Tag Archives: unsolved

Cold Case Quest: Alice Laskey, Helen Banner and Carrie Walker

Unfortunately, the elderly are victims of crime more often than anyone would think. It’s almost unthinkable. Who would want to hurt Nana or Pop-pop?

The elderly are generally victims of elder abuse (emotional and physical abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, etc.), which I have seen first-hand. Violent crimes against the elderly are slightly less common but the instances of violence are increasing.

There are the cold cases of Columbus residents Alice Laskey, Helen Banner and Carrie Walker. All three ladies were over 70 years old. They had all been stabbed in or in front of their homes. Robbery was possibly the motive in at least two of the homicides.

If anyone has any information about these cases, please contact the cold case division of the Columbus Police Department or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers. The phone numbers are listed below.

The families of Laskey, Banner and Walker need your help to solve their loved ones homicide.

Alice Laskey

Alice Laskey. 1980

On November 12, 1980, Alice Laskey was found outside of her residence after being stabbed. She died from her wounds soon afterwards. Laskey was in her 70s. The motive was most likely robbery since her purse was found several blocks away.

Helen Banner. 2004

Robbery could have also been the motive for Helen Banner’s death on February 12, 2004. Banner, 82, was also stabbed at her residence. Her purse had been stolen in January. Her son had confronted the people responsible. Is it possible that the person who stole her purse had killed her for revenge? At the time, the police said that they didn’t think it was connected. I hope that they take a second and third look at the thieves.

Carrie Walker. 1987

Eighty-five year old Carrie Walker was found by her granddaughter on October 15, 1987. Walker had been stabbed in her residence. It’s unclear if robbery was the motive. There was at least one witness but no suspects were ever found.

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.  614.461.8477 or 614.645.8477

Cold Case Quest: Anita Lias

Anita Lias

16 year- old Anita Lias was a track star at Eastmoor High School, now Eastmoor Academy. Unfortunately, Lias did not get to realize her full potential.

Her body was found on Monday, Sept. 1, 1975 in front of the garage of 862 S. Champion St. She was last seen alive on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 30, 1975. Lias died from stab wounds but she was also strangled.

On Aug. 30, she had walked down Avalon Place to a store at Nelson and Broad St. Anita and a man in an 1969 or 1970 blue Chevelle had waved at each other. People in the neighborhood had seen the man before in the area. The neighbors said that he was a black man, 25-30 years old and wearing curlers in his hair.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Yenko
1969 Chevelle

As far as I can tell, the man was not found or identified. How did the police not find this man? As you can see, the blue Chevelle is a flashy car. A man with curlers in his hair is also not trying to hide. Did this mystery man kill Lias or could he have information? Currently this man would be about 70-75 years old.

Lias was found about 3.5 miles away from the store, which was close to her home. I doubt that she got there on foot. It’s more likely that she got into a car, willingly or not.

Lias was found in the same area as Karen Moore but it’s unlikely that they are connected. Possible but unlikely.

It has been almost 45 years since Lias was killed. She would be about 61 years old now if she had survived. Hopefully, someone remembers something about the mystery man or new information about Lias. If you have any information, please report it to the Columbus Police or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers

Cold Case Quest: Clara King

Clara King

Clara King was a hardworking mother and grandmother. She had two jobs – plus babysitting for her grandson while her daughter went to work. On November 9, 1998, someone took the life of King while the grandson was in the next room. When her daughter arrived home at 3 p.m., she found her mother’s body in the kitchen.

Area of the King homicide

The police didn’t reveal very much information about the cause of death except to say it was probably blunt force trauma. It was also difficult to speculate about what the possible motive was for committing the crime. No one disliked King. Everyone said that she was a kind and caring person.

King was also protective of her home. There were double locks on the door and a security system. It would be almost safe to say that she knew the person that murdered her.

Her daughter left for work that morning at 7 a.m. Her husband said that he left shortly after 7 a.m. I don’t think that anyone in her immediate family did this crime. It could be possible that the killer got inside before King had a chance to lock the doors or set the alarm.

Who would kill King and leave the baby unharmed? Did the killer know that the baby was there? The only blessing in this case is that the baby was not hurt.

No witnesses have come forward. The crime probably occurred around 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on November 9, 1998. If anyone knows anything about any of the cases of Clara King, contact the Columbus Police or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.

If you happen to have a photograph of King, please contact me at Chasing Destino on Facebook.

Contact information: Rewards may be available for information on a case that leads to a conviction by contacting Central Ohio’s Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-8477 or visiting their website.

If you have any information or questions about Clara King’s case, please contact the Columbus Police Department. The Homicide Cold Case Unit number is available (614) 645-4036 during the hours of 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. You can also call the Investigative Subdivision Duty Desk at (614) 645-4624, after hours.

Cold Case Quest: Marilyn Wray

Columbus resident Marilyn Wray, 21, was the mother of a six year old daughter. On December 15, 1978, Wray was killed by strangulation. The daughter was asleep in the next room but was unharmed. At 7 a.m. the same day, Wray was found by her sixteen year old sister, who lived nearby.

There was a male friend visiting until 2 a.m. that evening. Wray had been babysitting for her neighbors. The newspaper says that the male friend, the couple and the child left at 2 a.m.

Some items had been stolen from Wray’s bedroom but the police haven’t said what the items were. It doesn’t seem like burglary was the main motivation. As a single mother, she didn’t have a lot of money. Regardless of her financial situation, the crime seemed more personal than just wanting to steal a few things.

So did the boyfriend go back to her apartment later? The police questioned him but did not pursue an investigation. Did another person enter the apartment after the boyfriend left? I cannot say for sure that Wray’s case is connected to other cases. It’s always a possibility.

No one has come forward with information. However, I suspect that someone saw or heard something. The walls and floors of apartments tend to be thin so it’s possible that there are witnesses.

The purple marker is where the apartment complex is located in Columbus, Ohio. If anyone saw anything at the apartment on December 15 between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., they should contact the Columbus Police Department with any information that could help solve the case.


If anyone happens to know anything about Marilyn Wray or happens to have a photo, you can send a message to my Facebook page, Chasing Destino.


Cold Case Quest: JoJo Striker

JoJo Striker

Although JoJo Striker’s story had quite a bit of press in 2017, the case has not been solved yet. Striker was the third transgender woman of color murdered in the United States during 2017.

She was 23 years old and living in Toledo, Ohio. Striker was found in a parking garage after being shot. No one has said whether she was shot somewhere else. The police didn’t have many leads at the time and even fewer now.

Her mother believes that Striker’s murder is a hate crime. She’s not wrong. Any number of hate-filled circumstances could have led to someone shooting her. Maybe the situation didn’t start out with evil intentions but it ended that way.

Some of the articles about Striker mention that her gender was misidentified by the media. Someone may have witnessed something that could give the police a clue but didn’t know that Striker was transgender. The possible witness could have heard about the case of a man being killed and doesn’t make the connection to what they saw. Even her obituary is under her old name. It could be very confusing to any witness.

Striker is not listed on the Ohio Attorney General’s website which lists unsolved homicides. Is it possible that they aren’t listing every transgender homicide? Maybe. So far I’ve only seen one unsolved transgender victim listed on the website. Whoever is in charge of the website has some work to do on inclusion.

There’s nothing else written about this homicide after 2018. No one has been arrested. The trail has gone extremely cold.

Anyone with information should call the Crime Stopper program at 419-255-1111.  Striker’s mother is still waiting for anyone to come forward with information that could solve the case.

HRC Mourns JoJo Striker

Cold Case Quest: Paula Logan

Paula Logan

In May of 1987, Paula Logan’s body was found in an alley on 5th Street in Columbus. The cause of death was a head injury. For many years, there were no suspects. The area that she was found is such a busy area that it’s hard to believe someone would commit a murder in public like that. It happens but it’s a huge risk.

In 2004, the police retested the DNA evidence. They had a hit. They arrested the suspect, George Albert Pryor. He had been in prison from a few months after the crime until 2001. He had quite a rap sheet. George Pryor was not a nice person then and probably not now either. He is a registered sex offender.

I cannot find any more information on whether he was convicted and served time for Logan’s murder. It’s infuriating. Paula Logan was 23 years old when she died. Chances are that Pryor committed the crime.

So what happened to this trial? I cannot find anything that says it was dismissed. Where’s the evidence that said Pryor didn’t do this crime.

There is so little information about what happened to this young woman. If I find anything else, I will update this post. Honest to God, Paula Logan deserved better than this.

Cold Case Quest: Carin Q. White

The picture of Carin White on the Ohio Attorney General website doesn’t really represent her very well. It looks like a mugshot. I’m not sure when criminalizing the victim started but it’s way past time for it to stop. 

Luckily, there’s a better picture of Carin White to show you. She was a human being and should be shown in that way. 

I didn’t know her or her friend, DeWayne Johnson. She has many, many friends and family members that want this case to be solved. 

I’ve been reading through some case files. The police seemed so close to solving this case but it’s still listed as unsolved. 

Carin “Woo Woo” White and DeWayne Johnson were shot while at White’s home on January 6, 2010. At first, the Dayton Police suspected that it could be a murder/suicide. The coroner’s office said that it was, in fact, a double homicide. 

The police had a possible suspect and a gun but then nothing else happened. The last thing that was reported was that the gun was being sent off to the lab for testing.

It’s coming up on the 9th anniversary of the murders. What happened to the test results? What else is keeping this case from being solved? 

If anyone has any information, please contact https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Law-Enforcement/Investigator/Cold-Case/Homicides/White-(7). 

Any detail- big or small- could solve this case. It would be a shame to leave White and Johnson’s case as a cold case file. 

Links:

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/two-found-shot-dead-home-identified/6zv6DBxHhfFAGzUuRuvv6N/

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/new-efforts-dayton-police-getting-results-unsolved-homicide-cases/eoUvf8qm9T3xEuDDIESiFK/

https://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/dayton/carin-white-condolences/138480770?cid=full

Cold Case Quest: Cassandra Cole

November 25, 2002 was the last time that Cassandra Cole was seen by her family. She was reported missing to the Tiffin police and also the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

Cole’s body was found on March 20, 2003 along the bank of the Sandusky River. The location was less than half a mile from my childhood home. So I’ve always wondered what happened to her.

How did she end up in that place? She didn’t have a license so someone drove her there. The banks are relatively steep so she probably walked to the river bank from the parking lot. The coroner stated that Cole drowned. The police suspect foul play but so far they haven’t made any arrests. 

She lived in Tiffin, Ohio, which was a 20-minute drive. It was a popular fishing spot but not in November. There was not much traffic in the area. 

It’s been about 11 years since anything was written about her case. https://www.toledoblade.com/local/police-fire/2007/01/24/Reward-at-50-000-in-teen-s-03-killing/stories/200701240039

The case isn’t even on the Ohio Unsolved Homicide database. Why? Why isn’t anyone talking about this case? Is someone trying to cover up the real story? There have been rumors about a suspect but no one has been arrested. 

I sent an email to the Sheriff’s office but haven’t received a response yet. It’s somewhat unlikely that they will respond. The Seneca County Sheriff’s office can be contacted at 419-443-7904 or on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Seneca-County-Sheriffs-Office-465631780138577/.

If it was your daughter, sister, friend, you would want answers. So I’m hoping that someone comes forward with information that could help Cassandra Cole’s family find out why this happened. 

Dateline Story about Cassie Cole