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Debra Bennett

A young woman's body is found a week after she is last seen

  • Last updated: July 1, 2023
  • Madison, WI
  • July 8, 1976

Overview of Debra Bennett

Debra J Bennett was raised in Ridgeway, Wisconsin and had graduated from Dodgeville High School in 1973. She had two loving parents, a brother, and, three sisters. Debra is described as a free spirit who made friends easily and was eager to move from her small-town life. When she was 20 years old, Debra moved to Madison, Wisconsin.

Debra was last seen on July 8, around 7:15 p.m. walking from 1421 Loftsgordon Avenue, where she had been living for the last five months. She was last seen walking barefoot --with painted toenails-- and wearing blue jeans, carrying a blue denim jacket and a brown shoulder-strap purse. Debra is described as having brown hair and being 5'5.5" tall. Authorities believe that she was killed on July 8.

At the time of her death, She was experiencing some hardships as she was unemployed and in the process of being evicted from her home. On July 21, 1976, Debra's remains were discovered near Cross Plains. Authorities could not determine the cause of death because her remains were so badly burned. It remains unknown if she was killed at the location where her body was found or if she had been killed elsewhere and moved and burned. Police used dental records and a fractured collarbone to identify Debra.

Strangely, three weeks after her body was found, Debra's Cardinal Hotel Key was mailed back to the hotel. It remains unknown if this was her killer or a good samaritan who found the key and mailed it back.

Her case remains unsolved. If you have any information, please contact Madison County Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014.


  1. Date Missing:July 8, 1976
  2. Date Found:July 21, 1976
  3. Birthday:July 22, 1955
  4. Age at Incident:20
  5. Race:White / Caucasian
  6. Gender:Female
  7. Height:5'5.5"
  8. Hair Color:Brown

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