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Patricia Shea

A woman vanishes after going to help her neighbor and is found bound and strangled across town.

  • Last updated: July 11, 2023
  • New York, NY
  • July 25, 1982

Overview of Patricia Shea

Could an anonymous letter from 2021 help solve this 1982 murder?

The Shea family has been in Rockaway since the early 1900s when they moved from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Patricia “Pat” Shea and her brother grew up in Rockaway Beach and always loved it. As Pat got older, she became someone who her family describes as “the sweetest person you’ll ever meet.” Kevin Shea, Pat’s nephew and the oldest living blood relative of her, told Uncovered that she had the best smile. Kevin was only 15 years old when he lost his beloved Aunt Pat, and he is now her greatest advocate.

Uncovered has been working with Kevin since the start of 2023, and together we’ve been working on getting more attention on his aunt’s case. He’s shared with us that Pat was a physician's assistant, and worked in the office of Dr. Robert Boggiano while serving on the volunteer ambulance squad. A woman who worked with Pat was recently interviewed by Mary Murphy of PIX 11 News, and said “she was good to her patients.”

This brings us to the day of her disappearance.

On the Sunday evening of July 25, 1982, Pat arrived back at her Shore Front Parkway apartment after a weekend away with her platonic male friend. The friend dropped her off at a side entrance to the building. Sometime between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., Pat received a call from an elderly friend named Aggie who lived in an adjacent building.

Aggie had dementia and suffered from a storke, so she often relied on caring people like Pat to help out.

On this night, Aggie requested that Pat come over to help her with something unspecified. So, around 11:15pm, Pat made her way over to Aggie’s unit. This is the last time Pat was seen alive.

The next evening, a jogger in Prospect Park made a grizzly discovery.

At 6:00pm that Monday evening, a jogger in Prospect Park saw Pat’s body in the bushes just off of Center Drive on the Windsor Terrace side. There was little effort made to hide her body. Detectives note that she was hog-tied, including her neck. Her lower body was in a “brown sack.” Pat had been strangled with the thin nylon chord that was tied around her whole body, and a man’s shirt was found next to her.

The police spoke with Aggie, who was only able to say: "The blonde man hurt Pat. The blonde man hurt Pat."

The case went cold.

In 2021, an anonymous letter reinvigorated the investigation.

Kerry Murtha, a journalist from The Wave, a local Rockaway Beach publication. wrote a deep-dive article about Pat’s murder, and 3 weeks later, she showed up to the office with a mysterious letter on her desk — addressed to her.

It was an anonymous letter, printed on old computer paper. It named a suspect. We’ve redacted some of the information, considering law enforcement still sees this as an active investigation.

Patricia's killer continues to evade justice for her murder. Her family pleads:

"If you knew Patricia Shea, you know she would come forward for you. She would do anything to protect her friends, neighborhood and neighbors. I’m asking you to do the same for her."

If you have any information about the murder of Patricia Shea, please contact the current lead detective, Det. Annamarie Bernagozzi at (212) 239-2556 or at annamari.bernagozzi@nypd.org, or email Kerry Mutha at justiceforpat2023@gmail.com.

Case researched and written by Katie T. and Andrea Cipriano.


  1. Date Found:July 26, 1982
  2. Date of Death:July 25, 1982
  3. Birthday:June 20, 1938
  4. Age at Incident:44
  5. Race:Caucasian / White
  6. Gender:Female
  7. Hair Color:Brown


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