[This story originally aired on May 16, 2015. It was updated on Dec. 31, 2016.]
Brittany Smith, a prosecutor in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, hadn’t even been born when 23-year-old Janet Walsh last carried her purse on the final night of her life, Sept. 1, 1979.
“This is Janet’s purse. This would’ve been the purse she used the night she went out from August 31st 1979, into the early morning hours of September 1st, 1979,” Smith said, showing “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant the bag’s contents.
“…mints, gum, makeup, brush, keys. Those types of things are in every woman’s purse,” she said. “It definitely makes you feel as if there’s a connection to her.”
No one knows how Charles C. Harl came to be on Downtown’s Market Street that cold and wet February night almost 100 years ago.
Around 9:15 p.m. that night of Feb. 13, 1917, as the temperature dipped into the 40s and drizzle fell, Harl was in front of a house at 191 Market Street. Another man was there with him– armed with a .32-caliber pistol.
A Crime Stoppers initiative that focused public attention on cold case homicides earlier this year is still generating tips that could lead to arrests.
No arrests have been made on the 30 homicides the program highlighted, but Crime Stoppers this week received another tip on one of the cases, said Springfield Police Officer Mike Badger, coordinator for Crime Stoppers of Sangamon and Menard Counties.
“The tips are still trickling in. They may continue,” Badger said. “Maybe, as a result of the program, it has the issue back in the minds of some people who have some knowledge. Maybe it will work on them. They can call us any time.”
The program initially focused on 10 unsolved homicides in Springfield and the surrounding area that occurred between 2003 and 2014. To help spur tips, Crime Stoppers offered an enhanced $5,000 instead of
2016 is drawing to a close as one of the bloodiest years in recent times. Most murders remain unsolved as did a string of homicides that occurred between 1998 and 2000, which we revisit tonight. As many as five primary school girls from Belize City were viciously murdered. There was a common thread in the way life was snuffed from the girls, all between nine and fourteen years of age. At the time, many believed that a serial killer dubbed ‘Jack the Ripper’ was lurking in the shadows prowling on innocent victims. News Five’s Duane Moody takes you back and has an update on what is now considered a cold case.
Karen Wills, Mother of Erica Wills:
“Erica mi di go dah school; when ih missing she was eight years old; the same time ina July, the thirty-first.”
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of a 16-year-old girl gunned down on the Westside more than six years ago said her pain is still real, almost like the day her daughter was taken from her.
Tiphne Hollis would have turned 23 years old Wednesday.
She was shot in the area of Stockton Street, and her killer has not been caught.
“Some days, it still feels like the day (she was killed),” Hollis’ mother, Shanda Whitaker-Ward, said.
She was joined by supporters Wednesday in a balloon release to honor her daughter’s birthday.
“It’s a hard battle,” Whitaker-Ward said. “You don’t heal overnight. You know, it’ll be seven years (on March 20), and I’m healing each and every day.”
The gathering was small Wednesday, but the message was still meaningful: Tiphne Hollis will not be forgotten.
Her mother is making sure of that by channeling her tragedy into something positive and giving back through the foundation she set