Unsolved: The Grime’s Sister’s Murders (1956)

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Our next Case is out of Chicago Illinois, and this Is about the Grimes Sisters who were brutally murderer and their killer still has not been found to this day.

Just After Christmas in 1956, 2 sisters, Barbara and Patricia Grimes decided they were going to go see a movie at a local theater in Brighton Park, they lived in McKinley Park on South Damen Avenue, they never returned home. There was several reliable and credible sightings that put the 2 sisters at the movie theater, a friend sat directly behind them during the movie and then this same friend spotted them getting snacks around 9:30 PM, but that was last time this credible and reliable source seen them.

Their mother Loretta, expected the girls might probably stay for the double feature, but when midnight comes and goes, and the girls were still not home, she started to get worried. Loretta send 2 of the older siblings out to the bus stop to wait on their sisters, but by 2 AM, it was clear something was not right and something bad happened.

Dorothy Weinert, a friend of Patricia, was the friend that sat directly behind them during the movie and shew as the one that seen them getting snacks, she stated they were both in a good mood.

Photo Source: Bettman/Getty Images

Police Officers and regular civilians went out and decided to start searching the streets for the sisters. This was one of the largest city-wide hunts in Chicago history that has occurred, even near suburban towns and even counties got involved and asked what they could do and provide any help, but the stall eventually grew as days went by with nothing coming up, and the police were getting desperate to solve this case.

Then all of sudden, random sightings, and I mean really random sightings started to come into the police. People as far as Nashville, Tennessee claimed to have seen the girls in that state, some were in other states. But some people believed that the girls planned this whole disappearing act out and went to Nashville to meet Elvis. This reach as far as Elvis and he even got on the radio pleading the girls to come home to their families, but that wouldn’t help with what was discovered next.

January 22, 1957, a man, Leonard Prescott spotted what at the time he thought was two mannequins on a road in Willow Springs, Illinois. Instead of approaching the bodies, he ran home and got his wife and together they inched closer and found the naked bodies of Barbara and Patricia Grimes. Barbara was lying face down and Patricia was laying face up on top of her sister, but they were unrecognizable at first as their faces had been damaged by the animals in this part of the town.

Willow Springs Police learned of the discovery of the girls around 1:30 PM and they concluded that the sisters had probably been there since the snowfall two week prior.

The autopsies were performed the day following their discovery, January 23, and this wasn’t your normal autopsy with one experienced forensic pathologist,  but 3, whom each had a 5 hour examination of each of the girls and they were also unable to reach an agreement on either a date or a cause of death, but they did however reach an agreement on the stomach contents of each of the sisters, it was snacks the sisters had eaten the night of December 28th or early December 29th.

The cause of death ended up being a combination of shock and exposure, in addition these experts concluded that many of the wounds the sisters had were most likely from the rodents with the actual puncture wounds more than likely being inflicted after death.

There were a few suspects that were arrested but the most publicized in the media was Edward Lee Bedwell. He did confess to the murders but there was no evidence in supporting his confession and then he later recanted the confession.

The funerals were held of January 28, 1957 and Loretta Grimes was inconsolable, I think any mother would be at this point. There girls were in closed caskets, each topped with their own photograph.

Loretta volunteered at a nearby prison but in 1989, at the age of 83, Loretta sadly passed away without ever getting an answer to why her girls were killed.

Though the case went could eventually, former criminal investigator Ray Johnson could have possibly cracked it wide open again, he claims that a similar incident, another murder, that took place in Addison, Illinois about a year after the Grimes sisters death. A 15 year old female, Bonnie Leigh Scott was found dead and naked.

The man supposedly responsible for the death of both Scott and the grimes sisters, called Loretta before she passed away and bragged about getting away with the murders.

Charles Leroy Melquist was convicted for the murder Bonnie Leigh Scott and sentenced to 99 years in prison, but he only served 11 years of his sentenced before he was released, then later married and had children, Melquist was never officially a suspect in the Grimes sisters murders.

The case of the Grimes sisters remains unsolved to this day, but there a Facebook page administrated by Johnson, its website is https://www.facebook.com/groups/GrimesSisters/.

Sources:

The Chilling, Unsolved Murder of the Grimes Sisters (the-line-up.com)

Unsolved Murder of the Grimes Sisters | Historic Mysteries

Murder of the Grimes sisters – Wikipedia