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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

Frank AcusLeon AddisonBarry AikenVycheslav AkoppvDemey AlexisDebra AllenWilliam AlleyShawn AlstonAmelia AntonioSteve ArrowoodDebra AsburyKristopher AthertonRoger AyscueLindsey Baker, JrBarbara BaldwinBobby BarbersSamatha BaremoreDarrell BarhamKierra BarnettDonna BarnhillDavid BartlettRhonda BaucomVirginia BeachKara BeasleySamuel BellEugene BerryRicky BetheaRobert BiggsMichael BlackTerri BlueDakota BlueRobert BonhamMargie BooneMichael BorgesRichard BorrelliKaren BostaMargaret BowserDennis BoydJonathan BrackettPamela BradshawCalvin BrazierAlvin BreedenRichard BrewerAmy BridgemanMatthew BridgesSteve BroadawayDylan BrockRonnie BrooksTonita BrooksElizabeth BrownTerry BrownMary BryanLeila BryanMartain BryantJane BuiLacy BunchEzequiel BustosCarl Butler (Jr)Pamela CallahanGaston CallumJames CampbellSandy CanipeMonte CarlanJeffrey CarterMariah CarterYensi CastroDolly CaulderChristopher CessnaRoger ChambersJames ChambersYoung ChangPhillip ChavisHiedi CherryDebra ChildersMark ClarkeChristopher ClavinJames Clendenin JrVerna ClewisWilliam CliftonBradley ColesEmma CollinsJeffery CombsRobert ConnorWillie ConyersJohnny Cook, JrWillie CooperLeslie CooreSandee CornettDavid CottleJames CravenDiana CritcherFrancisco Cruz-PalaciosHelen DaltonJoseph D'Aquisto SrLowell DaughenbaughElmon DavidsonJimmy DavisRandy DavisDouglas DaytonAsha DegreeFlorence DoolittleRobert DosherDevonne DuboseEric DunnJoyce DurhamBrandi DuvallJimmy EdwardsSonya ElderHoward EllisRubelsy Escalante PerezJose EspinozaEric EvansEllis Faison SrLucinda FarrisTammy FergusonKevin FieldsKyle FleischmannJohn FlowersTravis FloydJamie FraleyCandy FrazierAngela FrazierHelen FullerJerry FultonLee FunderburkJulia GabrielDaniel GarciaJessica GarinoKelly GaskinsPaul GayeAmy GibsonTrenny GibsonSamuel GilbertBonnie GittoEdna GlazeElizabeth GodwinTabitha GoinsJavier GomezDiana GonzalezCarmen Gonzalez-PintoCharleston GoodmanOctavia GoolsbyTammy GradySara GrahamKevin Granados PerezRobert GravesLeslie GrineBobby GrossNancy Grubert-HarveyJason GuptillPhillip HairAngela HambyJoshua HammBilly HammondsDavid HargroveStephanie HaynesLarry HaynesBenjamin HaywardFaith HedgepethRegenia HendrixOralia HernandezSarah HillRobert HineyPamela HintonWilliam Hipp IiiTaveta HobbsMoses Hobgood JrBrice HollimanWilliam HollingsworthMatthew HolmesLaura HookJessica HooksZoe HopeFrankie HorsleyAngela HudsonJames HuffJudith HyderJimmy IsomJoshua JacksonCynthia JacobsTroy JacobsKent JacobsRebecca JamasonRichard JarvisClarence JenkinsLarry JohnsonShawna JonesHester Keith JrLarry KellyKermit KendallDiane KennedyDeborah KeyJohnny KingSonjah KingstonWillie KornegayCharles KueblerPatricia LalondeElizabeth LavoieLinda LawrenceDevante LawrenceJames LawsKwamine LawsonGailon LeakWilly LecompteEdna Ledezma-MoralesApril LeeWilliam LegrandGalit LeibovichChristina LewisStephanie LewisVelva LewisMcCombs LigonsHarry LilesJingmin LiuDelwin LocklearBrittany LocklearSebastian LopezBrian LoweryJessica LoweryTerry LoweryDerek LuekingEduardo LunaAnne LydayTravis LynchJustice LyonsKenneth MaceAnnette MammoneTina MartinWilliam Martin JrLeslie MashburnLillian MathisRita MaxwellCharles MayIla MaynardRoy MaynardSharletha MaynorHarold MaysHollis McabeeTeresa McCullenAmazing McdonaldDavid McmickenShirley McNairMartha McNielStephen MeeksYeslin MejiaDeloris MeltonKenneth MelvinJoe MendozaGreg MickeyFlorence MicklesRossana MilianiJustin MillerRichard Mize, Sr.Kenneth MohlerLuis MontesDiane MoonDeborah MooreAndrea MorganJeanette MorrisonNestor MoyadoMonica MoynanRichard Murray Jr.Jesse MyersTristen MyersLillian NanceSasha NaylorPhu NguyenMichael NicholsRichmond NixonMicheal NormanWilliam NunnMarcial OchoaAlma OctetreeJohnnie O Neal (Jr.)Jackie OrdersIsabel PalaciosPamela PalmerChristopher PanchyshynParley PateRose PattersonAbby PattersonJennifer PattersonBeverly PeoplesCynthia PerryEfuru PerryJohn PhilipsVernelle PickensApril PickensDenise PorchPriti PorterAshley PorterSterling PorterPhyllis PowellElizabeth PrattDouglas PresnellDaniel PriceTimeka PridgenRichard PurdueZebb QuinnDiego Quintero-FregozoJoe RaganPhillip RampeyKelly ReasonNancy RegoGordon ReidJalesa ReynoldsToasha RiceThomas RichmondJennifer RivkinJames RobertsBobby RobinsonWilliam RochelleDalia RodriguezCarlos RodriguezJulia RodriguezKarina Rodriguez LopezElizabeth RogersEvanir RoglioEnrique Roman-MartinezVenus RoseRonald RossSandra RossSherri RossRonnie RoyalBrian RozierMichael RustinJamekia SabbWendy Salazar-FigueroaEsmit Sanchez GonzalezDomingo Sanchez GonzalezKenneth SchuettingerNathan SeaberryRoy SearchwellVeyda SellersLowell SenterChristopher SextonAlexander ShawRoy ShewShawn ShortRandy ShufordAndy SigmonWilliam SimonMarvin SmawNeveah SmithMary SmithClaude SmithGloria SmithHoyle SmithMichele SmithMichelle SnyderAstor SoutherlandEbonee SpearsDale SpragueDavid StaffordShonda StansburyBenjamin StatonHerbert StricklandRonnie SuttonLavar SuttonElizabeth SykoraReynaldo TapiaTywan TaylorContessica TerryTerry TersakChristopher ThomasAndre Thompson JrKimberly ThrowerMartin TrinidadMorris TriplettNancy Troche-GarciaJose TrochezSherri TruesdaleMeta ValentineShannon VannewkirkMirna Vasquez PerezBeth-Ellen VinsonRaymond WalkerRosalind WallTed WallTommy WaltersKathi WarrenSybil WarrenLinda WattsJames WellsDylan WestTerry WesterfieldAlan WesterfieldWayma WhiteJerome WhiteRuben WigginsMark WilborneMichael WilkersonTyarra WilliamsJohnnie WilliamsCheryl WilliamsJames WilliamsAmanda WilsonHubert WilsonWalter WilsonJames Wilson Jr.Joy WintersAaron WoodVirginia WoodAmelia WrightMark YoliLea ZeiglerSOL ZIVEK