WI - Terry Dolowy, 24, Barre Mills, 14 Feb 1985

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by lostfaith, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. lostfaith

    lostfaith Lost my mind too!

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    I came across this unsolved case when browsing tonight. I had not heard of this one and I am in Wisconsin. It is very interesting. Terry Dolowy, 24 went missing, 4 days later her headless body was found burning in a ditch. The articles at the link start out in 1985 up to 2001 I believe. They were in 2001 discussing DNA evidence. Her little white poodle named Suzie disapeared with her. I am gonna go search to see if I can come up with more current info. Here is the link for the articles.

    http://www.lacrosselibrary.org/digitalproject/dolowy.htm
     
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  3. lostfaith

    lostfaith Lost my mind too!

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    Here is an article from March 2005. The are still working on the DNA. This article states it was DNA from semen.

    http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/11_galballye_dnatests/

    This article says the semem could be from a consentining encounter rather than a sexual assualt as orginally thought. They are getting lots of new tips since bring this case front and center again.

    http://www.couleenews.com/articles/2005/02/23/news/03dolowy.txt

    Article with tip of a blue colored car

    http://www.wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=2970532&nav=KoJDWZbI
     
  4. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

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  5. lostfaith

    lostfaith Lost my mind too!

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    This case is not as cold as I thought. Wonder where I have been? Lol!

    My first questions in this case are:

    1. Now that they think that the semen DNA might be from consenting sex and not neccessarily an asault, do they know what time she left her job at the bar? It was stated she had a slight argument with her boyfriend cause she was late getting home and he was 2 hours late for his job. Did she go off with someone after work and thats why she was late? Did she meet up with him again later?

    2. Her dog is gone too. Did she take the dog with her, and if she did, that makes me think she knew the person. A stranger would not bother with the dog. Or, the door was left open, prob. the dog went out by itself in search of her, and it being Feb. and cold, and it sounding like a rural area, the dog being small mabe died of exposure.

    There is a anniversary of this murder coming up on Valentines Day. Maybe there will be new stories coming out.
     
  6. Ang50

    Ang50 New Member

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    They're exhuming her body.

    "Forensic pathologists and anthropologists at the Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's office in Hastings, Minn., will examine Dolowy's remains.

    Authorities say new tips in the case poured in after the La Crosse Tribune ran an article in 2005 about the 20th anniversary of Dolowy's death.

    "This case has never fallen off the radar screen," Hanson said.

    http://www.jsonline.com/watch/?watch=1&date=12/14/2007&id=33080
     
  7. joellegirl

    joellegirl New Member

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  8. zipp06

    zipp06 New Member

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    I stumbled across this website when I just found out this terrible news. I went to school with Terry. Although we were not real close, I still went to parties, etc, and we had mutual friends. I was shocked to find out what had happened. I just wanted to keep up with the story and see if they ever find the animal(s) who murdered my classmate. :furious:
     
  9. Anita Richman

    Anita Richman New Member

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    Zipp, welcome to websleuths, although I am sorry it is under such sad circumstances.
     
  10. zipp06

    zipp06 New Member

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    P.S. FYI, I was looking at some of the film footage and I believe they were mis-pronouncing Terry's last name. I am relying on my memory of 30 years ago, but I a pretty sure

    It is not: doll-oh-way

    It is: duh-low-we

    Sorry for my pronunciation key, but that's the only way I know how to express it. I just felt bad that after all that had happened to her, they said her name wrong.

    Terry was a very beautiful girl and she was friends with everyone. She wasn't the type that would shun you if you were not exactly cool or good-looking. :)
     
  11. Anita Richman

    Anita Richman New Member

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    Gosh, anything you can recall about Terry will be welcome here. And you're right, after the way she was treated, she deserves to have the respect of having her name pronounced correctly!
     
  12. Backwoods

    Backwoods New Member

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    Just happened across this case and then noticed there aren't any recent updates (I don't see another thread on WS for Terry; please correct me if there is one and I just missed it) -- so I went looking.

    I found this, from 2011 -- but so far I don't know how any of the leads mentioned turned out. Maybe others can help update Terry's case on WS, too.

    read more at: http://lacrossetribune.com/news/loc...cle_7bf708a8-fa0e-11e0-b387-001cc4c03286.html
     
  13. Lorelilly

    Lorelilly New Member

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    If Russell did it, where did he keep Terry's body for the 3 or 4 days they believe the killer kept her alive, or at the very least hid her body? Frustrating case.
     
  14. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Is there a detailed history of her academic life? Twenty-four seems rather old for a college senior. Was she in the military or some other full time job that took her out of school for a couple of years?
     
  15. Digital Discovery

    Digital Discovery New Member

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    I hadn't heard of this unsolved murder before seeing it on this website. Normally, I just follow the murders in Central Wisconsin. Thanks to everyone who makes this site happen. It is a great way to share thoughts and information so that these victims are not forgotten.

    I have read most of the links mentioned on this thread and watched a Youtube video here:
    Who Killed Terry Dolowy part 2 - YouTube
    Although this video was uploaded in 2010, it mentions a timeframe of four years after the murder, which would make it about 1989.

    What really amazes me about this case is the focus on the fiancé. The two detectives kept saying they were keeping an open mind, but also kept suggesting that the fiancé was a key suspect. According to one report, he was the focus because of some of the unmentioned facts at the crime scene, the fact that he was the last one to admit seeing her, there was no forced entry and his behavior after the murder. It also mentions that he had gambling debts, but no mention of how much.

    It just seems to me that most of the facts they present in these reports don't fit him as the killer; in fact, just the opposite.
    1.) She had the DNA of another person on(in) her body, although it was determined to have been consensual sex. Usually this is suggested by a lack of bruising, but could also mean that she submitted in the face of overwhelming force, like a gun held to her head. Wouldn't it be more likely that the presence of foreign DNA would indicate the presence of someone other than her fiancé when she was killed?
    2)She was planning to get married to her fiancé later that year. What did her girlfriends say about her plans to marry? What did they say about her fiancé? It didn't mention any previous violence between them. If he didn't want to be with her why would he resort to killing her and not just leave? They had no children and no marital estate, although there might have been comingling of funds.
    3) She was killed just hours before the discovery of the body. That meant that it was likely someone kept her captive for four days before killing her. Her fiancé reported her disappearance the same day she went missing. Doesn't it seem strange that her fiance' would have been able to continue on with his life, under scrutiny of the police after reporting her missing, and still keep her alive and hidden for THREE DAYS? In this small community? Really?
    4) I am soooo tired of this no-forced-entry-so-it-must-have-been-someone-she-knew. She had a dog. She had just come home from work. The dog had to go pee before she went to bed. Outside. If she didn't watch the dog while she let it out, it would have been easy for someone to lure the dog and subdue or kill it. That would have forced her to leave her house to look for the dog. Outside. A sitting duck. That scenario seems very possible.
    5) Neighbors reported a strange car in the area on the night of the murder. Her fiancé had reported someone prowling around the house days before the murder. What did the car look like? Her body was still in flames when it was discovered, which meant that police had a very good idea of when it was set on fire. Why wouldn't a description of the car have been released to the public as soon as the body was discovered so that anyone who saw that car driving around the area near that lonely road would have reported it?
    6) What about evidence at the crime scene? Footprints? Tireprints? The gas can left an impression on the side of the road, so it must have been soft enough to record footprints too.
    7) She worked at a bar and came home late at night. Stalkers often target women who do this because they are out and about in the middle of the night when they are most vulnerable. Did anyone get a description of someone out-of-place at the bar in the nights prior to the murder? Regulars notice these sort of things. Did they take her disappearance seriously BEFORE her body was found or did they wait while crucial evidence faded away.
    8) The detectives said there was NO other case like this in the WHOLE US. I'm skeptical. The only reason they knew she had been held captive for four days is because the killer set her on fire and a person happened to drive by on a lonely road and see the flames. Who knows what would have happened if he had come by only minutes later. The body may never have been discovered. Maybe rather than trying to find cases where a woman is held for four days and then killed and disfigured they should have focused on women who went missing from their home when they are alone. Bet they could find some of those. Maybe even within a few hours radius. The killer had to keep her somewhere. If they documented cases of women abducted from their home at night, a pattern might develop.

    This is a tragedy in so many ways. What if the police had taken the fiancé's report of a prowler several days before the murder more seriously? Could they have thwarted this murder? What if they had organized a manhunt for her immediately after she was reported missing? She might have been found alive! What if they had released a description of the suspicious car or focused on stalkers with this MO rather than on the fiancé? Could the police have prevented future murders? At what cost did they release their suspicions that the fiancé was involved? Imagine what being suspected as a murderer for 30 years can do to harm an innocent life?

    Remember, for all of this tragedy, perhaps the greatest one is that the killer probably has killed again, and would not have been able to do so if caught for this murder. Unsolved murders bring so much destruction.

    Will someone ever come forward with information that can end this?
     
  16. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    If it's the case, I'd like to know, since it wasn't from her fiancée, how they determined that the DNA was from a consensual act. The presence of vaginal fluid does not necessarily mean that an act is consensual.
     
  17. Digital Discovery

    Digital Discovery New Member

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    I don't know why they considered it consensual. Actually, very little about this case made any sense to me. Just the fact that she disappeared for four days before she was killed seems to indicate an unusual murder that might have been a good candidate for the WDCI involvement, yet no mention was made of anyone but the local police and sheriff's office getting involved.

    This case seems to really have fallen off of the radar screen. Gannett news put together a Wisconsin unsolved murder database by county.
    http://php.wisinfo.com/mktg/unsolved_wrt/

    This murder isn't listed in Lacrosse county at all. It did mention another unsolved case of a woman who had been kidnapped and killed in 1953.

    If someone cares about this case, there is a link on the site above for submissions into this database. Maybe it should be added?
     
  18. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Terry's case is with Vernon County. She and the 1984 Jane Doe are the only two unsolveds on the Vernon County sheriff's website. The article "Puzzle pieces..." mentions a WDCI investigator working with the Vernon County SO, and La Crosse County law enforcement. I have the impression that a great deal of effort was put forth to solve Terry's murder. Although at least one investigator was dead set on Lee, they questioned at least a hundred possibles at the onset, and later worked 12 prime suspects. From a single paint chip, hundreds of cars were tracked down and ruled out. The volume of media spanning all those years is speaks to the determination to of the investigators. I wish every unsolved homicide was worked this way. Thank goodness the evidence was protected until DNA profiling became a reality. But sadly, I doubt it will ever be solved unless there's a hit on the DNA. IMO, that's the only chance this case has of being solved.

    The opinion that sex was consensual was probably derived from the absence of vaginal trauma as DD said. Since her body was not completely burned, an examination might have determined there were no bruises, scratches or bite marks. Since fingerprints were obtainable, fingernail scraping might have been taken, as well, with traces of foreign skin cells that would show she had scratched at an attacker.

    As for the unidentified semen, IMO, that worked against RL. That, and the fact that her body showed no gunshot or stab wounds. Because blood was found in her lungs, it was surmised she died from a hard blow to the head. Together those facts begin to paint a picture of a domestic violence situation. She knew he needed the car to get to work, but she came home late, anyway. That was enough to make him angry. But if on top of it, he suspected, or somehow learned, she didn't come home on time because she was with another man, he might very well have become enraged and hit her, or knocked her down causing her to strike her head.

    http://vernonsheriff.com/unsolved.htm

    Puzzle pieces still missing in two slayings
    July 1, 1985
     
  19. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    I read this happened in 1984?
     
  20. JusticeWillBeServed

    JusticeWillBeServed Active Member

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    Kurt Papenfuss retired from the police force last December. When he was interviewed, he said he knows who killed Terry (as well as Shannon Salisbury) and the day will come when they are arrested.

    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/sheriff-s-captain-retires-after-years/article_10ded2ac-25de-531e-b1d1-9022e7e54de6.html

     

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