November 16, 2019: Carmen Colon Disappears
The today is Saturday November sixteenth. Two Thousand Nineteen on this day in nineteen seventy d. one ten-year-old Carmen Cologne disappeared after visiting a drug store in Rochester. New York. She was found dead. Two two days later setting off a string of alliterative killings known as the alphabet murders and the perpetrator is still bill at large welcome. Welcome to today and true crime. Apar- cast original due to the graphic nature of today's crimes listener. Discretion is advised extreme. Caution is advised for listeners. Under thirteen today. Were covering the disappearance of ten-year-old Carmen Cologne the first victim in New York so called called alphabet murders. Let's go back to the afternoon of November sixteenth. Nineteen seventy one a little after four thirty thirty. PM The pharmacist felt the cold fall fall air blow into his drugstore. As the entry bell chimed he looked up to snap at the dawdling customer to close the door but he relaxed next. When he saw it was young Carmen Cologne? She had it hard enough. It wasn't easy for a little girl to live with their grandparents. Much less. Take Care Care of them. No carman didn't need a grumpy pharmacist. Making her day any tougher. He smiled as she came up to the counter. Her head ahead barely clearing the display case. Regretfully he informed her that her grandfather's prescription wasn't ready yet Carmen's kamins face foul clearly agitated. She told the pharmacist she had to go. The pharmacist shrugged as he watched her take off. She only lived a couple blocks away. He figured she'd be back soon enough. But carman didn't come back to the store and she didn't you come home either by five PM. Her concerned family asked neighbors to search the neighborhood for signs of her little. Did they know Carmen. Armen was no longer in Rochester. She was near the town of Church. Ville almost twenty miles to the west running for for her life around five thirty. PM Drivers Motoring Down Highway. Four ninety saw a little girl naked from the waist down running alongside the road. Nobody bothered to stop later on. These witnesses gave a litany of reasons for speeding past her with the sun going down. It was hard to see. Clearly they were driving too fast to stop. They thought she was only throwing a Tantrum. The list went on and on but the fact remained. This was the last time anyone saw Carmen Cologne Cologne alive. Two days later two teenage boys were riding their bikes down stearns road in the nearby town of Churchill as they peddled along one of them noticed what he thought was a large doll resting at the bottom of a ditch. But it wasn't a doll doll. It was Carmen colognes dead body upon examining the body. The police determined that Carmen Carmen had been sexually assaulted and manually strangled. Meaning her killer had choked her with his bare hands. Her pants and underwear aware were found near the I. Four ninety exit for Churchill. Investigators believed she'd been killed. There then dumped where her body was found. Carmen's death rattled the city of Rochester. The community rallied to her. 'cause offering a reward to anyone who provided information information. That helped solve the case but despite their best efforts the police were unable to track down. Carmen's murderer although the motorists suid seen her running down the highway had noticed a car pulling up to her nobody could identify the make or model in nineteen seventy seventy one. DNA testing wasn't an option yet. And even if the technology had been available back then the detectives weren't able to gather any serological logical evidence or in Layman's terms any bodily fluids. The police continued to pursue every possible lead. But but there didn't seem to be any clues leading to the killer. The case went unsolved until a year and a half later when he struck again coming up the so called alphabet murders captured the public's attention and hey friend I want to tell you about the new three dollar Littlejohn from Jimmy. Johns a skinny mini version of any original sandwich for only three bucks. It's littler than a regular sandwich which is perfect if you're not super hungry or if you WANNA try a couple of different sandwiches or if you like like bragging that your lunch only cost three dollars. Order three dollar little John at Jimmy. John's dot com or with the Jimmy John's APP at participating locations taxes and delivery fees extra and now back to the story the disappearance and subsequent murder of Carmen Cologne November sixteenth. Nineteen seventy-one sent shockwaves through the Rochester. Community the residents of Carmen's wins bull run neighborhood couldn't comprehend how someone could do such horrible things to an innocent little girl to encourage witnesses is to come forward. A six thousand dollar reward was offered for anyone who had information that led to the killer. Today that would be worth about. Oh thirty five thousand dollars but nobody was able to provide any meaningful information. Carmen's killer continued to roam the streets beats undetected and on April second nineteen seventy-three. He took another little girl's life around five o'clock that evening eleven-year-old Rochester resident. Wando Wocka wits went to the store to pick up some groceries by by eight. PM She hadn't come home with the Carmen Cologne murder surely in the back of her mind one does mother called the police. Fourteen hours later she got the call that every parent dreads her daughter had been killed held. Wanda's body was discovered a rest. Stop in Webster About fifteen miles east of Rochester. Police immediately noticed similarities. Between Wanda's murder and the Carmen Cologne case both Wanda and Carmen were about the same age like Carmen. Wanda was Roman Catholic. And had a turbulent home life she was killed in almost the same manner as Carmen sexually the assaulted and then strangled and her murder had the same alliterative quality. As CARMAN's Wanda walkaway. TSA's body was found in webster. The similarities between the two cases led the police to consider that both girls had been killed by the same man. Man as the public caught wind. The connection the murders became known as the double initial killings or alphabet murders. This time around. The detectives had much more to go on. They received an anonymous tip from someone who claimed to have seen Wanda being forced into a a dodge dart. Two Girls Wanda's age said a man had tried to lure them into his Ford. Ltd a few days before Wanda disappeared a third witness told investigators he spotted Wanda crying in a green Ford Pinto driven by tattooed man. But none of these. These leads went anywhere. The trail to the killer went cold once again as the police searched high and low. The murderer lurked worked in the shadows and on November Twenty Sixth Nineteen seventy three. He claimed another victim. Just over two years after Carmen. colognes murder ten-year-old Michelle. My enza disappeared while walking home from school. Two days later her dead body was discovered in Macedonian about twenty miles east of Rochester like Carmen Cologne and Wanda walkaway. It's Michelle had been sexually assaulted and strangled. Investigators became more certain than ever ever that. The same man had perpetrated all three murders to similar desk. Could be a coincidence. But three indicated a pattern. Shortly after Michelle's death a witness told police that he may have had an encounter with her killer on the day. Michelle disappeared. The witness saw broken down Beige vehicle on route three fifty near Macedonian. When he pulled over to help the witness notice? The car's driver trying to cover up its license plate. He also saw young girl in the car. A girl who looked just like Michelle Mayans. The driver quickly sped away but not before the witness was able to take down a partial license plate number through a stroke. Good luck. He saw the same car again. A few days later during the second encounter he was able to get a full plate. Reading police quickly quickly tracked down the vehicle. It's owner matched the description given by several other witnesses but the suspect had an alibi. He had been job-hunting all day and had the records to prove it. Furthermore he passed a polygraph test. And even though these tests are not concrete eight proof of a person's innocence or guilt. The police were unable to find sufficient evidence to charge the suspect for the murders. Although the police followed several more leads the trail once again went cold. The man who murdered three innocent girls girls continued to walk the streets. He was never caught as of two thousand nineteen. Several potential suspects for these murders have been considered however despite some promising leads none were ever charged with killing Carmen Cologne own Wanda Walker wits and Michelle Manza the alphabet murders captured America's imagination at a time when serial killers colors were beginning to gain notoriety shortly before Carmen colognes death. The so-called Zodiac killer terrorized the San Francisco area with with cryptic letters and clues he sent to the press with the Zodiac killer's gruesome handiwork gracing headlines across America. It's no wonder the alliterative alphabet murders were so compelling to the media and they remain so today with the case is still open and often often scrutinized on Internet forums since the police were able to gather a viable semen sample from the third murder scene. Hope remains that Carmen Carmen Wanda and Michelle's killer will be caught. But until the cases are conclusively solved we must live with the Knowledge College. That a dangerous killer may still be among us. mm-hmm thanks for listening today in true crime. I'm Vanessa Richardson for more information. On this subject matter check out our unsolved murders episodes on the alphabet murders. Today in true crime is a park. Cast original you can find more episodes of today in true crime and all other podcast originals for free on spotify not only spotify already. Have all of your favorite music but but now spotify is making it easy for you enjoy. All of your favorite park asked originals liked today and true crime for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream dream today in true crime on spotify. Just open the APP and type today in true crime in the search bar at par cast. Were grateful for you our listeners. You allow allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. We'll be back DOC with a brand new episode tomorrow in True Crime. Today in true crime was created by Max Cutler is a production of cutler media and is part of the PODCAST podcast network. It is produced by Max and Ron Cutler. Sound design by Russell Nash with production. Assistance by Ron Shapiro. Paul Moller Maggie Admire Liar and Freddie. Beckley this episode of today in true crime was written by Alex Benetton. I'm Vanessa Richardson.