What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)

The Lady of the Dunes: A Cold Case Revisited

April 23, 2024 Jameson Keys & Caroline
The Lady of the Dunes: A Cold Case Revisited
What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)
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What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)
The Lady of the Dunes: A Cold Case Revisited
Apr 23, 2024
Jameson Keys & Caroline

Send us a Text Message.

This episode is not for the faint of heart, as we dissect the long-unsolved Lady of the Dunes mystery, bringing to light evidence that may finally close this cold case. With every word, we stitch together the sinister and the procedural, taking you through the twists and turns of a narrative that's just as much about the resilience of human spirit as it is about the darkness that lies within. Follow us on Instagram @whatweloseintheshadows to see the photos that bind these stories together and share your own insights. Reserve your Tuesdays with us when we'll continue to cast light on the stories that time forgot, but justice remembers.

Details about husband sought in 50-year 'Lady of the Dunes' cold case - ABC News (go.com)
The 'Lady of the Dunes' has been identified after nearly 50 years. Now, police want info about her husband. (nbcnews.com)

Contact us at: whatweloseintheshadows@gmail.com



Background music by Michael Shuller Music

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

This episode is not for the faint of heart, as we dissect the long-unsolved Lady of the Dunes mystery, bringing to light evidence that may finally close this cold case. With every word, we stitch together the sinister and the procedural, taking you through the twists and turns of a narrative that's just as much about the resilience of human spirit as it is about the darkness that lies within. Follow us on Instagram @whatweloseintheshadows to see the photos that bind these stories together and share your own insights. Reserve your Tuesdays with us when we'll continue to cast light on the stories that time forgot, but justice remembers.

Details about husband sought in 50-year 'Lady of the Dunes' cold case - ABC News (go.com)
The 'Lady of the Dunes' has been identified after nearly 50 years. Now, police want info about her husband. (nbcnews.com)

Contact us at: whatweloseintheshadows@gmail.com



Background music by Michael Shuller Music

Speaker 1:

Good morning and welcome to what we Lose in the Shadows a father-daughter true crime podcast. My name is Jameson Keys.

Speaker 2:

I'm Caroline. Hello and good morning all you lovely listeners and good morning to you.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you, caroline. Good morning, I thought you were going to leave me out of that.

Speaker 2:

Almost. Then I saw you. Then I saw you, I looked up and I saw you, how are? You doing A familiar face that.

Speaker 1:

I've seen for my entire life.

Speaker 2:

One that, when I look back in pictures at myself as a child, looks like you Sorry about that, hey, you know.

Speaker 1:

At myself as a child looks like you Sorry about that.

Speaker 2:

Hey, you know it's never done me wrong.

Speaker 1:

You actually look like your grandma, which is she was a beautiful woman.

Speaker 2:

I know, but sometimes I look back at pictures of me as a child and like your face is very prominent in my, my face as a child.

Speaker 1:

And if you want to see both of our faces, go to our Instagram page at what we lose in the shadows, or go to jamesonkeyscom. You can see pictures of us all love.

Speaker 2:

You said you hada lovely drink this morning oh my god, this is where he's gonna make fun of me. It was a lavender oat milk latte wow, lavender oak milk milk lavender oat milk latte let's try that again oat.

Speaker 1:

It's made of oats, not oak oh shit, oh no, so a lavender oat milk latte yes lovely that's exactly.

Speaker 2:

It tastes, exactly how it sounds tastes kind of pretentious, I bet it was very elegant elegant it gave my morning a little bit of elegance.

Speaker 1:

It was a coffee. Right, it was a coffee okay.

Speaker 2:

Okay, two shots of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Wow With lavender powder.

Speaker 2:

It was literally an ethereal experience.

Speaker 1:

Ethereal, was it, mm-hmm. I recommend going to try one this was still a drink, right, I mean ethereal.

Speaker 2:

It tasted amazing. I've never tasted anything like it, so I'm happy to try it. Yeah, you should go try it. We'll try one together and then you can come back and tell them how you liked it.

Speaker 1:

I'll I'd give it a nine out of ten, so so uh, it's funny because I used to be, I didn't used to drink coffee at all and then you had a child. Well, no, and when we moved to um, when we moved to japan, we moved to japan when you were three months old and I took a teaching position over there for a year and I didn't drink coffee at that point, but you were. When you went to different things, people's houses, different things for the school or whatever they always offered drinks, and they were always it was either coffee or green tea. And I know, before I say this, I know the benefits you know extolled upon green tea and it's wonderful and so on, but it tastes like grass to me so I don't like it. It does not. It does, uh, but at the same time. So that's when I started drinking coffee and I started with you ever since well, it really has.

Speaker 1:

I mean, and I drink, I used to drink over there the worst coffee ever. It was those instant crystals that you just pour hot water over and it's just terrible coffee I like it because it's strong, though I do like the instant coffee.

Speaker 1:

Well, keep in mind at that point in time, and this is 1997, 1998. Damn, that's old, wow, but you were a baby already. Ugh, so and anyways. So, yeah, yeah, I mean I'd have to jump on my bicycle and, you know, pedal for half an hour to one of the schools that I was teaching at. So I need to be awake so you don't run in front of a bus or something like that.

Speaker 2:

that's terrifying yeah, didn't the wind wake you up a little?

Speaker 1:

so, boy are we getting off topic here? So yes, absolutely. But in the middle of wintertime and I assume Japan, I don't know I thought maybe we had some kind of a, you know, a tropical kind of a thing, and in the summertime it certainly was Right, but I didn't realize they had quite the change of seasons that they do.

Speaker 2:

You didn't research before you moved there?

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, but mean, I mean, I, I don't know it's. It's really strange because, um, when we went home for christmas all of us for a month, um, while I was teaching over there, and when I came back, I came back a couple days earlier than you guys because I had to, you know, start school again and there were six inches of snow on the ground and I'm like, oh my god, I'm on a bicycle.

Speaker 2:

Oh my. God so you couldn't take the bus.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you could. I mean, you could take a cab or the bus, but my bike was at the, at the train station, so I so I rode my bike back in the midst of this six inches of snow, which was dicey. No, not ethereal at all, terrifying. So the opposite of a lavender oat milk latte.

Speaker 2:

Polar opposite, yes, literally polar, literally polar well, I would like to say that apparently, green tea is nature's ozempic, nature's ozempic yeah, it's like it slims you down, green tea.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

So there you go.

Speaker 1:

A lot of things are nature's ozempic. Apparently I'm starting to take something called berberine and they call it nature's ozempic.

Speaker 2:

I can't believe. Two things are marketing themselves as that. Okay, let's get into it. Trigger warnings today are sexual assault and murder.

Speaker 1:

Caroline, we are going to be talking about a case Good that is. It's from a while back, I'm not going to lie and I knew nothing about this case and I was alive during this period of time.

Speaker 2:

It's from a while back, but you were alive. It's period of time. It's from a while back that you were alive.

Speaker 1:

It's from years ago. It's from the 70s right.

Speaker 2:

How old were you? 20?.

Speaker 1:

Funny, Funny. When this happened. This happened in 1974, I was 11. 11.

Speaker 2:

So basically, 20.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's basically 20. In your rationale it is because you know you were trying to drive a car from the time you were 11. Dad, I'm almost 16. No, you're 11. You're not even close to 16. Well, I'm a preteen, you're not a preteen. Anyways, we've had this argument, caroline and I, for a very long time. So, anyways, but no.

Speaker 1:

So on July 26, 1974, a girl was out on the beach with her family, and this was in Provincetown, massachusetts, you know, also in Cape Cod, and they were running around in the dunes out there and she heard this dog barking, right, and it just got her attention. So she started walking and following the barking dog. When she found the dog, what she found was kind of awful. She found a decomposing body. What the fuck? Uh. And it was sitting there on the beach, uh, it was off, it was closer to, like, the road, but not that far from the beach, right, and this reminds me kind of the gilgo beach, the whole gilgo beach, right. So she screamed, of course, and her parents came running and they called the police and so on.

Speaker 2:

Was the dog barking at the body?

Speaker 1:

At the body Right, right. So that's what.

Speaker 2:

Was it her dog.

Speaker 1:

You know, I've seen both things in the source material. One thing said it was their dog, One thing. One other piece of source material said it was just a random dog. Okay, but the one thing that was common, regardless was the fact that they found this body. Now, around the body, the victim was laying on a beach blanket and she was laying there with her head propped up on a folded pair of Wrangler jeans and a blue bandana. She was naked.

Speaker 2:

My God.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you know a little things about the victim. She had long auburn hair. She had pink painted toenails. She was approximately five foot six inches tall, 145 pounds, kind of an athletic build. But she also was completely naked, so obviously there was probably sexual assault done there. She didn't have a lot of bruising or anything like that. Um. So it kind of people were thinking that maybe she knew who her attacker was. But some odd things too. Whoever had attacked her hit her in the head with what they think was an army entrenching tool, which is like a little sturdy shovel that the army uses to dig trenches and so on wow um the one side of her head was caved in and she was nearly decapitated wow, that's horrible it is, and even worse, um both of her hands and part of her.

Speaker 2:

One of her arms was missing to try and like decrease them being able to find out who she was.

Speaker 1:

Probably they think, they think so, they think so. And one last thing is some of her teeth were pulled out as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so that kind of tracks with that.

Speaker 1:

Right, but she also had, you know, she also had extensive, you know, dental work. So they looked around and you know Providence Town is kind of a small place. It's on, you know, it's on the Cape there and they're not used to this sort of thing happening, right.

Speaker 1:

So the police were called and they went around and it's kind of a you know kind of a cool little town, you know beach town and that sort of thing, where this doesn't really happen often. Yeah, and they're close knit and no one knew this woman. They gave a description of her and so on. No, no one was missing. Oh, the police checked all the um. Uh, you know missing persons, bolos and things like that nothing how far is p-town?

Speaker 2:

is it p-town right? That's what they call it um well, I guess I'm cooler than you. How far is providence town from boston?

Speaker 1:

it's. It's not very far from boston, I mean it's okay so it could just be from that it could be, but I mean, you need to take a plane there or a boat there.

Speaker 1:

It's not. So yeah, it's, it's on the Cape there and so you know it's. It's, you know, not exactly real close to Boston or anything like that. But um, so yeah, they, they started this long um investigation and they looked for all missing people. Nothing, you know. It's obvious that the person was trying to hide this person's identity and you know, taking the hands and teeth and things like that. Um, so yeah, it was. It was a very, very odd situation, but it went on for quite some time because there was just no development on it.

Speaker 2:

They couldn't figure out who it was.

Speaker 1:

They couldn't figure out who it was, so they dubbed this person the Lady of the Dune, and it went on and on for a long, long time. So some of the odder parts of the story. There have been many, many different thoughts about what happened during this period of time so the theories, and probably period of time. So the theories, and probably one of the oddest theories. In august of 2015, speculation arose that the lady in the dunes may have been an extra on the 1975 film jaws. Now, how this came about was um so she's never been right right they've never identified her to this day.

Speaker 1:

So so we'll get into that later. But, um, yeah, so so you know, the funny thing was they had um exhumed her body several times to take blood samples, hair samples. They did, uh, they did a partial um reconstruction giving her skull and they did this several times. Her body was exhumed three times as technology and so on, you know, came back up and so on just to try to get an idea, but never any kind of a. Every time that they had like a lead or something like that, it would go dead and then it wasn't her right, wow. So yeah, this young man, this Joe Hill.

Speaker 1:

Joe Hill is actually the son of horror writer, stephen king wow and he was watching, I think, the 45th anniversary of jaws, because one of the things that came out of these exhumations was kind of a composite sketch, given you know the fact that they did official reconstruction and computer enhancements and things like that and one of the most popular ones showed this woman with auburn hair, the woman in this real quick little scene within Jaws. The lady did have auburn hair and she had on Wrangler jeans and she had on a blue bandana very similar to the one that they found at the murder site.

Speaker 2:

Was it recorded in Boston?

Speaker 1:

So it was recorded on Cape Cod, not too far from there.

Speaker 1:

It was recorded in 1974, during that period of time. So naturally, you know, in 2015, people were like, oh my God, you know, we just have to figure out who this? You know who? Some of the extras were on that on Jaws, and maybe we can find out who this woman is after all these years. And that was Stephen King's son.

Speaker 1:

Stephen King's son came up with this because he's watching it, he's familiar with the case, he loves true crime, so maybe he'll listen to us, who knows? But basically, yeah, he came up with this and he thought, my God, that's her. Wow. He gave the information to the police and they kind of ran with this. But unfortunately it could have been because they went back and they went to the first person who was in charge of personnel on that movie in 1974 had passed away. So they went back and they tried to find whatever they could. But the thing was they were trying to use some extras but some of the people were just there oh fuck, boarding the, you know, boarding a boat, and so on and so on, and they could not identify who this woman was so it really could have been her it could very well have been her.

Speaker 1:

Um, because, like, like, there's a lot of different theories, like there was one crazy theory that there was a name of James Whitey Bulger. He was part of the Irish mob in Boston and he was known to kill people. He was also known to cut their hands off and things like that Couldn't identify him and tie him to him.

Speaker 2:

But why would she be connected to him?

Speaker 1:

Because he used to like to go to that part of the Cape, okay, okay, and a woman had said that basically she had seen Whitey Bulger, uh, in the Cape during that period of time.

Speaker 1:

Oh now there couldn't be any substantial, any substantiation of that because, um, by the time they came up with this theory and so on, uh, whitey had been arrested and he was killed in jail Wow OK, by another inmate. But another problem with that theory was the fact that the woman that said yes, it was, you know, I knew Whitey and I saw Whitey at a bar not too far from there during that period of time. Then she kind of doubled down and said I even saw that body out on the beach, but I didn't report it to anyone. So some people were going ah, did you?

Speaker 2:

Did you really, because that would be a crime. Absolutely, absolutely and why would you admit to that? I don't know. That's strange.

Speaker 1:

Anyways, it was strange, but it's a very strange case, right, yeah. In addition, there is a serial killer by the name of Hayden Clark and he confessed to murder, that he could have murdered that woman. He said in a letter to a friend that he had, during that period of time, found a woman walking along the beach alone and that he had murdered her and he had cut off her hands and pulled out her teeth.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so it was probably her then. He also said that he had used her fingers for bait and fishing, oh, and that he buried the hands somewhere on the beach. What a piece of shit. What the fuck. Now, the problem with him is that all those little bits of information had been made public.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but it's still Okay. So you're thinking.

Speaker 1:

So it could have been, and he's also confessed to like he killed three or four people. That's why he's in jail. He's a serial killer, but he also confessed to several other things that he led police on a wild goose chase and it turned out to be nothing.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and so this case went along over the years over the decades actually, actually but on October 31st 2022, the FBI field office in Boston announced that the victim had been identified as Ruth Marie Terry. No details of any potential suspects were known at that time. Terry was in Massachusetts at the time of her murder. The FBI stated that Terry's identity was determined using the investigative genealogy and the DNA, the same method they used to identify homicides in over 150 cases across the country, including the Golden State Killer. It's insane. And so they knew who it was for a few years, but then they started looking deeper and they realized that on November 2nd 2022, they kind of started thinking that Terry's deceased husband, guy Rockwell Moldaven, could have very well been the person they were looking for all this time.

Speaker 2:

So actually, like statistically, that would make sense it would and why that didn't dawn on them earlier.

Speaker 1:

like instantaneously would she marry? Well, they couldn't figure out who it was right, well, yeah right, but it took them just a few months to figure it. You know, connect this. The rest of this oh, okay so, um, this guy rockwell, uh dude had been married um and in. He was married to manzanita, eileen ryan, and he was married to her, and she had a daughter by a previous husband and her name was Dolores and means and she was 18. Both women, while he was married to Rockwell, disappeared in Seattle on April Fool's Day 1960, with Mulvane becoming the primary suspect in the investigation.

Speaker 1:

Of course he fled Seattle what? But was arrested by the FBI later and, and you know, and charged with unlawful flight trying to avoid testimony in the deaths. Now, they never found the bodies, oh my god. But they found dna, you know remnants of them in the septic system of the house.

Speaker 2:

So this guy's a monster so was he like flushing them down the drain?

Speaker 1:

probably maybe he. He broke him down some way and, just yeah, flushed him into the. You know the. That's unhinged. Oh, it's unhinged, to be sure what the hell. So there's a true crime author by the name of ann rule, and she devoted a section of her 2007 book Smoke Mirrors and Murders to Mulvane in connection with the Ryan Means disappearances. With extensive discussion on police efforts to connect Mulvane to the crime, the investigation found some parts of dismembered human body in the septic tank, but were unable to prove from that that the missing women were actually, you know, were actually the people they were looking for. Why they just did. They didn't have the capability of tying the dna to it.

Speaker 1:

At that point they couldn't differentiate but they knew it was them they're pretty sure it was him right, no but they knew like that matter now they know now.

Speaker 1:

They knew they were able to go back and say, yes, this is you know. But Mulvane was also the prime suspect in the murder of Henry Lawrence Red Baird, a 20-year-old truck driver, and the disappearance of Barbara Jo Kelly, a 17-year-old waitress, in June of 1950. Oh my God, you know. Barbara was last seen in Humboldt County, California, on June 17, 1950, when she embarked on a date with Baird, who was her boyfriend. Baird's body was discovered face down on a beach.

Speaker 2:

That's terrifying.

Speaker 1:

Near a table in a bluff. The following morning he had received a gunshot wound to the back of his head, and the lady was of course dead as well.

Speaker 2:

What the heck. So they just went on a date and he murdered them without cause.

Speaker 1:

He found them on a beach and just randomly murdered them. That's horrifying, right. So after that, uh mulvane moved to california, a small community near salinas, and around 1976 according to you know a feature that was written about him he had retired from his job, he had been a you know a person that finds antiquities and things like that. He had a shop on Rodeo Boulevard. In his profile he also had done some you know work on the radio at KAZU in Pacific Grove and he volunteered to do a three-hour call-in show, you know, on aging and growing old. It was that event. He married ruth marie terry. So, ruth, he met ruth and uh, they had gone over the all over the country basically buying and looking at antiques. They had visited tennessee to meet her family and so on, and after they left there they said they were driving to b Boston to look for antiques, and so on.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so it was him. Oh, most certainly was him. Oh, okay, yeah, but uh, and then, shortly thereafter that, he called her parents back and said that she had disappeared.

Speaker 2:

What the hell? And wait, but they didn't connect to that with the, the body that they found up there. Eventually they did yeah, but like for 45 years right right well like her parents were like oh okay, I guess it's just like the technology was like really, severely lacking. It was the 60s and 70s news wasn't a thing right, and there was no internet. There was no true crime shows.

Speaker 1:

There was nothing like that, you know, and there was no dna to tie these things together.

Speaker 2:

This guy had been killing people for years.

Speaker 1:

That's insane. And the interesting part, like he would be dating someone right, and then he would meet someone else that had money or something like that, and then he would kill off that wife and then move on to someone else. He was a psychopath and, if you want to see something disturbing, he wrote a book called Cooking with Rump Oil. What is that? It's a cookbook. What is oil Rump?

Speaker 1:

oil I don't know, I didn't look into it very much, but it just it sounds so. And one of the he like wrote poems about these different things and this one he really liked apparently he really liked watching the light go out of someone's eyes, right. He wrote this in his book, he wrote this. He wrote kind of a poem about this in this cookbook, right, which was bizarre, and he even had an illustration of a woman with long hair kind of looking back at him and you know know kind of her eyes kind of doll-like and so on and so, and they published this I yes someone published it but yeah, so this was a very, very disturbed individual red flag

Speaker 2:

red flag wow, okay, yeah, that's crazy.

Speaker 1:

So but but this guy, this guy got off scot-free from all of these murders for so long. He did die in 2002 in prison. They finally put him in prison for something else. Actually, the funny thing was he was actually one of his wives. He had extorted money from the parents. He had basically said, oh, we're going to invest in this, and they just took off the money. He had basically said, oh, we're going to invest in this, and they just took off with the money.

Speaker 1:

And that's actually how they caught him and put him in jail, because he because that was pretty, that was a little less he didn't think he was in peril as much with this one. So they caught him for extorting these people and, you know, kind of stealing their money. Wow, but yeah, this, this was one one sick individual. That's horrible. So, but the nice thing is they did find the killer after all those years. And this guy was in jail for certain things, but he never paid for some of the terrible, terrible things he did and we'll never know exactly because he's dead. They really can't try the man after he's dead.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, they can't, they won't.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, so that was a very, very strange case, man, and we still don't know. We still don't know because they asked, they asked the family does this look a little bit like this woman in the jaws film? And they were like kind of it, kind of does so she could have been in the movie jaws was he, I wonder like?

Speaker 2:

was he in the background as?

Speaker 1:

well they didn't see him. There was no nothing in the source material to say that they actually have a picture of him walking around, but they think it could very well that she could have been in that, and it was literally hours before her death wow, that's so crazy, because she was in the same outfit she's in the same outfit.

Speaker 1:

They found basically the same outfit, um you know, folded neatly on top of a beach blanket that's crazy, with her head resting on it so that at least the story of the lady of the dunes has been solved wow, follow the show on whatever streaming site you're listening on and remember.

Speaker 2:

All of the source material will be available in the show notes and follow us on instagram at what we lose in the and let us know if you want to hear a specific case.

Speaker 1:

Or if you just want to give us some feedback.

Speaker 2:

Okay, join us in the shadows next Tuesday. Bye.

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