April 2, 2020: Wanda Walkowicz
Today is Thursday April second twenty twenty on this day in. Nineteen seventy three eleven year. Old Wanda Walker. Wits was sent to fetch groceries for her mother in Rochester. New York but hours passed and Wanda never returned home from the local store. Unfortunately that afternoon Wanda was the second victim in the gruesome and haunting alphabet murders. Welcome to today in 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 we're covering the murder of Wanda walkaway. Let's let's go back to the late afternoon of April second. Nineteen seventy three to a mid size city on Lake Ontario known as Rochester New York. It was a cold and rainy afternoon as eleven year. Old Wanda Wocka. Wits ran home from school eager to share her good report card with her mother. Wanda was a sweet red headed. Blue eyed girl with a light dusting of freckles. That covered her nose and cheeks. Wanda was a happy child. Optimistic outgoing with plenty of friends to play with after school. Her Mother Joyce on the other hand often relied on Wanda and her younger sister Rita to help out with responsibilities around the home. This gave Wanda a sense of maturity beyond the other kids in her grade and her teachers took notice of that so it wasn't surprising to Wanda when her mother astor that April afternoon to put down her toys and run to the grocery store for a few household items. It was around five o'clock. Pm when Wanda laced up her sneakers and headed out to the hillside delicatessen onto thirteen kanchi avenue. The shop was just a few blocks past her school about a four minute walk on a familiar path that she took twice a day. Wanda was happy to make it to the warm shop. Her bare legs freezing from the forty five degree weather outside there. She quickly gathered the items on her list. Some milk soup red dog and cat food. The familiar store clerk said hello to young Wanda and added the total to her. Mother's monthly TAB by five fifteen. Pm Wanda left the store and was heading back home to play with her toys of former baby sitter so Wanda skipping through the rain on the side of the road. She considered sharing her umbrella with the young girl but one to seem to be enjoying her time alone. A few neighbor kids also spotted Wanda just a few blocks behind them. They saw her struggling to rearrange the heavy bag but when they turned back again. Wanda was nowhere to be seen by seven forty seven PM. Two hours later WANDA'S MOTHER. Joyce began to panic. She phoned the Rochester Police Department and cried into the receiver. Her daughter had gone missing less than a half hour later. The police and the entire community of Rochester had come together to search for the young girl. They scoured local shops back yards playgrounds even the railway tracks that cut through the area within hours. Dozens of leads about Wanda's disappearance started to pour in. Police were told by a nine year old friend of Wanda's that the girls had been approached by a strange man near the railroad tracks just two nights before in fact the stranger had begun chasing them before running into the bushes unexpectedly. This startled the children and neither one got a good look at his face. Police wondered to Joyce whether or not Wanda had shared the details of this event. Joyce regretfully admitted she had but failed to report the incident to the police earlier. News of the young girl's disappearance spread through the community like wildfire. The police station was inundated with calls and tips. But unfortunately none of these tips led to hopeful news for Joyce Wocka wits and her family and by ten fifteen a m the following morning her worst fears would be confirmed. Up Next Wanda Wa- quits is connected to a string of homicides that would infamously come to be known as the alphabet murders and the hunt for the killer is on high listeners. The launch of our new podcast series supernatural with Ashley. Flowers has been an incredible success. We're so happy to welcome Ashley to the podcast family and can't thank you enough for checking out the show. If you haven't had a chance to listen yet I highly recommend you head over to the supernatural feed and subscribe today every Wednesday Ashley. Flowers takes on a different crime or mystery or the most fitting theory isn't always the most conventional the first episode has been my favorite so far. Were the deaths of two Brazilian men a result of making contact with spirits on Mars. Get closer to the truth than ever before. Regarding the mystifying lead masks case but you'll also find some other fascinating stories. Did four friends have a highly unusual encounter during a camping trip in Maine. Sort through the out of this world. Circumstances surrounding the allegations incident was Italian. Theoretical physicist veteran by Arana's disappearance caused by his discovery of time travel or was it something more sinister each week Ashley takes on the strange and surreal to explain some of the world's most bizarre true crime occurrences. If you're the kind of person who questions everything you'll love this. Show follow supernatural with Ashley. Flowers free on spotify. Or wherever? You get your podcasts now. Back to the story sometime around five thirty PM on April Second Nineteen seventy-three eleven year old. Wando walkaway went for a short walk to collect groceries for her mother. But two hours later Wanda still hadn't returned. The police and the local community began searching for the girl that night but around ten fifteen. Am The following morning. The police came to the walkaway. Tsa's home with some devastating news on April third. Police found Wanda's body at arrest. Stop in webster about eight miles away. When The New York State troopers arrived at the location they spotted something white in an embankment of Brown and green foliage. There was Wonda walkaway. Tsa's dead body still wearing the same dress she had on at school. The day before and autopsy confirmed polices worst suspicions. Wanda had been strangled to death after she was sexually assaulted. But there were other strange. Details about Wanda's body like the fact that she was covered in white cat for despite not owning a white cat. Evidence also suggested that Wanda had been eating a type of custard before she died that she didn't tavern her home nor did she purchase any at the Deli. Her killer had presumably given it to her one does. Murder became reminiscent of another child. Homicide case from two years prior in the same area of ten-year-old Carmen Cologne disappeared. After running a family errand at her local pharmacy. Cologne had also been molested and strangled to death. Her body was then disposed of off interstate. Four ninety near a town called Churchill despite receiving several tips vehicle sightings and witnesses. The police were unable to find. The girls murderer and police still weren't convinced that Carmen and Wanda's cases were connected but seven months later another young girl went missing on November. Twenty Six nineteen seventy three eleven year. Old Michelle. My enza disappeared on her walk home from school. Her deceased body was found two days later in the town of Mastodon New York again. The victim was assaulted and battered and autopsy. Showed that like Wanda Michelle too. Had Been Fed by her killer now. Police were certain they had a serial killer on their hands. Not only did. Each girl's name have alliteration. Their bodies were also dumped. In a city with their same initial Carmen Cologne was found in Churchill Wanda Walker wits in webster and now Michelle my Enza in Massillon. Each girl was also a Catholic from a low income household living with a single parent these crimes which came to be known as the alphabet murders were carefully orchestrated and their killer seemed to be mocking the authorities but there was one lead that police could now follow witnesses in both. Michelle and Wanda's K. Spoke about a beige colored vehicle that the girls appeared to be lured into perhaps with the help of some vanilla custard and a cute white kitten. The authorities were now able to compile a list of suspects Miguel Cologne. Carman's uncle was the first on a short list. Miguel was suspicious because he had vehicle that closely matched the same description and no alibi for the time. Carmen was killed. He fled the country shortly after her death and remained in Puerto Rico. But it's believed he remained there through the death of Wanda and Michelle. So it's likely he wasn't the man to commit all three crimes but in nineteen ninety-one following an incident of domestic violence. Miguel committed suicide. So we'll never know for certain. Then there was. Dennis tear many a rochester firemen who was suspected of having raped more than fourteen women between the same years of nineteen seventy one to nineteen seventy-three he to owned a beige vehicle and lived in close proximity to the Mayans a family but he also committed suicide in nineteen seventy four his body was later exumed for a DNA sample that was tested against seaman. Left on Wanda's body. Unfortunately it wasn't a match. Then there was Kenneth Bianchi an ice cream vendor local to the Rochester area. He and his cousin Angelo Bono were committed as the hillside stranglers between nineteen seventy seven and seventy eight. Were they murdered? More than ten women and children between the ages of twelve and twenty eight. He also drove a beige vehicle. That fit the description but he was never charged with the alphabet murders years past and authorities were never able to fully incriminate anyone for the murders of these three young girls. It wasn't until two thousand eleven that a man named Joseph Naso a Rochester native now seventy seven years old became the most likely suspect. He was arrested for the murder of four women in California. Between the years one thousand nine hundred seventy seven and nineteen ninety-four. Each of those women happen to be sex workers but they each had names with alliteration as well. Nasa went to trial in two thousand thirteen and was charged with the murder of the four women in California but his DNA was not a match with the evidence found on Wanda Wa- quits. Still Naso was given the death sentence for his crimes perhaps inspired by the alphabet murders in Rochester four years prior to his and so the murders of Wanda while quits Carmen Cologne and Michelle. My INSA still remain unsolved the alphabet. Murders have had a lasting effect on American culture and if nothing else they become a cautionary tale that still rings true today to keep your children close. Thanks for listening today in true crime. I'm Vanessa Richardson for more on the alphabet. Murders checkout or episodes of unsolved murders. Take a deeper dive into the case. Today in true crime is a podcast original. You can find more episodes of today in true crime and all other podcast originals for free on spotify. Not only this spotify already. Have all of your favorite music but now spotify making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals? Like today and true crime for free from your phone. Desktop or smart speaker to stream today in true crime on spotify. Just open the APP and type today in true crime in the search bar at podcast. Were grateful for you our listeners. You 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 par cast network will be back with a brand new episode tomorrow in True Crime. Today and true crime was created by Max Cutler and is a park cast studios original. It is executive produced by Max Cutler. Sound design by Kerry Murphy With Production Assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Madden Erin. Larsen and Joel Stein. This episode of today in true crime was written by Lori Gottlieb with writing assistance by Abigail. Cannon. I'm Vanessa Richardson. Hi Listeners. If you haven't heard it already. I highly recommend you check out the new podcast original series supernatural with Ashley Flowers every Wednesday. Take a deep dive into the strange and surreal to find the truth behind some of the world's most bizarre true crime occurrences search for supernatural with Ashley Flowers in the spotify APP. And listen free today.