Overview of Roland Hanel
Roland Hanel was a German native who was living in Jay, VT with his wife.
Roland was married to his wife of around three years, Maram, and the couple were living in their home in Jay, VT that they moved into after their wedding in 1981. Roland was a German native, who owned a manufacturing operation in the plastics industry in Montreal. He sold the business before marrying Maram to move to Vermont. Roland’s friend described him as a great guy and a great family man who was particularly fond of skiing and lived a clean lifestyle.
“Roland was the type of guy who would ride his bike to work if he had to go to the store and never use his car.” - Steven Lucier, the couple’s neighbor.
Roland and Maram were known to be a friendly, athletic couple who enjoyed playing tennis and skiing. They could often be seen picking strawberries or working outside around their home. They mainly kept to themselves. Roland and Maram rented the top two floors of their home out, especially during skiing season, though no one was renting either floor at the time of their deaths. They also rented out two other homes in Jay, VT.
Roland and Maram were last seen on September 14, 1984.
The couple were last seen on the evening of September 14, 1984 at their home. That following week, Maram missed a dentist appointment. Their dentist further explained to investigators later on that he had not seen Roland or Maram for nearly two weeks.
Six days later, their remains were found.
On the afternoon of September 20, 1984, Roland and Maram were found shot to death in their home. According to investigators, Roland was found in the living room and Maram was found in the kitchen of their home. Both had been shot several times, nearly 11 times each. Authorities are able to determine that they had been killed several days earlier, likely sometime between September 15-19, 1984. No weapon is found at the scene.
Authorities release a profile of their suspected killer.
Nearly two years to the date of Roland and Maram’s murder, on September 10, 1986, officials with the Vermont State Police released a psychological profile of the individual responsible for the Hanel’s murder, which had been created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Behavioral Science Unit.
According to the profile, authorities believe that the killer was familiar, in some way, with the Hanels, had been to their home, and targeted the couple specifically. The profile also states that the killer "is in the same age group as the Hanels and would make a good appearance within the community; may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol and may have been in a dream-like state; and likely made an attempt to mislead the police in their investigation". The profile adds that there were aspects of the crime scene that leads them to believe that at some time, "a female dominated the killer's life"; along with the strong possibility that at least one other person knows, or at least suspects, who the killer is. Authorities believe that if true, that person may be in danger.
Where the case stands today.
Today, Roland and Maram’s murder has remained unsolved for more than 38 years. Shortly after the murder, authorities considered the likelyhood that an escaped inmate from Tennessee, Lohman Mays, may have been involved in their murder. They later conclude that there is no evidence pointing to Mays as their killer. Since then, there have been no new developments in their murder and it has remained cold ever since.
If you have any information regarding the murder of Roland and Maram Hanel, please contact the Vermont State Police at (802) 244-8781 or email your tip to [email protected].