The one who became the mysterious “Lady of the Dunes” has been identified as Ruth Marie Terry, a woman from the state of Tennessee who was 37 at the time of her death, US federal police announced at a conference of press near Boston, Massachusetts.
“Ruth was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a mother,” Boston-area FBI Special Agent Joe Bonavolonta said, asking anyone who had “any information” about the case. report it to the authorities.
The FBI released a wanted poster with four vintage photos of the victim in black and white or sepia tone.
The unidentified killer
“We are also aware that if we have identified Ruth as the victim of this horrific murder, it does not alleviate the pain of her family”, who were warned a little earlier, he added. For nearly 50 years, investigators have followed the trail of several suspects, without putting a name on the killer.
Ruth Marie Terry was found dead on July 26, 1974, her naked body lying in the dunes on a beach in Provincetown on Cape Cod, a strip of land in the Atlantic Ocean popular with summer visitors.
According to investigations at the time, she had been killed with a blow to the head, probably several weeks earlier. Her hands were missing, “presumably severed by her killer so she could not be identified by fingerprints, and her head was nearly severed from the body,” Bonavolonta added. No weapon was found near the victim.
According to the FBI, the authorities had failed to identify the victim despite neighborhood surveys, the study of “thousands” of missing persons files, “facial reconstruction” techniques and composite portraits, and several exhumations of the body.