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North Carolina Cold Cases

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North Carolina Murders

Multiple local and state law enforcement organizations provide statistics and reports regarding the number of murders in North Carolina by year, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI produces and publishes a yearly Uniform Crime Report which details the types of crimes and rate of crimes in most cities and counties in each state in the U.S. Shockingly, there were approximately 29,566 murders in North Carolina between 1980 and 2019, according to Project: Cold Case’s unsolved homicides statistics webpage. In addition, the source states that roughly 24,311 of those homicides have been solved as time passed, most likely due to advancements in DNA technology and improvements to law enforcement and forensic protocols. Unfortunately, there are still around 5,255 homicides which remain unsolved in North Carolina today.

Some examples of the many murders in northern North Carolina that remain unsolved include the 1989 murder of Cynthia “Cindy” Kirk, the 1998 abduction and murder of Brittany Locklear, the 1990 murder of Emma Mae Terry, and the 1994 murder of Kathi Kennedy, among others. In addition, other cases that can be found within various databases and on many lists include various unsolved central North Carolina murders, which include the 2011 murder of Bessie Vinson, the 1997 murder of Constance Melissa Pender, the 1986 murder of Sandra Grimes, the 2007 murder of Kellie Owens, and the 2005 murder of Gregory Goodson, along with several others.

Another type of case which can be found within cold case databases or lists are unsolved murders in Raleigh, North Carolina. These include the 2017 murder of Jose Melendez, Jr., the 2011 murder of Sandra Denise Thomas, and the 2000 murder of Rhonda Vicks Abram, among others. Lastly, some unsolved murders in Wake County, North Carolina, that you can easily find within the same lists and databases include the 1989 murder of Franklin Anthoine Harrison, the 1994 murder of Beth Ellen Vinson, the 2006 murder of Alfonso Hidalgo, the 2007 murder of Jennifer Nielson, and the 2009 murder of Martha Watkins, among many others.

Unsolved North Carolina Murders

According to information published on Project: Cold Case’s unsolved homicide statistics webpage, there are approximately 5,255 North Carolina cold cases which remain unsolved today. In addition to Project: Cold Case’s unsolved homicide database, the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation also hosts a list of the unsolved murders in North Carolina on their website.

A couple of the many northern North Carolina unsolved murders that are listed on various law enforcement websites include the 1998 abduction and murder of Brittany Locklear, the 1998 murder of James “Bootie” Graves, the 1990 murder of Emma Mae Terry, and the 1994 murder of Kathi Kennedy, among others. Also among the lists are unsolved murders Raleigh, North Carolina, including the 2017 murder of Jose Melendez, Jr., the 2011 murder of Sandra Denise Thomas, and the 2000 murder of Rhonda Vicks Abram, among others. Additionally, other unsolved murders North Carolina that can be found included within the various lists of cold cases are the many east North Carolina unsolved murders. These include the 2009 murder of Linda Lee Jackson, the 2008 murder of Ray Anthony Suggs, the 1994 murder of Sonja Spruill Day, the 1997 murder of Denise Johnson, and the 1987 murder of Margit Schuller, along with many others.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

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 North Carolina Murders

Whether or not you’ve ever lived in North Carolina, you may be able to name, or at least recognize, some of the many famous North Carolina murders. If you want to learn a bit more about some of the various well-known murders in North Carolina, you can easily find various law enforcement agency websites, including the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, which have lists of all murders in North Carolina that remain unsolved and sometimes a list of North Carolina murders that have previously been solved. You can also find various lists of notorious North Carolina criminals across the internet, if you’re interested.

Some of the most infamous North Carolina murders that remain unsolved include the 1998 abduction and murder of Brittany Locklear, the 1971 double murder of Patricia Mann and Jesse McBane, as well as many well-known disappearances throughout North Carolina. Some of the most famous missing persons cases include the 1964 disappearance of Alan and Terry Westerfield, the 2000 disappearance of Asha Degree, and the 2007 disappearance of Kyle Fleischmann, among many others.

Homicide Rate in North Carolina

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2019, the violent crime rate in North Carolina at the time was approximately 371.8 per 100,000 residents of the state. In a nutshell, this suggests that in 2019 alone, nearly 372 North Carolina inhabitants per 100,000 were personally affected by violent crime in one way or another. According to the same publication, the 2019 homicide rate in North Carolina was roughly 6.0 per 100,000 people. This indicates that about 6 individuals per 100,000 North Carolina residents were murdered in 2019 alone.

Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city, currently boasts a massive population of about 1.5 million inhabitants. The violent crime rate in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2020 was approximately 165.5 per 100,000 persons, while the Raleigh, North Carolina, murders rate was around 1.0 per 100,000 persons. Unfortunately, there is currently no specific protocol to estimate how many murders in Raleigh, North Carolina, 2021 or how many murders in North Carolina 2021 as of yet. Nonetheless, we do know that based on archived Uniform Crime Reports released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as local North Carolina law enforcement agencies, both numbers seem to be slowly rising.

Wake County Murders

Wake County, North Carolina, boasts a population of nearly 294,000 people. Even though we do not know the exact number of Wake County homicides that have occurred in previous years, according to previous FBI Uniform Crime Reports, there were 5 murders in 2016, 0 murders in 2017, and 6 murders in 2019. Judging by these figures, it appears that the number of homicides in Wake County, North Carolina, has remained inconsistent through the years.

In most homicide cases, police are able to collect sufficient evidence to prosecute somebody with the offense(s) and send them to Wake County murders trial. The evidence that is frequently presented in Wake County homicide trials is entirely reliant on the crime itself. For example, evidence might include blood, skin cells, or other types of DNA evidence, cell phone pings, digital evidence, and fingerprints. Overwhelmingly, the most common evidence used in trials are Wake County murders crime scene photos, which are used in order to demonstrate to the jury the atmosphere all around the crime scene as well as showing the locations of any items of evidence.

Raleigh, North Carolina, Murders

Due to its size and population, Raleigh, North Carolina, murders seem to be more common than many other cities in North Carolina. Many of the recent and decades-old murders in Raleigh, North Carolina, have been solved, and law enforcement continues to investigate the few unsolved homicides. As expected, until these murders are solved, Raleigh murders discussion will continue on social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, and Websleuths, where individuals speculate and share information regarding Raleigh murders pictures, Raleigh murders crime scene photos, and Raleigh, North Carolina, murders autopsy photos, which are rarely released even after a case is solved.

In past years, great advancements in DNA technology, as well as changes in law enforcement protocol, have resulted in the resolution of hundreds, if not thousands, of decades-old unsolved homicides, and North Carolina isn’t any different. Among the several incidents in which Raleigh murders DNA, as well as DNA from offenses in different regions of North Carolina, was utilized to solve or provide additional information to cold cases include: the 1984 murder of Reesa Trexler, the 1975 murder of Donna Emmel, and the identification of a Jane and John Doe as Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt and Myoung Hwa Cho. DNA evidence more recently led to an arrest in the 2012 murder of Faith Hedgepeth.

North Carolina Serial Killers

Unfortunately, North Carolina has experienced more than its due proportion of North Carolina killers. The most well-known serial killers in North Carolina may be found on any type of serial killer list, such as a list of serial killers in North Carolina or North Carolina serial killer list. Some of the most well-known or notorious North Carolina serial killers who frequently appear on some of these lists include: Henry Louis Wallace, also known as “The Taco Bell Strangler,” who murdered at least 9 people from 1990-1994 in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Lesley Eugene Warren, also known as “The Babyface Killer,” who murdered between 4 and 8 people from 1987-1990 in North Carolina, New York, and South Carolina. Another well-known serial killer who operated in North Carolina includes Gary Michael Hilton, also known as “The National Forest Serial Killer,” who murdered 4-6+ people from 2005-2008 in North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia.

Crimes in North Carolina

If you find yourself wanting to learn more about specific statistics of crimes in North Carolina, there are several law enforcement resources available to the public which offer yearly crime reports on their websites. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation posts a Uniform Crime Report each year that shows detailed statistics regarding the types of crimes and their crime rates for most cities and counties in every state in the U.S., including a comprehensive report for crime in North Carolina.

Tragically, it feels like the number of North Carolina homicide and true crime stories in North Carolina will never deplete completely. Based on the homicide statistics webpage provided by Project: Cold Case, between 1980 and 2019 there were around 29,566 homicides in North Carolina alone. Approximately 24,311 of those homicides have been resolved throughout the years, leaving North Carolina with around 5,255 unsolved homicides. Despite this, North Carolina’s various law enforcement and investigating organizations will never stop investigating each one of North Carolina’s true crimes that are currently unsolved.

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Additional North Carolina Cold Cases

Beth-Ellen VinsonKent JacobsEnrique Roman-MartinezAsha DegreeFaith HedgepethNancy Grubert-HarveyTyarra WilliamsBrittany LocklearKimberly RandallGaston CallumWillie ConyersTristen MyersEbonee SpearsLeslie GrineSandee CornettVerna ClewisTabitha GoinsChristopher SextonWilliam CliftonDavid McMickenAmanda WilsonSara GrahamJustin MillerSandy CanipeNeveah SmithSarah HillJamie FraleyTina MartinMary BryanKelly GaskinsHester Keith JrWilliam NunnSandra RossNathan SeaberryDemey AlexisVirginia BeachBobby BarbersSamatha BaremoreKierra BarnettDonna BarnhillDavid BartlettRhonda BaucomDebra AsburyRoger AyscueLindsey Baker, JrBarbara BaldwinSteve ArrowoodAmelia AntonioWilliam AlleyShawn AlstonDebra AllenFrank AcusKristopher AthertonDarrell BarhamKara BeasleyEugene BerryMichael BlackRobert BonhamTonita BrooksElizabeth BrownTerry BrownLacy BunchCarl Butler (Jr)Mariah CarterJeffrey CarterRoger ChambersYoung ChangHiedi CherryDebra ChildersMark ClarkeJames Clendenin JrEmma CollinsJeffery CombsLeslie CooreJames CravenLowell DaughenbaughElmon DavidsonRandy DavisJimmy DavisRobert DosherDevonne DuboseJose EspinozaLucinda FarrisKyle FleischmannJohn FlowersPaul GayeEdna GlazeTammy GradyKevin Granados PerezBobby GrossBenjamin HaywardWilliam Hipp IiiMoses Hobgood JrLaura HookJoshua JacksonCynthia JacobsRebecca JamasonLarry JohnsonKermit KendallJohnny KingPatricia LalondeElizabeth LavoieApril LeeGalit LeibovichStephanie LewisJingmin LiuDelwin LocklearSebastian LopezEduardo LunaTravis LynchKenneth MaceLeslie MashburnCharles MayHarold MaysHollis McabeeAmazing McdonaldStephen MeeksGreg MickeyFlorence MicklesKenneth MohlerDeborah MooreJeanette MorrisonNestor MoyadoMonica MoynanJesse MyersMicheal NormanJackie OrdersIsabel PalaciosJennifer PattersonSterling PorterPhyllis PowellTimeka PridgenZebb QuinnDiego Quintero-FregozoJoe RaganBobby RobinsonRonald RossBrian RozierKenneth SchuettingerLowell SenterRoy ShewGloria SmithMary SmithMichelle SnyderAstor SoutherlandDavid StaffordBenjamin StatonLavar SuttonTywan TaylorTerry TersakAndre Thompson JrMorris TriplettNancy Troche-GarciaSherri TruesdaleShannon VannewkirkMirna Vasquez PerezRaymond WalkerTed WallTerry WesterfieldAlan WesterfieldWayma WhiteRuben WigginsJames WilliamsHubert WilsonVirginia WoodAmelia WrightMark YoliBarry AikenThomas RichmondJames Wilson Jr.Taveta HobbsPriti PorterAmy BridgemanRichard PurdueRose PattersonDale SpragueMargaret BowserDaniel GarciaPamela CallahanDouglas DaytonChristopher ThomasJohnnie WilliamsCynthia PerryRobert BiggsPhillip HairMichael WilkersonVeyda SellersKelly ReasonRichard Mize, Sr.Jennifer RivkinMartin TrinidadSOL ZIVEKReynaldo TapiaJamekia SabbShirley McNairElizabeth PrattDaniel PriceKenneth MelvinAngela HudsonMichael NicholsAaron WoodPamela BradshawLeila BryanTrenny GibsonAnnette MammoneJoshua HammJane BuiRobert ConnorDevante LawrenceAngela HambyTommy WaltersTerri BlueRicky BetheaKevin FieldsWendy Salazar-FigueroaJohnnie O Neal (Jr.)Rubelsy Escalante PerezMichael BorgesNancy RegoCarlos RodriguezTeresa McCullenPhu NguyenJames LawsAndrea MorganJohn PhilipsHoward EllisChristopher PanchyshynShonda StansburyVenus RoseJohnny Cook, JrRichard Murray Jr.James WellsJimmy IsomRonnie SuttonHarry LilesCalvin BrazierMatthew BridgesCandy FrazierJames ChambersLee FunderburkDiana CritcherMcCombs LigonsJerry FultonBeverly PeoplesEric EvansRichard JarvisDavid HargroveToasha RiceRegenia HendrixAlma OctetreeSteve BroadawayHelen DaltonAmy GibsonOctavia GoolsbyRobert GravesSonjah KingstonKwamine LawsonWilly LecompteEdna Ledezma-MoralesIla MaynardJoe MendozaSybil WarrenDeloris MeltonAbby PattersonRoy MaynardRichmond NixonJoyce DurhamPamela PalmerCharles KueblerLinda LawrenceJulia GabrielMartha McNielOralia HernandezFrancisco Cruz-PalaciosJason GuptillDeborah KeyVernelle PickensJessica HooksJudith HyderMichele SmithEfuru PerryWilliam HollingsworthJulia RodriguezAngela FrazierMark WilborneSamuel BellRichard BorrelliEzequiel BustosBradley ColesEric DunnClarence JenkinsShawna JonesGailon LeakMarcial OchoaAshley PorterRonnie RoyalElizabeth SykoraJoy WintersRita MaxwellAndy SigmonKathi WarrenPhillip ChavisFlorence DoolittleJonathan BrackettLillian MathisEvanir RoglioDylan BrockPhillip RampeyHerbert StricklandRosalind WallMarvin SmawJames RobertsTravis FloydElizabeth RogersYensi CastroGordon ReidRonnie BrooksBrandi DuvallParley PateContessica TerryDiane KennedyFrankie HorsleyJames CampbellWilliam SimonBonnie GittoJoseph D'Aquisto SrWillie KornegayClaude SmithEllis Faison SrTammy FergusonBilly HammondsCheryl WilliamsAnne LydayMonte CarlanRobert HineyLarry KellyJessica GarinoJerome WhiteSasha NaylorRoy SearchwellLeon AddisonAlvin BreedenHelen FullerCharleston GoodmanSamuel GilbertRandy ShufordJavier GomezDavid CottlePamela HintonZoe HopeWilliam LegrandJustice LyonsWilliam RochelleStephanie HaynesRossana MilianiSharletha MaynorDouglas PresnellLuis MontesDolly CaulderChristopher CessnaApril PickensLea ZeiglerBrian LoweryTerry LoweryLarry HaynesDylan WestChristina LewisCarmen Gonzalez-PintoBrice HollimanJessica LoweryJames HuffKaren BostaAlexander ShawMichael RustinDiana GonzalezTroy JacobsChristopher ClavinWalter WilsonElizabeth GodwinDerek LuekingLillian NanceJalesa ReynoldsSonya ElderRichard BrewerHoyle SmithMargie BooneSherri RossDenise PorchDakota BlueJose TrochezDiane MoonEsmit Sanchez GonzalezDomingo Sanchez GonzalezJimmy EdwardsYeslin MejiaKarina Rodriguez LopezMartain BryantWillie CooperMatthew HolmesVelva LewisMeta ValentineKimberly ThrowerVycheslav AkoppvLinda WattsDennis BoydDalia RodriguezShawn ShortWilliam Martin Jr