By M.P. Pellicer | Eerie.News
A brutally slain couple was discovered on a roadside off Route 80 in 1979. Beyond the mystery of who killed them, is why the case remains unsolved after more than four decades.
At first blush it was believed the couple were murdered in New York, and taken across state lines to be dumped in West Paterson, New Jersey.
A boy walking his dog found them on December, 16, 1979, behind other garbage on an isolated stretch of Squirrelwood Road.
The man was wrapped in a blood-stained white canvas tarp and tied with electrical wire. He also had wire around his neck. She was rolled into a green tweed outdoor carpet, and tied with twine. Like the man, she had twine around her neck. Both of them were fully clothed, had their wrists and ankles tied together and had been bludgeoned on the side of the head.
The Passaic County Medical Examiner's Office ruled they had been dead at least 24 hours before they were discovered.
There was no identification on either of them, and a week later a laundry slip was found inside the man's corduroy jacket. When traced it led to IRS Laundry at 248 De Kalb Ave. Brooklyn. An employee immediately identified a picture of Howard Green.
Howard Green, 51, and girlfriend Carol Marron, 33, lived for 7 years in a brownstone basement apartment at 270 De Kalb Avenue, Brooklyn. Neighbors in the artist community of Fort Green described them as quiet.
Inside their 3-bedroom apartment police found evidence of a minor struggle and some blood, but not enough to indicate it was the murder scene. There was no sign of forced entry, nor was the interior ransacked. Marron's pocketbook was still in the apartment, but there was no money or identification inside it. A bloody footprint and hair were found on the floor of the apartment. Other evidence was found in the garage area. It was a blood-stained piece of wood, which not believed to be the murder weapon.
The couple was last seen the night before in a restaurant across the street from their apartment.
Howard Green had lived in the area his entire life, and worked as a taxi driver to pay the rent. His passion was abstract art and he worked as a free-lance artist.
Carol Ann Marron worked as a secretary at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She also worked as a seamstress and designer of expensive one-of-a-kind outfits she sold to high-status, New York department stores. She considered herself a poet and author.
Two weeks prior to her death she told a friend she was writing a story in which the Shah of Iran was kidnapped, tortured and hanged so the blood drained from his body. This description would prove to be more than coincidental in the future.
Initially the police could find no motive for the murders.
The autopsy report showed that Green had died of brain damage and a skull fracture.
Three weeks after the discovery of the bodies, the police were no closer to finding out who killed them. "Investigators from the West Paterson police, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office and the 13th Homicide Squad in Brooklyn" said they were still baffled about how and why the couple was murdered.
Robert Deveraux, detective with the 13th Homicide Squad told the newspapers, "We have been pursuing every possible lead we can turn up. It's been a long and tedious process, but we are heading very carefully down every possible road of their lives in this investigation."
Both had applied for passports weeks before their deaths, and Marron had a record of arrests for possession of marijuana and theft in Chicago and Texas.
Green was a Korean War tank commander with a clean service and police record.
He was described by police as "a streetwise guy with no enemies that we could find. Sort of the neighborhood bohemian."
Somewhere during those hours when they were last seen leaving a Brooklyn neighborhood nightclub at 8PM and their bodies being found, they were killed and dumped in another state. Police wondered why this had been done, since there were plenty of places to discard a body in Brooklyn.
In hindsight considering what happened to the investigation, the perpetrator was more familiar with the roadblocks the investigation would encounter due to more than one jurisdiction being involved.
Despite the blood left in the apartment, it did not indicate it was the murder scene.
The police polygraphed a suspect who had an "airtight" alibi, but they refused to identify the person.
It wasn't until February, 1980, that police were looking for their suspect amid a satanic group. Now the newspapers were describing the crime as bizarre. More details came out about the crime; most disturbing is that the bodies were mutilated and bloodless. So much so that not even a drop could be squeezed from their hearts for lab samples. Their eyeballs were blown out, the tips of their ears cut off. There were approximately 30 puncture marks made in identical places on the two bodies.
Later it was found the blood had been drained from their bodies with the use of a veterinary syringe. The small amount of blood found in the apartment, testified to the expertise of who had done this.
Both had been hit on the left side of the head, each had a right eye wound and cuts and bruises to the knees and groin. Each had a clump of hair clutched in a fist, a symbol, according to police, common to some satanic groups.
Friends told police that in the weeks before their death, the couple had become deeply involved in the occult. The police after ruling out other motives for the slaying looked to the death as a result of some type of ritual.
The police were now looking at the couple's former upstairs neighbor.
He was described as a "drifter" who as a teenager lived in the West Paterson area where the bodies were dumped. He also had a penchant for decapitating mice and draining their blood.
The neighbors said he would wander around with his guitar and dog. He had supposedly gone out to southern Oklahoma, about the same time several cows were found slaughtered there, their blood drained.
The police refused to identify the man who moved out a year before the murders. He told one neighbor that he called the couple "witches", after Marron and Green pronounced him "an oddball" and told people to stay away from him.
Detective Deveraux said the man "was also seen in the West Village area — always with a white shepherd dog."
Some neighbors described where Green was unusually nervous and confused in the weeks before his death.
By April, 1980, the case was unsolved. The police had failed to find the one-time upstairs neighbor, and they had determined that the couple had been garroted with an electrical cord inside their apartment, which would account for the small amount of blood at the scene.
The strongest lead police had involved a New Jersey Bell Telephone van a hiker saw near the place where the bodies were found. It was a two-tone green and white truck that had once belonged to the phone company, but was sold to the public. The police were in contact with a second-hand vehicle distributor to try to trace its owner. This lead appeared to go nowhere.
The weeks marched by and the only progress the police had made was to rule out certain suspects. The newspapers dropped the story, and it faded from the public's view.
One of the contradictions among those that investigated the case, was whether occult paraphernalia was found in the apartment.
Whoever was responsible, the lead investigator on the case, Detective Jim Devereaux was certain the crime was linked to the occult. He said, "It was definitely a satanic murder. And it was a one-man job. In all of my years in this business, I’ve never seen anything like this."
Maury Terry, an investigative journalist responded, "The only murderous, satanic cult I know of in the New York area is the Son of Sam group. But the NYPD won't admit it exists, so we're stymied. A vet syringe is not a foreign object to people who deal with dogs, you know."
In 1987, Maury Terry published The Ultimate Evil: The Search for the Sons of Sam, where he described receiving a letter in 1979, that read:
Dear Maury Terry. Please look into this double killing. Carol was asking people about the O.T.O. a year prior to the murders. I can’t accept that the people responsible for this are still walking around free. I am afraid that the problems will not go away and that minds this unbalanced may perpetuate additional horrors. Forgive me for not signing my name. I haven’t gotten over the fear.
He described where the writer was a friend of Carol Marron, and the O.T.O. referenced in the note was the Ordo Templi Orientis, whose most famous member was Aleister Crowley. Terry described where their apartment was "spiced with various items of satanic significance." Most probably obtained from an occult shop close to where they lived. "A store that served more purpose than one for certain occult adepts."
Maury's reference to dogs was that the occult group operating in New York during those years was known to keep German Shepherds as pets, and also to sacrifice them. Was it coincidental that the murdered couple's upstairs neighbor was seen with a dog that was specifically of this breed? A main theme of Terry's book is that occult practitioners often killed those from among their "coven" if it proved to be expedient for a number of reasons.
According to Maury Terry, Untermyer Park in New York was connected to strange gatherings. By the 1960s, the park fell into disrepair and the statues throughout the park were swallowed by overgrowth. Around 1970, it was being used for teenage prostitution, hippies, drug abusers and as a meeting place for dark magic practitioners.
On August 11, 1977 two young boys, ages eleven and fourteen, were walking along the trail somewhat south of Untermyer Park. They weren't out for a relaxing walk on the warm summer's day. Searching through the tangled brush adjacent to the aqueduct behind Berkowitz's apartment, the youths were on a specific mission. They were looking for a grave.
In 2002, The NY Post wrote an article about the case, which by then had remained unsolved for a little over 20 years.
Confusion among cops as to who should have investigated the ghoulish murder of a Brooklyn couple may have resulted in the case remaining unsolved for more than 20 years. A Post investigation into the double homicide found not only that the trail to the brutal killer has gone cold, but it may never have been followed properly. Retired detectives from Brooklyn’s 88th Precinct and the West Paterson Police Department, along with the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed they all thought the others had done the follow-up investigation.
A law professor interviewed by a reporter said that even though it wasn't mandatory, the FBI should have assisted in the case, either because the couple had been kidnapped, or the bodies were moved across state lines to hide the crime.
After the NY Post ran their story, within a couple of week the Brooklyn Cold Case Square decided to warm up the investigation, but that's as far it got. Within weeks of their announcement the Brooklyn's 88th Precinct couldn't find the case file.
Short of a deathbed confession or a DNA link, the case seems destined to remain icy cold.
Source - Philadelphia Daily News, The Record
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