We’re changing the narrative around cold cases and Minnesota murders through collective impact—join us!

We believe the more resources we can provide to digital volunteers and citizen solvers mean more “citizen detective” communities.

Minnesota Murders

On the websites of several law enforcement organizations, you may find various fascinating reports and data regarding the number of murders in Minnesota by year. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation prepares and releases a Uniform Crime Report annually, which provides detailed information on the various types of crimes, crime rates, and crime locations in every state, county, and city across the country. Another great example is Project: Cold Case, which not only provides a public database filled with nearly 25,000 cold cases, but also provides statistics and other information regarding the number of unsolved homicides in every state in the United States, as well as each state’s clearance rate.

It’s estimated that there were around 5,866 homicides in Minnesota from 1980 to 2019, according to Project: Cold Case. Furthermore, today there are nearly 1,932 murders in Minnesota that remain unsolved, regardless of the fact that approximately 3,934 of those homicides were solved within that time frame. As previously mentioned, Project: Cold Case also houses a database which can be utilized by anyone, that holds the basic information for almost 25,000 unsolved murders across the country.

One of the categories that can be found within their database includes the many instances of northern Minnesota murders, which include: the 1987 murder of Anita Carlson, the 1986 murder of Nancy Daugherty, the 2001 murder of Rachel Anthony, and the 1983 murder of Joseph “Scriver” Olson, among others. Other unsolved homicides that can easily be found in the database with a simple search are the various central Minnesota unsolved murders, including: 1981 murder of Myrtle Vera Cole, the 1985 murder of Cassandra Rhines, the 2007 murder of Alison Daniels, the 1985 murder of Vittini “Tina” Doreen Slaughter, and the 2000 murder of Keke Jefferson-Moore, among countless others.

Unlike in many states, counties, and cities across the United States, there are no publicly available databases containing all of Minnesota’s unsolved homicides. Due to this, it can be a daunting task to look up the countless unsolved homicides in the state within one website. Some cases which can be found within both news articles and in Project: Cold Case’s database are the few murders in Ramsey County, Minnesota, which include: the 2013 murder of Hagos Tsegay Melake, the 1999 murder of Nathan Andrew Edberg, and others. Lastly, another example of the types of Minnesota cold cases which may be hard to find are the many Saint Paul, Minnesota, unsolved murders. These include: the 2017 murder of Sadeya Hall, the 2010 murder of Danny Wright, the 1989 murder of Frank Kastelic, and the 2000 murder of Wesley Morrison, among others.

Unsolved Minnesota Murders

According to the nonprofit Project: Cold Case’s unsolved homicides webpage, which shows each state’s homicide clearance rate along with other data, there were approximately 1,932 Minnesota cold cases as of the website’s last update. Many of the unsolved murders in Minnesota can be found arranged by several city, county, and sometimes state law enforcement agencies on their respective websites, along with Project: Cold Case’s unsolved homicides database.

Although Minnesota does not have a single comprehensive cold case list or database, you can find a handful of the many northern Minnesota unsolved murders listed on various law enforcement websites, including: the 1987 murder of Anita Carlson, the 1986 murder of Nancy Daugherty, the 2001 murder of Rachel Anthony, and the 1983 murder of Joseph “Scriver” Olson, among many others. Other types of cases that can be found among these lists are the many unsolved murders Saint Paul, Minnesota, which include the following: the 2017 murder of Sadeya Hall, the 2010 murder of Danny Wright, the 1989 murder of Frank Kastelic, and the 2000 murder of Wesley Morrison, among others. Lastly, other unsolved murders Minnesota which can be found included within the lists of cold cases are some of the many east Minnesota unsolved murders. These include the 1977 murder of Cindy Joy Elias, the 1969 murder of Barbara Paciotti, the 1987 murder of Leona Mary Maslowski, the 2017 murder of Brian Nelson, and the 1986 murder of Nancy Daugherty, among many others.

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

Famous Minnesota Murders

Specific names may not come to mind immediately, when trying to remember some of the many well-known or famous Minnesota murders. To individuals residing in or originating from Minnesota, very few names that appear on lists such as the list of all Minnesota murders, lists of notorious Minnesota criminals, or other list of Minnesota murders may be recognizable. Some of the most infamous unsolved killings in Minnesota include the following: the 2013 murder of Hagos Tsegay Melake, the 1985 murder of Cassandra Rhines, the 1974 double murder of Mary and Susanne Rekker, the 1985 murder of Vittini “Tina” Doreen Slaughter, and the 2000 murder of Keke Jefferson-Moore, among others.

Homicide Rate in Minnesota

As of 2019, the violent crime rate in Minnesota was approximately 236.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR). To put this into perspective, more than 236 Minnesotans out of every 100,000 citizens of the state were directly affected by violent crime in 2019. According to the same FBI report, the homicide rate in Minnesota was around 2.1 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019. As a consequence, there were around 2 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in Minnesota in 2019.

With a population of more than 310,000 residents, Saint Paul, the state capital of Minnesota, is the second most populous city in the state, trailing closely behind Minneapolis. According to law enforcement archived crime reports and various other sources, the violent crime rate in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 2018 was approximately 626.62 per 100,000 residents of Saint Paul. In addition, the 2018 Saint Paul, Minnesota, murders rate was roughly 4.84 per 100,000 inhabitants. Although there is no clear way to know exactly how many murders in Minnesota 2021 or how many murders in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 2021, we can use archived crime reports in order to at least view the past and current crime trends. Based on the various archived reports, it seems that the homicide rates in both Saint Paul as well as the remainder of Minnesota are slowly rising as years pass, in increments.

Ramsey County Murders

Approximately 554,219 people live in Ramsey County, Minnesota, as of the last count. Even though there is no definite way to know how many Ramsey County murders have been committed in recent years, we can take a look at the various archived FBI Uniform Crime Reports and other local law enforcement reports in order to see the general trend in the homicide rate in Ramsey County. Based on local law enforcement reports, there were 31 homicides in Ramsey County in 2019 and more than 27 murders in Ramsey County in 2020. Although these statistics are only those from recent years, by looking at several other reports and sources, it seems that the number of homicides in Ramsey County, Minnesota, is remaining fairly stable, yet wavering slightly every few years or so.

As a result of law enforcement collecting enough Ramsey County murders evidence and having enough probable cause, police often have the ability to arrest and indict their main suspect in many cases, before eventually bringing them to Ramsey County murders trial. When a case is brought to Ramsey County homicide trials, the evidence that is most commonly used is almost always determined by the characteristics of the crime itself. Typically, Ramsey County murders crime scene photos are used in court to demonstrate to the jurors the crime scene’s surroundings as well as the different pieces of evidence and their relationship to the crime scene in question.

Saint Paul, Minnesota Murders

Saint Paul, Minnesota, murders tend to be far more frequent than murders in most of Minnesota’s smaller cities, owing to the city’s enormous and rising size and population. Regardless of the fact that cold cases are constantly being solved, law enforcement continues to investigate the few unsolved murders in Saint Paul, Minnesota, including recent and decades-old cold cases. Until these homicides are solved, the Saint Paul murders discussion on numerous prominent social media platforms, including Reddit, Facebook, and Websleuths, will relentlessly continue. These platforms house a plethora of posts, chats, and threads in which countless users speculate and exchange information regarding several cold cases located in Minnesota. These conversations occasionally center primarily on Saint Paul murders pictures, Saint Paul murders crime scene photos, and sometimes even Saint Paul, Minnesota, murders autopsy photos, which are seldom released to the general public, regardless of the state of the case.

Recent advancements in DNA technology have resulted in the conclusion of hundreds, if not thousands, of cold cases, some of which had been unsolved for years, if not decades. A couple examples of how Saint Paul murders DNA, or DNA evidence from additional Minnesota crimes, was used to solve or provide new information to cold cases include the following: the 1986 murder of Nancy Daugherty and the 1993 murder of Jeanne Ann Childs, among few others. 

Minnesota Serial Killers

Minnesota has already dealt with more than its fair share of Minnesota killers since its beginning. There are several sorts of serial killer lists available, such as a list of serial killers in Minnesota, or Minnesota serial killer list, which frequently includes some of the most famous Minnesota serial killers. Some of Minnesota’s most notorious serial killers that are most commonly included within these lists include: Paul Michael Stephani, also known as the “Weepy-Voiced Killer,” who admitted to killing at least three women from 1980-1982; and Billy Glaze, also known as “Butcher Knife Billy,” who is known to have abducted and murdered three women in 1986 and 1987, but later claimed to have killed up to 20 women.

Crimes in Minnesota

If you’re interested in the different crime statistics in Minnesota, there are a number of law enforcement and investigative agencies that issue yearly crime reports on their websites, which you can access with a simple internet search. Every year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issues a Uniform Crime Report, which includes a report on crime in Minnesota. Minnesota homicides and true crime stories in Minnesota may never come to an end, despite law enforcement’s best attempts to catch up with the state’s staggering number of cold cases. Between 1980 and 2019, there were approximately 5,866 murders in Minnesota, according to Project: Cold Case.

Law enforcement has been able to solve approximately 3,934 of those murders since then, but there are still around 1,932 unsolved homicides in Minnesota today. Despite the fact that the task may appear enormous, various Minnesota law enforcement groups will never abandon their objective to solve all of Minnesota’s true crimes.

Citizen Detective Guide Cover

Get Your Free Step-By-Step Citizen Detective Guide