In 1970 Carol Anne Fitzmaurice, a 23-year-old nurse, without any known enemies was savagely stabbed to death in her home. Both her family and the investigators in the case, not only question the identity of the killer but the motive as well. Despite the passage of almost 50 years both of these questions have never been answered.
Carol Ann Fitzmaurice was murdered on October 20, 1970. She was found stabbed to death on her living room floor; her husband Dan (who would die in motorcycle crash in 1972) found her body around 6:00 pm. Carol had been stabbed 14 times but no evidence of sexual assault was found based on the autopsy report. Months or weeks later (differing sources), a serrated knife discovered in a creek behind the house was determined to have been the murder weapon.
Carol was a nurse and had worked until around lunchtime . She worked for Dr. Webster, an osteopathic physician in town. She had lunch with her parents in the nearby town of Olean and they reported that she was last seen alive at about 1:00 in the afternoon. Signs indicated that she was preparing dinner when she was attacked.
Reports differ as to whether or not there were signs of a struggle or not. Some assume that she knew her attacker because entry was not forced; however this was 1970, in a pretty idyllic town and she lived out in the country near farms and pastures. It would not be unusual to leave your door unlocked, especially if you were expecting your husband or someone else to come over.
A witness from across the road owned a horse barn and he was tending his horses during the time of the murder. He reported that he did not hear screams or notice anything out of the ordinary. He finished just before 6 pm.
Detectives received information that a young man driving a red or maroon car was seen in the area and near the home on the day of the murder. A sketch was released but the man was never identified.
Carol's husband Dan had a strong alibi since he was at work at the local lumberyard at the time. Being a small town, many rumors have swirled over the years, especially when Dan was killed in the motorcycle accident. It was not ruled a suicide or a DUI, but there is speculation about both. State Police have continued to receive tips and information pertaining to the circumstances surrounding the incident but the identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime are unknown.
Nearly five decades later, this murder case still haunts retired State Police Investigator J. Thomas Stofer. Why would anyone walk into a house in Cattaraugus County farm country and brutally stab a young woman who had no known enemies? Did the killer know her? Why was nothing stolen? What was the motive?
Who was the thin, narrow-faced man that a witness spotted near the isolated Town of Allegany home around the time the young victim was murdered?
"This was one of those cases that haunts you for the rest of your life," said Stofer, now 82, who was at the crime scene that day and spent more than 30 years looking for the killer. "When you look at the ferocity of the attack – a woman stabbed again and again – you think there had to be a personal reason behind it…There was no evidence of a sexual attack. We never found out who did it, and never found out why."
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Investigator John Zeigler of the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation by calling (716) 372-2550. Please refer to SJS # 3021514.
Source - Buffalo News
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by Marlene Pardo Pellicer