Idaho December 22, 2017
The Grisly Murder That Left A Mark On This Small Idaho Town During The Holiday Season
One of the best parts about living in Idaho is the fact that our state doesn’t see a lot of crime. Idahoans sleep easy at night knowing that they reside in relatively safe communities where crimes like murder don’t usually happen. However, nearly 50 years ago tragedy struck the small college town of Moscow when a young woman was murdered in cold blood. Although it remains unsolved, Moscow residents remember the crime clearly.
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Moscow, Idaho is probably most well known as a college town. Idaho's oldest public college, the University of Idaho, resides here and is the focal point of the town.
Currently, Moscow has a population of over 23,000 residents. This charming town is characteristically frigid cold during the winter months. During winter, Moscow can see up to 15 inches of snowfall. The quaint town takes on the look of a snowy wonderland during this time of year.
It was during the holiday season that one of Moscow's grisliest murders took place. On the night of December 28, 1969, Janice Foiles was brutally murdered at her workplace.
The crime shook the town to its core. At this point, Moscow was only home to approximately 11,000 residents. Murders simply didn't happen here and the community wasn't prepared for such a horrendous crime. Detectives were never able to pin the murder on anybody, but the terrible event is still talked about to this day.
Janice Foiles was an 18 year old student at the University of Idaho. Along with being a college student, she worked as a waitress at the Tip Top Cafe on the corner of Jefferson and 3rd Street.
The town was quiet the night Janice was murdered. Most university students had gone home on the holiday break so that night at work was probably slow for Janice. The cafe was your typical small town diner. It is believed that Janice was bludgeoned to death with a claw hammer sometime after the cafe closed on that horrid Sunday evening. The Tip Top Cafe closed long ago, but the building is still used today as a hair salon and a lock shop.
Detectives don't believe the murder was a robbery gone wrong. Certain aspects of the murder point to this being a crime of passion.
Detectives interviewed numerous people including a number of ex-boyfriends who may have had a motive. However, none of these people struck detectives as the murderer. The murder weapon originally belonged to the cafe, but it was never recovered after the night of the 28th. The case remains unsolved, but it is not considered closed.
Janice was described as a quiet teenager. She was a part of her high school's French and Pep Clubs. Her life was only just beginning at the time of her murder.
The tragedy of Janice's murder left a grim stain on Moscow. The act of a community member killing another in cold blood was unheard of. And the fact that the victim of this crime was a young woman who was only just beginning college made it especially tragic.
As the 48th anniversary of Janice's murder approaches, the town of Moscow can't help but remember the dreadful event that took place at the Tip Top Cafe.
Detectives will keep Janice's case open until the murderer is finally found. It may have happened decades ago, but the hope for justice and Janice's memory lives on.
Did you know of this murder that took place in Moscow? Idaho is a great place to live, but the occasional gruesome crime does occur. Have you heard the
story of this serial killer who terrorized a small Idaho town?