1969 #2

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by littlehorn, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. ekardh

    ekardh Well-Known Member

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    Was the library only for students/faculty staff?

    Was it one man or two who told the desk clerk, "Somebody better help that girl"? How come they aren't sure?

    If that same person(s) was the killer, they took a risk by drawing attention to themselves. That would fit the profile of a thrill killer but surely it had to be someone who didn't frequent the library? Otherwise they could be identified the next time they went there?
     
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  2. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    There were not guards on the doors, so anyone could have come it. It was generally students, staff, and very possibly alumni. It is currently for alumni association members.

    I've only heard of it being one guy who said, ""Somebody better help that girl."
     
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  3. Hoopsticks

    Hoopsticks Member

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    Only just recently stumbled across this case.

    Anyone considered Richard William Davis? I'm seeing he lived in PA throughout the sixties and was known to carry a knife, but not really getting a lot of specifics about exactly when and where.
     
  4. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    I checked. He was not in PA when Aardsma was killed. He also tended to kill prepubescent girls.
     
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  5. Hoopsticks

    Hoopsticks Member

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    Thanks much. I'd seen that he's been tentatively connected to one or two missing women, so felt like at least throwing it out there.
     
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  6. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    When it comes to a case like this, please keep tossing this out.
     
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  7. Hoopsticks

    Hoopsticks Member

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    Just to clarify here, I am seeing in places he was out west for the later sixties, but I'm also seeing that he may have been in Bath, NY as early as 1968. Dude was nothing if not mobile and elusive.
     
  8. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Betsy Ruth Aardsma, 22
    Murdered 28 November 1969
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Hoopsticks

    Hoopsticks Member

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    Huh. Random photo of Lindy Sue Biechler in there.
     
  10. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    All photos are of Betsy. Click on each of the photos for a link to the sources.

    Here is a photo of Lindy Sue Biechler:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Hoopsticks

    Hoopsticks Member

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    Yeah, I clicked on a photo and just now saw it linked to an image search with a ton of photos, that specific photo of Lindy being in the mix. My bad.
     
  12. MenloveGardens

    MenloveGardens New Member

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    As a serious true crime researcher I became very interested in this case. As a result I picked up the two main books on this case by Dekok and Sherwood. I do not want to cause offense or upset the authors of these works but I mean... These are really not doing this case justice and are not remotely helpful in any way.

    Both name the killer as Richard Haefner, and both apparently have access to the alibi he provided to police. Why is this alibi not replicated and typed out? Simply allusions to it, and if I recall it was only even mentioned that an alibi was provided in one of the two books. The suspect is named with the main evidence being that of a man who only spoke up many years later. Much like John Parkes against Richard Gordon Parry in the Julia Wallace murder - until the case files became public and it was seen that Parry had an alibi with the Brines during the period of the murder, NOT with Lily Lloyd (separate case, but if you know of it you will understand what I mean).

    Of further and insane importance, one book claims the "running man" TOOK EBERLE (sp? I haven't read it in a while) TO THE BODY. The other says he ran some circuits then away? One of the main "suspects" is a classmate of Eberle. If the man took her to the body clearly that man is NOT HIM or she would have recognized him obviously. One book basically only mentions this man (the alternative suspect) in passing. There was something about "two men" talking. It is known Haefner and the other suspect guy were roommates etc. This is never explored or touched upon further as I recall in relation to the "two men talking" although to me I would have liked at least a quick mention of the possibility the two men were Haefner and the other guy.

    With both of these books it is essentially impossible to discern what even happened because even simple events as they are written are mutually exclusive between the two works.

    Further missing facts as I recall, which direction her body was found in (could help ascertain whether it was likely she was just entering the stacks or whether she was likely to have been leaving), how deep into the aisle she was, a map of the stacks and where witnesses etc. were, and much, much more which I cannot now recall but which I remember scouring Kindle search for over and over with no result after going front to back in both.

    To anyone attempting to actually resolve the case, the fact such crucial details are missing or alternatively mutually exclusive between the two books, is insane.

    Until a more comprehensive publication of this case, or until the case files and such are made public domain, this case will never be solved.

    Forgive anything I have got "off" since I read these books some months back and only just now found this thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
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  13. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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    Some questions?

    I understand that RH is considered a main suspect in Betsy's murder. Was he a student at Penn State or a Professor at the time of the crime? Reports differ. If he was a student, when did he become a professor?

    I do believe that this was very calculated and planned. Was RH a child molester? Or was that just rumors? I know it was said he had a violent temper.

    A shame that much evidence was contaminated before the police arrived.

    Satch
     
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  14. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    While he received his doctorate, Haefner was never a professor at PSU or anywhere else. He had, IIRC, a job with a small museum. He had been hired someplace large when the child molestation charges were brought. The ended that position before it started. Haefner was acquitted.

    Haefner was a graduate student at the time of the Aardsma murder.
     
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  15. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Richard Haefner

    Haefner was considered as a suspect in Betsey's murder. There is no doubt that this guy was a strange and violent person. Unfortunately, the police and legal authorities did not feel that they had the necessary legal evidence to connect him solidly to her death. He did know her. He was in the area at the time. He did seem to have intimate knowledge of the crime.
     
  16. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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    Personally,

    I think that composite sketch drawing of the suspect looks like RH, if you remove the glasses from the composite drawing. Would love to know what the inside of the library looked like in 1969? I read online that Betsey was in an enclosed area where the attack happened? The outside area of that part of the library was at that time concealed."That part of the "Stacks" as the library was known was hidden.

    This is supposedly a photo of Penn State's Engineering library, Look at the background of the book "stacks." It is likely that Betsy could have been sitting in a similar environment, which would allow her attacker to come up from behind, as it appears he did, with little room to be seen. Whoever this was, was not some amateur.

    Satch
     

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  17. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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    "Of further and insane importance, one book claims the "running man" TOOK EBERLE (sp? I haven't read it in a while) TO THE BODY."

    Who was "Eberle?" and what is meant by "To the Body?" Needs clarification. It sounds like some of the book quotes mentioned above are confusing. What evidence there is, shows that Betsey was attacked from behind, It was so quick that she couldn't even scream.

    Satch
     
  18. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Sketch of the unidentified suspect.


    [​IMG]
    Richard Haefner
     
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  19. ekardh

    ekardh Well-Known Member

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    I understand the "stacks" refers to the aisles of books on display as separate from the reading area.

    The attached photograph was taken at the same library, although I don't know if it's the same area where Betsy was murdered.
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. Rockfarmer

    Rockfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I studied in Pattee in the mid- to late- 80s. Everything felt and smelled ancient then. They looked like the photo @ekardh posted. I don't know what it was like in 1969, but my guess would be...not that different. I always thought the "stacks" were spooky. Claustrophobic and confusing. Row after row after row of metal cases of books. Weak florescent lighting. Some of the aisles would end at a window with a carrel. Some areas had no windows at all.
     
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