New Jersey has been in the news for dozens of incredible things. Recently, our job growth outpaced the nation’s and the Cape May Ferry offered free rides to injured animals. Sadly, we’ve also made headlines for homicides. Throughout the years, there have been several famous homicides in New Jersey – each story more chilling than the next.
1. The murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr.
Called the "Crime of the Century," Charles Lindbergh, Jr. was abducted from the family's East Amwell home on the evening of March 1st, 1932. His body was found 2 months later. Bruno Hauptmann was convicted and executed but maintained his innocence. There are several theories suggesting another man, John Condon, was involved but this has never been proven.
2. The "walk of death."
Howard Barton Unruh killed 13 people (including three children) during a 12-minute walk through his Camden neighborhood on September 6, 1949.
3. The List murders.
On November 9, 1971 John List killed his wife, mother, and three children in their Westfield home. He managed to evade the police for 18 years, taking on a new identity and even remarrying.
4. The murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.
Werner Foerster was killed in 1973 after a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike. The racially charged shooting left Assata Shakur a monster to some and a hero to others.
Though she was imprisoned, she escaped in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984 where she received political asylum. She has been living in Cuba ever since. Since May 2, 2005, the FBI has classified her as a domestic terrorist and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List; the first woman to be listed.
5. Mary Ann Pryor and Lorraine Kelly.
The two North Bergen teens planned a trip to the Garden State Plaza on August 9th 1974. On August 14th, their bodies were found in a wooded area behind Rolling Ridge Road in Montvale, beaten, assaulted and strangled. The murders still remain unsolved.
6. The murder of Sigrid Stevenson on the TCNJ campus.
The body of 25 year old Sigrid Stevenson was found on the main stage of the music hall (shown above), beaten and bloody. It is believed that she attended a show the night before her body was found and she had stayed after to practice the piano. She never left and according to some, she is still there today. There have been no suspects or leads in her murder and it remains a cold case.
7. The murder of Gary Grant.
On January 12th, 1984, 7 year old Gary Grant Jr. told his mother he had an "appointment" at 2:30 but would be back later. His mother simply believed he had a play date but when he did not return by that evening the family grew concerned. After contacting Gary's friends, his mother learned that he did in fact spend time with them but left to go home at around 4:30. What happened after that is a mystery. Several days later, his body was found bludgeoned in a parking lot just two blocks from the family's Atlantic City home.
8. The nation's most prolific serial killer.
This isn't just one infamous murder, but hundreds. Experts have estimated that Charles Cullen killed over 300 patients throughout his 16-year nursing career, starting in 1988. He tampered with IV bags and administered lethal injections for years with his crimes going unnoticed.
Which of these stories was most disturbing? What other infamous murders in New Jersey could be added to this list? Let me know in the comments.