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Ohio Cold Cases

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Ohio Murders

Numerous currently accessible resources, such as those offered by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as Project: Cold Case and the Murder Accountability Project, provide the number of murders in Ohio by year within criminal reports packed with statistics. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, for instance, provides Uniform Crime Reports which are released annually, which are frequently packed with relevant information about the kinds of offenses committed and their relative crime rates in each state. In addition to local, state, and law enforcement agencies, Project: Cold Case has built a webpage that displays the number of unsolved murders in each state, as well as their relative homicide clearance rate, in collaboration with the Murder Accountability Project. Per this page, there were around 32,133 homicides in Ohio alone from 1980 to 2019. As time passed, approximately 21,474 of those crimes have been solved, leaving Ohio with approximately 10,659 unsolved homicides.

Some examples of the many unsolved murders in northern Ohio include the 1987 murder of Barbara Blatnik, the 2012 murder of Jameela Hasan, the 1960 murder of Nancy Eagleson, the 1976 murder of William Forsberg, and the 1981 suspicious death of Kurt Sova, among countless others. The 1998 murder of Stacey Colbert, the 1971 murder of Michael Klitch, the 1991 murder of Bonita Parker, the 1990 murder of Patrice Corley, and the 1997 murder of Martha Oelman, along with the well-known 2006 unsolved disappearance of Brian Shaffer are only a handful of examples of the many unsolved central Ohio murders and strange disappearances.

In addition, a few of the many unsolved murders in Columbus, Ohio, included within various lists of Ohio’s cold cases are the 1996 murder of Columbus Austin, the 2005 murder of Abel Madero, the 1982 murder of Deanne Campbell, the 1979 murder of Kent Wheeler, and the 1977 murder of Jessie Smith, along with the well-known 2006 unsolved disappearance of Brian Shaffer. Last of all, some of the many remaining unsolved murders in Franklin County, Ohio, include the 1986 murder of Barbara Brooks, the 1975 murder of Jill Cull, the 2010 murder of Rebecca Caroll, the 2007 murder of Alissa Clere, and the 1981 murder of Robin Durrer, among several 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 Ohio Murders

Even if you can’t think of any Ohio killers off the top of your head, more than likely you will quickly recognize some of the names found within different types of lists of Ohio murders. These lists are often put together by law enforcement agencies as well as on several other websites. Many of the most notorious Ohio criminals whose names you may recognize are responsible for some of those on the list of all Ohio murders or list of murders in Ohio. The 1987 murder of Barbara Blatnik, the 1989 abduction and murder of Amy Mihaljevic, the 2000 double murder of Michelli Wilson and Ed Rhodes, and the 1990 murder of Angela Hicks include a few examples of some of the most infamous Ohio murders which remain unsolved. Other cases that are not as well known, but are just as important, include the 1987 murder of Amy Diesman, the 1960 murder of Nancy Eagleson, the 1981 suspicious death of Kurt Sova, and the 2006 disappearance of Brian Shaffer.

Homicide Rate in Ohio

Based on information shared in the 2019 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the violent crime rate in Ohio was about 293.2 per 100,000 residents, indicating that 293 out of every 100,000 people in Ohio were personally impacted by violent crime in 2019. According to the same study, the murder rate in Ohio was approximately 4.6 out of every 100,000 people in 2019. This implies that nearly 5 individuals per 100,000 inhabitants of Ohio were killed in 2019.

As of this year, the population of Columbus, Ohio’s capital city, sits at more than 909,000 residents. The violent crime rate in Columbus, Ohio, was about 494.75 per 100,000 people in 2018, whereas the murder rate in Columbus, Ohio, was 11.09 for every 100,000 people. Even though there is no way of confirming how many murders in Ohio 2021 or how many murders in Columbus, Ohio, 2021, we can look through archived crime reports in order to see the past and current trends. Based on these past crime reports, we do know that the murder rate and the violent crime rate in both Columbus and Ohio as a whole appear to be rising annually.

Franklin County Murders

Franklin County, Ohio, currently boasts a massive population of over 1.33 million inhabitants, making it the most populated county in the entire state. Although there is no definite procedure to learn exactly how many murders have occurred in Franklin County in the last few years, it seems as if the number of homicides in Franklin County each year is progressively dropping, yet remaining fairly stable. Once authorities have successfully been able to gather sufficient evidence in a case, the next steps are to arrest and charge their suspected perpetrator with the crime before bringing them to Franklin County murders trial. The most common types of evidence that are included in Franklin County homicide trials include DNA evidence such as blood or saliva, digital evidence such as cell phone pings, or other types of physical or trace evidence like fingerprints. The only evidence that is almost always included in trials are Franklin County murders crime scene photos, which are shown to the jury during the trial in order to give them a visual of the crime scene.

Columbus, Ohio, Murders

Due to its large, and growing, size and population, Columbus, Ohio, murders occur more frequently than those in most other cities in the state. Many of the murders in Columbus, Ohio, have been solved, thanks to law enforcement effort as well as breakthroughs in DNA technology. Columbus murders discussions are seemingly continuous on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Websleuths, and Reddit. These various discussions are home to the sharing of information, theories, and opinions about unsolved cases, and often times are home to discussions about Columbus murders pictures, Columbus murders crime scene photos, and even Columbus, Ohio, murders autopsy photos, even though these photographs are rarely released to the general public. The 1974 murder of Lori Nesson, the 1982 murder of Kelly Ann Prosser, the 1995 murder of Mary Catherine Edwards, and the 1983 murder of John Munch are just a few examples of cold cases that were solved by Columbus murders DNA or DNA from crimes that took place in other parts of the state.

Ohio Serial Killers

Since its beginning, Ohio, like most other states, has had to deal with more than enough Ohio killers, specifically Ohio serial killers. Many of the most famous Ohio serial killers are frequently included in various types of serial killer lists, such as list of serial killers in Ohio and Ohio serial killer list. Anthony Sowell, also known as “The Cleveland Strangler,” who murdered 11 women from 2007-2009; Herb Baumeister, also known as “The I-70 Strangler,” who is believed to have killed at least 12 individuals in Ohio and Indiana from 1980-1996; and Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as “The Milwaukee Cannibal,” who murdered 17 young men in Ohio and Wisconsin from 1978-1991, are some of the most notorious Ohio serial killers who are almost always found within the lists mentioned previously.

Crimes in Ohio

To learn more about the various statistics of crimes in Ohio, you may visit the several local, state, and even federal law enforcement and investigation organizations’ websites in order to obtain public crime reports which are released annually. For instance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation develops and publishes a Uniform Crime Report year after year which focuses on creating a comprehensive list of the types of crimes committed and their respective crime rates for each state, including a detailed report for crime in Ohio.

Although it may seem that the number of Ohio homicide and true crime stories in Ohio may never end, it is very important to remember that cold cases are being solved left and right, thanks to law enforcement’s effort and advances in DNA technology. Project: Cold Case, in partnership with the Murder Accountability Project, have formed a comprehensive list of the number of unsolved homicides in each state across the United States that occurred from 1980 to 2019. Based on this information, there were roughly 32,133 murders in Ohio during that time frame, and since then, about 21,474 of those homicides have been solved. Based on their data, Ohio is left with around 10,659 unsolved murders today, which law enforcement will continue to investigate to the best of their ability until every single one of Ohio’s true crimes have been solved.

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Additional Ohio Cold Cases

Lori LynnBrian ShafferDawn PaselaBrittany StykesNancy EaglesonAshley SummersKurt SovaAmy DiesmanAmy MihaljevicLori BoffmanAmy Joy HooperCecelia NajewayRonald VonderheideMelvin "Mel" WileySarah WallaceFloyd DavisTerrence WoodsCurtis DeBoseEdward VannatterSheila SullivanJudy MartinsJohn AlexanderJoni DavisBrian GoffNylo LattimoreMichael MckenneyKoby RoushRobert Stacel Jr.David TackettJohn Hura JrLinda BowdreJayme BowenMichael SheppardRonald TammenBeverly PottsHarry AndersonCharles ArringtonTravis BinghamLorie BlevinsDarryl BohanonJames BonelliVincent BoykinChristine BrockMarcell ByersTammi CampbellMarvin CannonCharles ConnerJoanne CoughlinBianca DamanikNathan FrancisMelvin HorstJohn NguyenKristina NguyenArika HallSarah HamiltonTammy HillRoy BanksRichard BanyotsGary BarfieldJautoun BaberErica BakerStacey BalasPaige CoffeyLakeisha ArchieSharon ApgarDavid AppelMary VangilderShawn AntillKristen AndersonHerbert AllenTonia AldrichPatricia AdkinsZachary AylsworthAbidin BaranDonna AmbroseJackie AllenPerry BennettMaebell DawsonErnest DeckerDelores DonoghueConnie ErhardtRonald ErskineKathern FetzerDavid FordLinda FrasureDavid FugateJestin GrierHarold GriffinChristopher HaasCharles HanlonTrevell HenleyDavid Hernandez-CruzParris HopsonEdward HowardJade HumbleMohamed-Ali JaafarAlexis JacksonAdam LakeMatthew LatimerConnie LeonardJames LohreyKayla MasonClyde MckownEdward MelansonRobert MohneyNoel MorrisMadalene NeaceShane NeuhausKaliyah ParkerDonald PingCharlene PriceJanis PringleJohn ReedMichelle RiceMichael RiggleCharles RiniJohn RobekHelen RobinsonChu SanDhan SarkiCordell ShepherdBrooklynn ShortGabriella SilcoxAaron SteppJeffrey StuttonDoreen TiedmanCharles UlrichTrinia WilliamsRaymont Willis IiCarl WingRicky YahnertJames AddisonAndre AinaCynthia AndersonCharity AdkinsLe-Shay DungeyDorothy DouglasTheodore FranksSharon PretoriusJames HighamVirginia LeeDavid BrumleyMichael WegrzynJacob BoydDarrel CanterburyTyler DavisDennis FoutRicky FrayerKori GlossettHoward HarrisWilliam JonesStephen MartinGeorge McClellanAhmed OmarJoseph PerriJeffrey PottingerKenneth Roberts SrGary WarnerJoshua WrightDavid WhiteStephanie PelfreyAndray SmithBrenda BlackGloria WalkerDwaun CoxDonald SharpPhillip ModlinTimothy StantonKevin CassettyFrank CerimelePhyllis BrewerFurman ByrdClarissa CulbersonGene LysleGennie GreenJames PowellElaine FordJohn SchwindMary SloanWanda LemonsBenton ZastawnikKejuan SarterElizabeth FranksAlberto MendezCharles BlancheLea Anna AllenYvonne ReglerAlbert Byrd IIIDean DonnadioKimberly Wilson-TalleyJohn SamasWarren WiseAndrew ChapmanMelissa GarciaLeslie Ritchey, Sr.Tessa DobkinsHolly LoganWilliam RolandPaula LynchSusan CappelBillie GroffRuth LoaderElaine JohnsonAlbert HaftDonivian BickhamKaren SpencerJoanna JenkinsAlvin DarrowWillie JohnsonBrenda KellamJames StanleyLori LloydRobert BooneClaudia ClingerJohn KoziatekLeon MoncerDavid MorseHarold ShopeTrenton SuzorAmber WhitmerChatham WilsonRegina DicensoBrandie HicksDarcy BrownChelsey CoeBrandy EnglishAmber FlackLynn CunninghamRuth FosterHoward StrupeTina WilliamsonDawn SneedClifton WomackThomas FreemanShawn McNeeseSamantha JosephJoanna Hernandez-PachecoTina WilsonCarmella DixonBeverly MastnyTimothy FisherJohn HaleAshley NorahMary ReddingAnna ZirkleJosie MeadowsTimothy McCartyAaron DavisSeth SvabikSeth BurhenneJoseph NewmanLeslie Bustos SanchezCharlotteal PollisJanet DolgaeJames HysongMichael LattimerShaylene FarrellBernice HayslipRonald BorkRoberta SniderCarla BerefordChristina KlecknerJonni PerkinsJose CollazoBrittany FordShaniece BriggsRichard McMichael Jr.Dion AkemonBeverly PiertWillie Standberry Sr.Oliver KlarVicki MaynardJared McCauleyCarla LoseyShelly TurnerGeorge GallAmanda RomineBenjamin BrubakerPaul ElliottCharles FluhartyMichael HodgeTimothy LawsonTodd MathisCharles OsborneRonald RankinBetty DyerGregory WelchHolly CriderAngel SextonVenessa JonesMohan VellankiDanielle HarperHarold MathenayJuan RamirezJacqueline LombardiDale VincentPaul KylesLiam MorrisseyRick WilliamsLisa SextonMadelynn KeithKayla EitelBarbara FrameAngela HolsingerRobert TaylorMelinda MillerBetty BurtonCynthia CarmackScott HilbertSherrie RothLisa SzaszClaudia TinsleyKimberly WalkerCharlotte BrownCatherine ParisiBobby BaulMelissa BlevinsJulie EarleyMelissa CollinsAnnabelle LudwigPatsy HudsonTerri HammLinda HamiltonDarla KustraHilda MarcumMary CoxCrystal CorbinSusan CummingsChristine KingsleyDanny MitchellJennifer NicolChristine SlingerNeal BowareTerry ShepherdNicholas BlasetzkyJohnny MarkleyMark MillerSheila MainJames McLaughlinDaniel MaziluPaul PredragovicDiamond GlennMyron HelmMegan LancasterHazel CrossLora StubbsEvelyn DavisJames HortonEricka ThomasCharlotte RexroadManases Bernal De PazLinda BrittonKimberly RileyCharles KochGlenna WhiteTyler ClementsNikki ForrestWilliam BushSharon YoczikDevon EverageBrittany CunninghamBrenda BorowskiMinnie JohnsonRosemary RappPatricia DonaldsonKimberly TobozCharlotte TregoTracy HillSusan SmithRaechelle WrightDavid DeckerJanete HaferJohn McMurrayFlorence ShoemakerShelly MarkleyAmy HambrickChase StephensLeonard Haynes Jr