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Thread: Unidentified Female, Located February 18, 1984, Florida

  1. #1

    Post Unidentified Female, Located February 18, 1984, Florida

    Unidentified White Female

    • The victim was discovered on February 18, 1984 in Davie, Broward County, Florida
    • Estimated Date of Death: 2 days prior
    • Victim of Homicide
    Vital Statistics

    • Estimated age: 21-35 years old
    • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'4"; 120 lbs.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde hair; hazel eyes.
    • Clothing: Shorts
    Case History
    The victim was located floating in a canal in the 2600 block of Southwest 130th Avenue. She had been strangled.

    It's possible that this woman was a victim of suspected serial killer Christopher Wilder. Wilder lived in Boynton Beach and was linked to a string of disappearances through Florida from the late 1970s to early 1980s.
    If you have any information about this case please contact:
    Broward County Medical Examiner's Office
    954-327-6500 begin_of_the_skype_highli ghting 954-327-6500 end_of_the_skype_highligh ting
    Davie Police Department
    954-327-6500 begin_of_the_skype_highli ghting 954-327-6500 end_of_the_skype_highligh ting

    You may remain anonymous when submitting information.

    Agency Case Number:

    NCIC Number:

    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Source Information:
    The Sun Sentinel

  2. #2

    palmtrees Serial Killer Christopher Wilder

    Miami Herald, The (FL)
    April 14, 1984
    Edition: FINAL
    Section: FRONT
    Page: 23A

    Index Terms:

    Author: GEORGE STEIN Herald Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    Christopher Wilder, the FBI said, was armed, dangerous and suicidal. In the end, the Australian-born suspect in the brutal murders, assaults and disappearances of 11 young women proved them right on every count.
    Before he took his life Friday in a small New Hampshire town near the Canadian border, Wilder became this nation's most famous fugitive since Patty Hearst.

    His death leaves unanswered questions.
    Wilder, a 39-year-old bachelor, had all that any single male could ask -- wealth, rugged good looks, a ready smile, boundless energy, a luxury home on the water in Boynton Beach, thriving businesses, race cars, a speedboat, three English setters.
    And, his neighbors and friends noted, lots of good-looking women.
    "A rich playboy who... loved to be around two or three women at a time and you're talking elegant ladies, long legs, younger than he," said Ted Martin, a photographer and former business associate.
    Apparently, it was not enough.
    Authorities have described him as a twisted figure who
    stalked beautiful women at shopping malls, lured them with promises of modeling glamor and then kidnapped, raped and killed them.
    And as the list grew while he was a fugitive, so did the embarrassment of authorities, particularly the FBI -- and the nightmares of women, parents and boyfriends.
    Wilder eluded the authorities time and again on a 47-day
    odyssey that crossed the nation twice, leaving, it seemed at times, frustrated police and a puzzling disappearance or a freshly dead female body at every stop.
    Christopher Bernard Wilder, born March 13, 1945 in Sydney, Australia, grew up in a wealthy family.
    In a 1981 videotaped interview he made for a dating service, Wilder said he was "heavy into surfing" from the time he was 14 until he was 24 and then plunged into work upon arrival in the United States "finding no surf."
    Wilder showed up in South Florida in 1970 or 1971 where he impressed neighbors and business associates, who knew none of his problems with women.
    He bought Palm Beach County real estate worth $338,148, including 10 acres in Loxahatchee, a lot in Wellington and homes in Lake Worth suburbs. He founded Sawtel Construction Corp., naming it after the wealthy Australian resort where his parents live. Two years ago with a partner, he founded Sawtel Electrical Corp.
    "He's a hard-working businessman," said George Cassell, a Boynton Beach Texaco Service Station proprietor who serviced 12 Sawtel vehicles.
    A common thread among former associates is surprise that the apparently normal man they knew could be the same one accused of so many bizarre crimes.
    "This whole thing makes you question your ability to judge a man," Cassell said.
    But the police and his brother knew of inner turmoil.
    His brother Stephen Wilder, who flew to the United States to help the FBI, said in a radio interview: "Even in Australia where he had girlfriends he couldn't form close relationships.... I once had a 16-year-old girlfriend. Chris moved in. He ended up getting her in the bushes and taking nude pictures of her." He also said his brother had participated in the gang rape of a girl in Australia.
    In 1976, Wilder was a suspect in a Palm Beach County case in which a man posing as a modeling agent attempted to seduce girls. In 1977, he was acquitted of forcing a 16-year-old Boca Raton girl to perform oral sex on him.
    In 1980, he was accused of raping a vacationing Tennessee girl. He had told her he worked for a modeling agency, according to authorities.
    Palm Beach County Sheriff's Detective Arthur Newcomb talked to Wilder, according to the detective's testimony at trial:
    "He told me his job was his whole life and when he was working he had no problem, but when the weekends rolled around, something came over him and ... made him do the things he had to do," Newcomb said.
    Wilder said he frequently posed as a modeling agent to seduce women, according to the detective.
    Wilder pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of attempted sexual battery and the judge withheld adjudication of guilt, placing him on five year's probation.
    In 1982, he returned to Australia, to the seaside resort town of Manly. He was charged Dec. 29, 1982 with kidnapping two 15-year-old girls and forcing them to pose for pornographic pictures.
    His Palm Beach probation officer charged him with violating parole once he discovered the Australia arrest. A hearing was set for May 7.
    He never made it.
    The Grand Prix was coming to Miami.
    "Chris once told me that driving his Porsche was a sexual experience," L.K. Kimbrell, Wilder's Sawtel Electric partner, said in a radio interview. "A ... favorite
    movie> that Chris saw just before the orgie of murders was '10 to Midnight' -- a sex gore movie."
    Aspiring model Rosario Gonzalez, once photographed by Wilder, vanished Feb. 26 in Miami at the Grand Prix, where she had been distributing aspirin. Wilder, racing his own black Porsche, placed 17th.
    Nine days later, Elizabeth Kenyon, a former Orange Bowl princess from Coral Gables who had dated Wilder, also vanished. She was last seen March 5.
    Police found the first body shortly afterwards. It was another beautiful woman, Theresa Ferguson, who vanished from a Melbourne shopping mall.
    On March 20, a Florida State University student was kidnapped, raped and tortured but managed to escape. She gave police a positive identification of her tormenter.
    It was Wilder.
    He was gone by then, on his way to a self-inflicted end in Colebrook, N.H. -- and notoriety as one of America's most macabre mass murderers.
    Also contributing to this report were Herald Staff Writers Edna Buchanan and Lisa Hoffman and correspondent Pat Read in Australia.
    photo: Ronald Spike, Christopher Wilder driving

  3. #3

    palmtrees Re: Serial Killer Christopher Wilder

    Miami Herald, The (FL)
    May 13, 1984
    Edition: FINAL
    Section: FRONT
    Page: 1A

    Index Terms:

    Author: EDNA BUCHANAN Herald Staff Writer

    Article Text:
    The unmasking of Christopher Bernard Wilder as a homicidal sadist is an epic study of lost chances, frustration, and human tragedy.
    Should police here have caught him before he embarked upon his travelogue of terror? The question is legitimate.
    For seven days they knew who he was. Yet no policeman ever questioned him, watched him or tried to detain him.
    One officer, not assigned to the case, did telephone Wilder. He left a message on his answering machine. Wilder did not return the call.
    In the blind and bitter anguish of hindsight, the families of two missing Miami women damn the bureaucracy of law enforcement.
    "I went along. I was gullible," said William Kenyon, whose daughter is missing. "Now, if anybody asked me how to handle a situation like this, I'd say take it into your own hands. Don't count on the police for anything. They were negligent and unresponsive."
    "What proof did we have?" replied a disheartened homicide detective, Ray Nazario. "We had no proof he was a maniac."
    "Nobody expected we had a man who was going to go on an
    odyssey of murder across the United States," said FBI man Joe Del Campo.
    Wilder, 39, described by his sex therapist as a "deeply disturbed walking time bomb," owned a Boynton Beach contracting firm, raced expensive sports cars, photographed beautiful women, then tortured and killed them.
    "It all could have been prevented," said Delores Londos, whose son intended to marry the first missing Miami woman. "That's why the families are furious. You wonder what the police were doing. It just went on and on and on. We found out a lot from all this. We found out the system is really rotten."
    "Our police department did things the way they should have been done," said Miami Homicide Detective Harvey Wasserman. "We followed police procedure, sound judgment and rules of law."
    "We could not pick him up," said Metro Homicide Captain Robert W. McCarthy, whose men investigated the case of the second missing woman. "We had nothing to pick him up on. I wouldn't authorize sending a homicide team all the way up to Palm Beach County to sit on a surveillance."
    The case of Rosario Gonzalez, 20, fills a huge cardboard box. It represents thousands of man-hours. Miami detectives talked to hundreds of people.
    "We all were discussing the best way to approach Wilder," said Wasserman. "He was not ignorant of the law. If we were going to approach him, we wanted to have the best case, the most information we could have. We knew we would
    probably only have one chance."
    It was a chance they never took.
    Here, according to police files and Herald interviews, is what happened:
    Wilder raced a black Porsche in the Miami Grand Prix on Saturday, Feb. 25. The next day, Sunday, he attended as a spectator. He parked his white 1978 turbo-charged Porsche Carerra near Bayfront Auditorium. A motorist complained that he took up two spaces.
    Wilder should not have been in Miami. He was violating his probation for attempted rape. He was restricted to Palm Beach County.
    SUNDAY, FEB. 26
    At 1:15 p.m. that Sunday, Feb. 26, Rosario Gonzalez, a strikingly attractive model distributing aspirin samples at the Grand Prix, took a break -- and vanished.
    Wilder was seen after 5 p.m. driving north on Florida's
    Turnpike in his Porsche, apparently alone. At 6:30 p.m. someone else saw him drive away from his Boynton Beach home in another car, his gray Cadillac. He dined leisurely that evening with friends.
    "He was clean and relaxed," says Wasserman. Wilder left his friends at 8:30 p.m. "He said he was going home to sit in his Jacuzzi."
    No trace of Rosario has been found.
    Many families complain that police do not respond quickly when an adult is reported missing. Not so with Rosario.
    Her parents were frantic by nightfall Sunday.
    By the next day, Miami homicide was on the case.
    "Every now and then we get a case that, after talking to the parents and friends, we don't think is a runaway. And we jump on it right away," Wasserman says.
    Detective George Morin interviewed the mother, Haydee Gonzalez. He interviewed local and New York officials of the firms involved in the aspirin promotion. Police questioned a man, a friend of the family, seen talking to Rosario at the race. He later passed a polygraph test.
    On Wednesday, Feb. 29, the first news story of the disappearance at the Grand Prix appeared in The Herald. Another model and her mother remembered Rosario walking behind a man in his 30s. They described him to a police artist. The drawing was distributed to the media with appeals for help.
    A tipster thought he saw the missing woman cavorting with a man aboard a yacht in the Miami River. Police found the yacht and the woman. She was not Rosario.
    On March 1, a Miami firefighter gave detectives the last known photos of Rosario. He had snapped them at the race the day she vanished.
    Seated on a stone step, her hands are clasped modestly around her knees, her blond hair tumbles over her shoulders. She is wearing her diamond engagement ring. She is smiling.
    "This girl was perfect," says William Londos, 21, her fiance. "So innocent and sweet. The first time I ever saw her, I said this is the kind of girl you marry."
    The photo would help, police were sure. Rosario had been one of 12 identically dressed models. "Now we had a picture of her the way she was that day," Wasserman said.
    Police pursued more than 200 leads, some outlandish. An anonymous letter to West Miami police from a psychic said, without further details, that Rosario could be found "west of Miami."
    Another, more ominous lead, police hotly pursued.
    A motorist driving on the Turnpike Monday night, Feb. 27, saw a girl fitting Rosario's description flee from a car occupied by three men. One chased and caught her, beating her as he dragged her back to the auto. The motorist followed the car to Boca Raton's Glades Road Exit. He identified the car as a Chevrolet and caught the last three numbers on the tag: 378.
    "I begged Tallahassee," says Wasserman. He got what he begged for, a computer printout of all Florida cars bearing that partial tag number. There are 12,000, about 1,000 of them Chevrolets.
    Detectives began checking them out, focusing first on owners in the Miami to Boca area. They never found the young woman. They do not now believe she was Rosario.
    A travel agent tipped police to a mysterious walk-in customer eager to leave the country. Questioned, he was eliminated as a suspect.
    On Sunday, March 4, as the search for Rosario dragged on, Elizabeth "Beth" Kenyon, 23, a Coral Gables Senior High School teacher, visited her parents in Pompano Beach.
    Her first year as a teacher had been difficult. Beth taught emotionally disturbed youngsters. As cheerleading coach, she also attended as many as three basketball games a week. She had saved one suicidal student who slit her wrists. She stayed one night at the Jackson Memorial Hospital Rape Center, comforting a schoolgirl who had been assaulted.
    Beth had confided to other teachers that she was disappointed in teaching. That Sunday her wealthy parents noticed bruises Beth had sustained breaking up a schoolyard fight.
    At about 9 p.m., Beth kissed her dad goodbye and drove back to Miami. After she left, the family watched the 11 o'clock TV news. A picture of a beautiful girl flashed on the screen. "Hey, that looks just like Beth!" cried her brother, Bill.
    It was Rosario Gonzalez, the missing model from the Grand Prix.
    The next day Beth Kenyon disappeared.
    Only two hours before, Beth had chatted with Coral Gables Police Officer Clifford "Mitch" Fry, assigned to the school. After classes, she drove off. She did not return to her apartment that night.
    She was absent from school Tuesday morning. It was unlike her. An assistant principal asked Officer Fry to check. Her roommate said Beth had never come home. That, too, was unlike her. Beth did not even have her purse with her. Some months before someone had stolen her handbag at school, and she simply kept her driver's license and a credit card in her car's ashtray.
    Her roommate called the Kenyons at 4:30 p.m. to ask if Beth had spent the night with them. She had not.
    Panicky, the parents notified Metro police. An officer took Beth's name, height, weight, eye color and race.
    Police handled the report routinely. It would take three days for it to arrive at the missing persons office.
    The Kenyons began at once that Tuesday, March 6, to telephone all the friends listed in Beth's address books. One was Christopher Wilder, whom she had dated. A message was left on his answering machine.
    Wilder appeared at his contracting firm in Boynton Beach that day, both hands cut and scratched. His secretary and his business partner noticed the injuries. He said that a sliding glass door at his home had been broken during a fight between his dogs. Police later would find broken glass.
    They also would see two Miss Florida beauty pageant photographs on his living room wall. Beth was in both.
    Miami homicide detectives, unaware of Beth's disappearance, still searched for Rosario. They re-questioned her sister, Lisette, 18. Perhaps Rosario left home on her own, they theorized. If she had, detectives believed, Rosario would have confided in her younger sister.
    Lisette Gonzalez was subjected to a grueling four-hour interrogation and polygraph test, administered by Wasserman.
    "I was shocked I had to take it," she says. "He was nasty. He was pretty rough. He cursed at me."
    "Sometimes you have to be tough," Wasserman says. "I hoped she would understand the reason. It was important that it be resolved." He does not recall cursing at her, he says.
    She passed the test, he says.
    By Wednesday, March 7, school officials and scores of friends knew Beth Kenyon had vanished. It was mentioned at a school board meeting. A Miami Herald reporter and a photographer, who both knew her, heard of her disappearance. Suspecting she might turn up, The Herald did not run a story.
    Ron Stone, an insurance man and president of the University of Miami Alumni Association, had dated Beth. He tried to help. He stopped by the Shell service station she patronized at Bird and Douglas roads. The attendant said he had seen her two days before -- on Monday afternoon, March 5.
    She offered a credit card, he recalled, but a man in a hurry, a man who drove a Cadillac, rushed up and paid for her gas with cash.
    The attendant said that when he started to wipe her windshield, Beth said, "Forget it, we've got to get to the airport."
    He remembers the conversation.
    "How do I look?" Beth asked the man who paid for her gas.
    "Just fine," he said.
    "Who's going to take the picture?" she asked.
    "I'm going to," he said.
    Both cars drove north.
    That day Beth's father and brother searched for her car in the parking lots at Fort Lauderdale Airport. Officer Fry searched at Miami International.
    Fry was working on his own time. He called friends in Beth's address book. One was Wilder. Fry identified himself and left a message on Wilder's answering machine.
    That same day a pair of self-described psychics from Canada arrived at Miami police headquarters and announced that they could help find Rosario. Poring over a map of Dade County, they led Detectives Morin and Sgt. Bobby Cheatam across a large section of west Homestead, pointing out abandoned houses, wells and ditches. They found no sign of Rosario Gonzalez. Another 30 or 40 psychics also would offer futile leads.
    Without psychics or police, Beth Kenyon's father found his daughter's car himself at Miami International. He found it by telephone. A clerk checked a log of cars left in long-term parking and told him that Beth's Chrysler was in Building 5, Level M.
    Her convertible had been backed into the space. Her New York license tag had been removed from the front. The rear-view mirror was broken off. School books, folders and papers lay on the seat, along with a pair of sunglasses.
    On Thursday, March 8, Wilder saw his Palm Beach County probation officer. It was a routine visit. He saw a seamstress, leaving his black racing suit to be monogrammed. She happened to be the wife of Thomas Neighbors, 35, a Palm Beach police detective. They chatted. "He was excited about the race at Sebring," said Neighbors, who suspected nothing.
    That day Wilder also returned the Kenyons' telephone message. He apologized. "I've been gone the past two days," he said. The mother told him Beth had not been seen since Monday and asked if Wilder had seen or heard from her. He said he had not seen Beth since a dinner date the month before. He would do anything he could to help, he said.
    The Kenyons believed him. There was no reason to disbelieve him.
    They had met Wilder two years before, after a friend introduced him to Beth. "She would never go out with somebody unless he was a friend of someone she knew," her mother says. "I used to call her Mother Hubbard."
    Beth had invited Wilder to dinner. They dined on crepes at a Pompano Beach restaurant. The Australian's manners were impeccable.
    Beth, a former Orange Bowl princess and part-time model, confided in her mother. She told her when photographers made passes or asked her to pose in the nude. Wilder, she had said, was a perfect gentleman.
    The parents say Wilder proposed to Beth after only a few dates.
    "Mom, I've never even kissed the guy and he asked me to marry him," Delores Kenyon quotes her daughter. Wilder told Beth, "You'll grow to love me."
    "She was kind of laughing about it, a little amazed," the mother says. "She told him she'd like to remain friends and as far as I know, they did."
    "He had a way of listening to problems," her father says. "They could communicate with each other."
    Wilder told Beth's friends that he loved her; he wanted to take her to Australia and make her "a princess."
    He treated her royally. He offered to pay her way through an auto racing school. When she forgot her sunglasses on the way to a race, he stopped at Lord and Taylor's and chose a $40 pair.
    "She told him if he was crazy enough to spend that on sunglasses, she'd take them," the mother says.
    Beth had mentioned Wilder the day before she vanished. She had returned a week earlier from a New York visit with the family of ABC sports announcer Jim McKay, whose son she dated. She told her parents she had had a wonderful time, but that while away she had missed a $4,000 modeling job as "Miss Budweiser" at the Grand Prix. Chris Wilder had found the job for her, she said.
    That same Thursday the Kenyons hired private detective Kenneth Whitaker Jr., 28, to find their daughter. They paid him $1,000 a day. "My gut feeling," he says, "was that she would be back by the weekend."
    On Saturday, March 10, Beth's father began to wonder about Chris Wilder. Could he have been the man at the gas station? Wasn't he a photographer? Didn't he drive a Cadillac?
    Kenyon and his son found Beth's scrapbook. They took it apart and removed a stack of photographs of her boyfriends. Two photos showed Wilder.
    Then they took their homemade photo lineup to the Shell station and showed it to the attendant, Richard Norman.
    "We did it very professionally," the father says. "Ricky looked at the picture of Wilder. He yelled, 'That's him!' "
    At that instant, midafternoon, March 10, 1984, Beth Kenyon's father knew in his heart who had taken his daughter.
    "We called every police agency from Miami to Palm Beach," the mother said. "Metro missing persons told us they did not work Saturday. They gave us another number, and another number. They told us to call back Monday when missing persons opened. We talked to three or four agencies in Miami.
    "We called Boynton Beach police. They all said it was out of their jurisdiction. We just sat here crying," the mother said. "Absolutely no one would listen to us."
    In desperation, the father called the sheriff of Niagara County New York, their home, for advice. "Nobody in the state of Florida will listen to us," Kenyon pleaded.
    "He said the sheriff of Palm Beach County was a personal friend," the mother said. "My husband was crying on the phone." Kenyon called Palm Beach. The sheriff was not in. "A lieutenant or a sergeant listened to our story. He said it was out of his jurisdiction."
    The mother also called Whitaker. His father Kenneth Whitaker Sr., former Miami FBI chief and an attorney, took her call. He decided to call Wilder himself.
    "It rang about 14 times before he answered," Whitaker said.
    Whitaker identified himself as the Kenyons' lawyer and told Wilder he was "conducting an inquiry into Beth's whereabouts." "Wilder said he would be glad to call Beth's mother and reassure her again that he had not seen Beth in weeks."
    "What if I told you you were identified as being seen with Beth as recently as Monday?" Whitaker said.
    "I would categorically deny that. It's been two or three weeks since I've seen her," Wilder said.
    The witnesses, Whitaker continued, "seem relatively sure that you were the one they saw with Beth. We have a picture of you, and you're the one they picked out."
    "I can assure you, Mr. Whitaker, that is not true," Wilder told him. Whitaker said Wilder spoke "quickly and clipped, in staccato, machine gun fashion." He said Wilder agreed to meet with his detective son the following day and to appear in a lineup later in the week.
    Wilder immediately called Beth's mother. "I like you, I like Beth," he said. "Why is this man (Whitaker) calling me?"
    "Everybody associated with Beth is being investigated, not only you," she told him. Wilder asked to talk to her husband. He was not in.
    An hour later Wilder called a second time. "Mr. Kenyon," he said. "I don't know what this is all about."
    Wilder claimed he was at his Boynton office at the same time he was reportedly seen at the gas station. Kenyon did not believe him.
    That night Kenyon and his son stalked Wilder in Boynton Beach. They watched his home. They had binoculars -- and a .38- caliber revolver. At one point William Kenyon Jr. slipped through the bushes in the dark to take down the tag number on a trailer in Wilder's driveway.
    "Billy wanted to go in with a gun," his father said. The son wanted to hold the weapon to Wilder's head until he told the truth about Beth. His father stopped him.
    Driving their car, "we slowed down in front of the house," Kenyon said. "A hand pulled the drapes apart and Wilder looked out. I sped away."
    They returned home and telephoned Gables Officer Fry. It was 11 p.m. "What should we do?" the father asked. "Should I have somebody watch his house?"
    "Yes," Fry told him. "You have the money, you have a private detective, he has the manpower. Watch the house."
    They got the Whitakers on a conference call. The senior Whitaker advised against it. He said it made no sense to jump to conclusions.
    The next morning, Sunday the 11th, the younger Whitaker
    went to Boynton to keep his appointment. Wilder was not there. His dogs were barking.
    Whitaker checked with Palm Beach County police. For the first time, he discovered Wilder's criminal past: two Palm Beach rape accusations, probation, and kidnapping and sex assault charges set for April trial in Australia.
    That afternoon Whitaker called Miami homicide. He had a theory. Miami's Rosario case and Metro's Kenyon case could have something in common: Christopher Wilder. "I think it's about time we sat down and talked, enough of this red tape between departments," Whitaker said.
    At 11 p.m. Miami Homicide Detective Morin called Rosario's parents. Had they ever heard of Christopher Wilder? They did not recognize the name.
    Morin called Metro homicide to talk to the detective handling the Kenyon case. There was none. The case was still stalled in missing persons. No homicide detective was assigned.
    Earlier that same evening Christopher Wilder, casually dressed in shorts and a pullover, dropped by the Palm Beach County home of police detective Neighbors. "He seemed to be in a hurry," Neighbors says. "He brought the patches he wanted sewn on his racing suit for Sebring."
    Neighbors, assigned to the juvenile and missing persons
    sections, did not know about Wilder's record -- or make any connection to the missing Miami women.
    Independently, Gables Officer Fry ran a records check on Wilder. And he, too, quickly put the Rosario--Kenyon cases together. Beth, he figured, was in "big trouble." It was Monday, March 12.
    He telephoned Miami Detective Harvey Wasserman. He did not know about Whitaker's theory. Fry told him about Metro's Beth Kenyon case -- and about Christopher Wilder.
    "All of a sudden all the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end and you get a cold chill," Wasserman said.
    Fry took his file to Miami police headquarters. "I could see the lights light up in their eyes."
    Fry "was frustrated," Wasserman said, because Beth Kenyon's case was "still being handled as a missing person."
    Wasserman called a Palm Beach detective who knew Wilder. He told him the man was capable of anything. Wasserman called Metro. Homicide would be assigned to investigate the Kenyon case, he was told.
    "For the first time we felt good," Wasserman said. "We had something to work. We all felt Christopher Wilder was going to be our person."
    That same day two of Whitaker's detectives met Beth's father and brother at Boynton Beach police headquarters. And for the first time they heard that Wilder was under $400,000 bond in the Australian kidnap-rape cases.
    Outraged, Beth's brother demanded Wilder's arrest. Lt. John Hollihan said there was nothing he could do. "We have no crime here in this town," Hollihan said. "We had no word from Metro that Beth Kenyon was even missing," Hollihan says now. Beth's brother was so insistent that Kenyon feared his son would be arrested.
    So the foursome -- father, brother and their hired detectives -- set up their own surveillance of Wilder's office.
    At 3:30 p.m., Wilder drove up. The Kenyons watched with binoculars from across a field near a car wash. The two detectives, Mike Fonelli, a former IRS agent, and Bill Murphy, an ex-cop, followed him into the office. Wilder asked why they were questioning him. "Why wouldn't we, with a record like you've got," one replied.
    Wilder's business partner L.K. Kimbrell provided him with an alibi. He said Wilder was there in the office at 3 p.m. the day Beth disappeared. Later, he would admit to police that he lied because Wilder asked him to.
    In a lull in their conversation, Kimbrell said: "I understand you found Beth's car." The detectives glared at him in silence. Turning to Wilder, Kimbrell said, "That's what you told me." Wilder said Beth's mother had told him. She did not, she says.
    That day Wilder, who had access to a dozen cars, bought one more: a 1973 Chrysler New Yorker. It would become his getaway car.
    Tuesday, March 13, dawned hectic for the Miami detectives. Nelio Valdez, 80, a great-grandfather, claimed he was holding Rosario captive for $10,000 he demanded from her anguished parents.
    The hoax tied up six to 10 detectives and an FBI agent for at least eight hours. The old man was arrested, then freed on bond. Police say he was lonely; he "wanted attention."
    That day Beth's mother called the FBI to plead again for assistance. "They said since there was no extortion they couldn't do anything. At 2 p.m. I got a call from an agent. Metro-Dade homicide was finally going to take over the case." This was eight days after Beth's disappearance; four days after the gas station identification.
    The day was also Christopher Wilder's 39th birthday. His parents telephoned their greetings from Australia.
    That same afternoon Wilder consulted his sex therapist, Ginger Bush. He said nothing that alarmed her enough to call police.
    At 7 p.m. Detective Ray Nazario issued the first press release on the disappearance of Beth Kenyon. It was brief, with no note of urgency.
    "The investigation is being pursued as a missing persons case," it said. "There is no evidence available at this time to suggest any criminal activity or foul play."
    The release asked anyone with information to call homicide or Crimestoppers Anonymous at 326-TIPS.
    "I turned everything over to Metro on the 13th," Whitaker, the private detective, said. "They told me that they had jurisdiction, they were in charge now. I said, 'By all means, that's what we taxpayers pay you for,' " he said.
    Metro did not conduct the lineup Whitaker wanted. "I think they could have brought him in for questioning," Whitaker said. "They could have had a lineup with the eyewitness. Why were they hesitant, if Wilder was willing?"
    "You can't do that," Nazario says. "First of all Wilder would have to volunteer and I'm certain that he would have contacted an attorney who would have said 'Forget it.' And if the station attendant did say, 'Yes, that's the guy who paid for Miss Kenyon's gas,' what do we do then? Put him in jail for 40 years? There's no crime in paying for a beautiful girl's gas.
    "Keep in mind. There was no crime at this point. No evidence of any crime. We talked to people from her phone directory. We had to verify all the work already done." Metro homicide detectives interviewed faculty and students at Gables High. They interviewed the cheerleaders.
    No one interviewed Christopher B. Wilder.
    "I couldn't accuse him of abduction," said Nazario. "I couldn't accuse him of kidnapping. I could bring him back here and put him under the lights, but this is 1984. We don't do that.
    "In a homicide investigation you have to be methodical and discount nothing. In this business you don't deal only with the deceased but with the life of the potential subject -- because he could get the electric chair for first degree murder. There is nothing you can do first. We had no proof that he was a maniac."
    "Nobody had any reason to believe Mr. Wilder was anybody but an honest hardworking businessman known to Elizabeth Kenyon and the family," said Metro Captain Robert McCarthy.
    Beth's father said Nazario "told me to keep my private investigators out of Boynton," and warned that he "had the power" to pull Whitaker's license. "Then he said he wanted to pick Wilder up for questioning, but his superiors wouldn't let him."
    Nazario denies the statements.
    Miami homicide did not approach Wilder either.
    "It was discussed," Wasserman says. He, too, had no evidence of a crime. He thinks Rosario willingly got into Wilder's Porsche. "To go to lunch or to go be photographed."
    Miami homicide deferred to Metro homicide, believing Metro had the stronger case. "They apparently had the reins," Wasserman said. "It was bad enough that Whitaker had alerted Wilder. We shouldn't circumvent or be that impolite to the other jurisdictions."
    Did Miami ever plan to ask Wilder about Rosario? "I don't know," said Wasserman. "It never came about."
    Why didn't anyone pick up Wilder for violating his probation? That possibility, Wasserman says, "was being explored by the FBI."
    The FBI denies it. "We can't arrest somebody for a probation violation," FBI spokesman Joe Del Campo said. "That's not an FBI violation."
    Said Metro's Nazario: "Just because he was in the Miami Grand Prix, I can't snatch him and put him in jail. Neither can his probation officer. I have to work within the judicial system.
    "Say we put him in jail for probation violation. He would have had to have a hearing, bring all the witnesses. You can't do all that in one day. So they violate his probation. Now what? He gets his attorney, who gets him out. A hearing is set for two months down the line. Would that have kept him at home?"
    On Wednesday, March 14, the FBI quietly and unofficially entered the case. "They contacted me and wished to assist us," said Nazario. "Whatever I requested, they did. They checked 190 leads outside of Dade County."
    The FBI had been pressured. In response to the Kenyons' pleas, Rep. John J. LaFalce and Sen Alfonse D'Amato, both of New York, and former Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus had insisted the FBI intervene.
    No one from the FBI spoke to Wilder. "We didn't anticipate talking to him at that stage of the game," said Del Campo.
    But why, if investigators suspected Wilder was their man, didn't they watch him? If they had, could they have prevented subsequent crimes?
    "I can't answer," said Wasserman. "We're not going to get into a hindsight thing. What happened happened. I didn't drive him to it, you didn't drive him to it. Christopher Wilder decided what he was going to do and he did it."
    In retrospect, both Nazario and Wasserman say they would do nothing differently. "You can't look back and post judge these things," Wasserman said.
    Wasserman said Miami police have interviewed at least two dozen women Wilder approached sexually. Nazario said Metro interviewed at least 40.
    "He degraded and humiliated so many people, especially young wide-eyed models," said Wasserman. "It was embarrassing for them to talk to us."
    Wasserman found one "very lucky young girl." She had met Wilder at the Grand Prix -- about an hour before Rosario disappeared.
    "She fit to a T the type of woman that attracted Wilder," he said. "Very young, very wholesome, clean cut, in her teens. He wanted her to go with him, to be photographed. He gave her his card." The card is simple and tasteful, creme color, with his name, address and telephone number.
    "It didn't say 'photographer, race car driver -- or rapist,' " said Wasserman.
    The girl's older sister arrived and stopped her. Wasserman had a long talk with the younger girl. "I told her if you believe in God, or go to church . . . "
    Among the unexplained ironies of the case is a page missing out of Rosario's personal address book, kept at home, in her room. The page is the one with the W's.
    On March 15, a Thursday, Wilder skipped his appointment with his Boynton Beach sex therapist. Instead, he checked into a Howard Johnson's motel in Daytona Beach. The FBI later placed him on the beach, talking to pretty girls in swimsuits. One of them, Colleen Osborn, 15, is still missing.
    That day Sheriff Anthony Villella, of Niagara County, N.Y., arrived in Miami to help his friends, the Kenyons. His father died suddenly and he could not stay.
    On Friday, March 16 -- six days after the gas station identification of Wilder -- The Herald published a news story linking the two missing Miami women to a Boynton Beach photographer, a Grand Prix race car driver with a record of sex crimes. The story did not name Wilder. But to those who knew him well, the identification was obvious.
    Miami police discussed the story, Wasserman said.
    "My department felt we were going to have to start moving faster."
    Still, nobody watched Wilder. That day Wilder telephoned his partner Kimbrell. He said that he was in Tallahassee and that he had "problems."
    Kimbrell urged him to return and "straighten them out." That night at 10 p.m. he appeared in Boynton Beach. He cried and told Kimbrell, "I'm not going to jail."
    Had anyone watched Wilder's home the morning of Saturday, March 17, he would have seen Wilder take his three dogs to a kennel, put his suitcase in his Chrysler, and bid farewell to his business partner.
    Then he drove off -- to a travelogue of terror: 26 days
    from Florida to California to New Hampshire. Authorities link him to at least nine more abductions and five murders. Three teen-agers survived; one is still missing.
    On Monday, March 19, Metro police notified Palm Beach County of Wilder's probation violation at the Grand Prix Feb. 26.
    "We didn't know he was down there," said Kermit Nelson, a probation supervisor. "If we had known, we could have approached the judge for a warrant."
    On Tuesday, March 20, a Tallahassee coed escaped from Wilder after he kidnapped, raped and tortured her. She identified him by photograph, 24 days before his death in a struggle with New Hampshire troopers.
    Police here speculate that the bodies of both Rosario Gonzalez and Beth Kenyon eventually will be found near water.
    "Wilder had a water fixation," says Wasserman. In a 1981 video-date interview, Wilder spoke of water skiing and surfing. His home, with a Jacuzzi and pool, is fronted on two sides by water. As America's most wanted fugitive, he toured Niagara Falls.
    "Look near water," Wasserman says. "Police don't find bodies. Bodies find police. The hunter, the bird watcher, the motorist whose car breaks down . . . "
    Herald staff writer Fred Strasser also contributed to this report.
    photo: Christopher Wilder, his home, his Porsche,
    Rosario Gonzalez, Elizabeth Kenyon, New York deputy sheriff with
    fbi poster

  4. #4

    palmtrees Articles/ Davie Jane Doe

    Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News
    September 14, 2007

    Index Terms:

    Artist's drawings might help identify woman pulled from Davie canal in 1984: Woman was pulled from canal in 1984

    Author: Sofia Santana, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

    Sep. 14 By the time police pulled her body from a Davie canal in February 1984, her lips and cheeks had swelled, her eyes were cloudy and sediment caked her face. She had been strangled.
    She's been unidentified for more than two decades, possibly because detectives lacked a key tool in the investigation: an accurate police sketch of her face that could be distributed to the public and media.
    Earlier this month, police finally got not one but several new sketches of what the victim may have looked like, courtesy of a volunteer who works with a group called Project EDAN, an acronym for "Everyone Deserves a Name."
    The group is a network of forensic artists around the country who volunteer their services to draw the faces of unidentified bodies, hoping to help police identify the dead people.

    Davie police Detective John Stokes, who began revisiting the case this year, hopes the new sketches will jog someone's memory, even more than two decades after the crime.
    "I hope someone says, hey, that's Laurie, and gives us a call," Stokes said.
    It's possible that this woman, who likely was in her 20s or 30s, was a victim of suspected serial killer Christopher Wilder, police said. Her body was found Feb. 18, 1984 in the canal along Southwest 130th Avenue, near 26th Street.

    Wilder lived in Boynton Beach and was linked to a string of disappearances through Florida from the late 1970s to early 1980s. When the FBI went looking for him in March 1984, he fled, zig-zagging across the country until he was confronted by state troopers in New Hampshire later that month and fatally shot himself during a struggle.
    Project EDAN learned of the unidentified victim after a South Florida Sun-Sentinel article that appeared about her last month and plans to assist with other Broward cases, said the group's founder, Todd Matthews, of Tennessee.
    Matthews is not a police officer but is known around the country for having helped police with cold cases, particularly those involving unidentified victims.
    "You have to remember it's not a portrait," Matthews said of the sketches. "You have to step back and look for likenesses."
    Don't try to make an exact match between a person's face and a police sketch, Matthews said. Instead, look more at the facial features.
    That may be the key to unlocking the mystery of the dead woman's identity.
    Anyone who recognizes the woman in the sketches is asked to call Davie police at 954-693-8200 begin_of_the_skype_highli ghting 954-693-8200 end_of_the_skype_highligh ting or the Broward Medical Examiner's Office at 954-327-6500 begin_of_the_skype_highli ghting 954-327-6500 end_of_the_skype_highligh ting.
    Last edited by Starless; 01-10-2011 at 06:46 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Unidentified Female, Located February 18, 1984, Florida

  6. #6

    Default Re: Unidentified Female, Located February 18, 1984, Florida

    Body Found: Feb 18 1984

    Crime Scene: She was found floating in a canal at 2600 S.W. 130 Ave. in Davie.

    Description: She was a white female with bleached-blonde hair and brown eyes. She was 5'4" tall and weighed 120 pounds. She was wearing dark blue cut-off shorts.

    Approx. age: 28

  7. #7

    Default Re: Unidentified Female, Located February 18, 1984, Florida

    2 days?? And who thinks this is who??

  8. #8

    Default Re: Unidentified Female, Located February 18, 1984, Florida

    Found this new sketch:

    Sex Female
    Race White
    Location Davie, Florida
    Found February 18, 1984
    Unidentified for 32 years
    Postmortem interval 2 days
    Body condition Recognizable face
    Age approximation 21 - 35
    Height approximation 5'4
    Weight approximation 120 pounds
    Cause of death Strangulation

    I think she looks like Leeann Coleen Huffman, but she disappeared in '78, six years before Jane Doe was found. Guess Jane Doe's hair looked more curly because she was pulled out of the water?

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