The Ludington Daily News-Fri-01-08-71

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The Ludington Daily News-Fri-01-08-71  - Lansing Kidnap-Murder Case Remains Mystery...
Lansing Kidnap-Murder Case Remains Mystery LANSING (UPI)—Six months ago Saturday on a sunny summer summer day, Laurie Murninghan went to her part-time job in a small gift and novelty shop just a few blocks from her home. Two weeks later, a minister stood by her closed casket and implored hundreds of mourners 'not to be ruled by rumors and racial fears." Outside, a cold rain drizzled from gray skies. During those 14 days, residents residents of this normally placid city of 130,000 were stunned and horrified at the kidnap-murder of the 16-year-old girl by an unidentified unidentified Negro gunman. The shock has worn off now, but the memory—and the questions—of questions—of what happened to the pretty blue-eyed daughter of Lansing's former mayor linger. Laurie's murderer has not been found and city police, despite despite weeks of investigation and thousands of tips, are not much closer to the answer than they were in the beginning. Back From Vacation The tragic riddle 1 began on July 9. Laurie, just back from a New Hampshire vacation with her parents, returned to her summer summer job as a clerk at Gallagher's Gallagher's Gifts and Antiques, a cluttered but bright shop in a remodeled residence on the city's West Side. Around 2:30 in the afternoon, a slim, soft-spoken Negro man, around 25 or 30 years old, entered entered the shop and asked Laurie to change a $20 bill. When she said she couldn't change the bill, the gunman seized her' and struck the shop's owner, Mrs. Christine Gallagher Gallagher with his gun. The gun fired into the ceiling. The man grabbed $60 from the cash drawer and fled with Laurie. Across from the shop, a. street repair crew was busy' working on Saginaw Street, a five-lane, one-way street which is a major east - west artery through Lansing. Kitty-corner from the shop at a small shopping plaza, several shoppers were, conducting their daily business at a grocery store, delicatessen, bank, drug store and laundromat. Only One Witness Only a few feet from the Gallagher Gallagher shop, traffic flowed down Logan Street, a major north- south thoroughfare that intersects intersects Saginaw Street. But in spite of the time of day and the number of people in the immediate vicinity, the police discovered only one eyewitness eyewitness to the crime—Mrs. Gallagher, Gallagher, a kindly, gray-haired woman with eyesight so poor that she peers out of extra-thick lenses which make her eyes appear appear twice their size. Police immediately set up road blocks—to no avail — as news of the kidnaping spread throughout the city. Tips began pouring into the police station—most from concerned concerned citizens who wanted to help and a few from pranksters. Stymied, police distributed throughout the country a picture of the missing girl taken only hours before she left for work that morning and a composite drawing of the gunman based on Mrs. Gallaher's description. Offers of a reward for Miss Murninghan's safe return came in and a black community leader leader appeared on local television urging Lansing residents to cooperate cooperate with police and avoid attaching racial overtones to the kidnaping. Father Stands By The missing girl's father, Max E. Murninghan, mayor from 1965-69, began an exhausting exhausting vigil in the police station. As rumors flew, Police Chief Derold Husby called a series of news conferences to fill newsmen newsmen in on the case. As it turned out, there was very little to say. Then, on July 20, two young boys looking for pop bottles along a rural road 20 miles southeast of Lansing discovered Laurie's body. The badly decomposed body was lying face down in a swampy area only 15 feet from the road. Several weeks later, the county coroner attributed death to strangulation. The vigil was over for Max Murninghan. Six months have passed since the day Laurie Murninghan was kidnaped. A 16-man investigating investigating team that was assigned solely to sift the clues has returned returned to normal duty. Husby says the case will remain remain open until it is solved. But beyond that, neither Husby nor any police'officials close to the case will say more. Surgeon Keeps Clocks Ticking NEW YORK (UPI) -When] Dr. Saul P. Lehv was practicing about 20 years ago when he bought an antique watch that

Clipped from
  1. The Ludington Daily News,
  2. 08 Jan 1971, Fri,
  3. Page 2

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