Journal and Courier from Lafayette, Indiana on April 25, 1978 · 6
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Journal and Courier from Lafayette, Indiana · 6

Lafayette, Indiana
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 25, 1978
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adw in box case wimau By SHERRY BROWN Regional Reporter Officially, there's been no progress in the case of the still-uniden-tifed body of a woman found in a cornfield near Otterbein in October, 1976. , But unofficially, some people just can't seem to forget the case of the "lady in the box." A drawing of the woman which accompanied a 1977 Journal and Courier article particularly haunts a 37-year-old Lafayette woman named Marilyn. It haunts her because she thinks she saw the woman sitting on a Lafayette street corner the summer of 1967 or 1968. The woman she saw had such unusual characteristics that "I did a double-take," Marilyn said. "She just sort of struck me as having a Neanderthal look and I don't know if I've ever seen anybody who looked quite like that before." "I just couldn't forget her face," she said. Marilyn prefers not to have her full name used because she doesn't want "anybody calling me. And my 9 t 3 mm 1 if & ill - p -. Spiing on the farm involves hard work, new life, old trouble ROSSVILLE Spring is the traditional time lor the rebirth of dormant interests, or in some cases a new birth entirely. The arrival of spring is exceptionally welcome this year because it is taking so long to come and follows such a vicious winter. Gene Kelly gives a hearty laugh even though he is working on a balky mower, without any thoughts of the ensuing drudgery that may evolve. Sabrina, the farm cat, finds that she can once again scour the fields in search of mischief or mice. But the mare is more concerned with the maternal instincts of protecting her newborn colt from invading strangers. The unconcerned colt just wants to explore the new world, in between mouthfuls of food, of course. But the spring of 1978 is bringing its own set of problems. The combination of the melting snow and spring rains have caused some serious flooding and wet farmland. Kelly has a small farm on County Line Road in northern Clinton County and what was going to be his 10-acre cornfield is now part of a 30-acre, four-feet-deep lake that stretches across the road. In fact he says that last year's bean crop is still down under there somewhere. Kelly says that his income doesn't depend on spring planting, but that many farmers are beginning to get apprehensive about the delays. Story. Photos by David Snodgress. Regional Reporter ?WWw 'fWiX$$h W " fit n 5 J J- - . ,4 5 - family my husband and kids well, they kind of teased me about it." She is also aware that the public might question the credibility of a person who says she can remember a face from 10 years in the past. "Well, the reason I remember, and I guess the reason I noticed in the first place, is that I went to art school for awhile and we studied bone structure from the uiside out." "I tend to notice bone structures, and her bone structure just struck me as so odd," she said. The woman Marilyn says she saw was seated on a "bench in front of Reifer's Budget Store. It was just hotter than blazes and I was standing inside the store while my husband was taking care of something. I was just waiting and then I saw this woman." "This woman was ... well, she was just homely. She had ears that just stuck straight out of a pixie-type hairdo. Her hair was a reddish brown, maybe lighter than chestnut." "She had a strong indentation on her nose and these," Marilyn MOTHERLY PROTECTION FOR COLT CURIOUS FARM CAT "T : The murder victim, who had unusual facial features, may have been in Lafayette several years ago. said, tracing half-moons under her own eyes with her fingers. "I also noticed her arms were really rounded and she had big legs. She just seemed to have generally big bones, although she GENE KELLY TAKES J?w if k fJt A i j Z&e Jlfclt J- VWftlt?, I i'M&mt n Staff Drawino by Sherry Brown LADY IN BOX didn't seem too fat," she continued. The woman left a general impression of "being poor. She had stringy hair and an old housecoat on ... you know, the kind you used to be able to buy at 10-cent stores. A WORK BREAK She looked 40 or 50 years old but I don't really think she was that old. Her skin looked younger than that, kind of like the kind of skin that would burn easily." The dead woman's age was estimated at 60 or 65 in autopsy reports. Marilyn, a housewife who admits she was reluctant to talk to police, said the woman she watched behaved curiously. "Well, there were two little boys sitting next to her and she just seemed oblivious to them. I don't know if they were hers or not. And it was just such a hot day. She just sat there and kept staring up the street toward Ardapple's. I couldn't figure out why somebody would sit in that hot sun that long." Marilyn turned away from the woman eventually because "I stared so intently at her I was afraid she would turn around and look at me through the window." But was she the woman who was murdered, packed into a box and dumped in that cornfield? There are two discrepencies in Marilyn's story when it is compared with police reports and the . A-6 JtcaUmalStatt I Robinson cleared in heiress' murder INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Deputy. Prosecutor John Schwartz said he was "stunned and disappointed" that a jury did not convict Manuel Robinson of murdering grocery heiress Marjorie Jackson. The Criminal Court panel of eight women and four men deliberated 714 hours before convicting Robinson, 30, Indianapolis, Monday night of two counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary, arson and conspiracy to commit arson. Jurors acquitted him of murder and armed robbery. Judge John Wilson set May 17 for sentencing. The verdict concluded prosecution of all persons charged by authorities in the slaying and multi-million dollar robbery of the India Rensselaer employees' RENSSELAER The city council, following the wishes of the city employees, voted 3-2 Monday night to apply to Prudential Insurance Co. for life and health coverage for the workers. They're now covered by Travelers Insurance. The council's insurance committee last week discussed the possibility of switching to Prudential. However, Councilman Harold Lan-kin reported some of the employes wished to remain with Travelers. Jo Haniford, council president, said the council agreed to poll the workers. The ballots were counted at Monday night's meeting, and the workers favored switching to Prudential 21-20. The council's insurance committee approved the switch by a 2-1 vote, and the entire Prison officials oppose inmate corporation INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Corrections officials are trying to stop a state prison inmate from soliciting funds for a state-chartered, crime-fighting corporation he secretly formed last summer. The non-profit Crime Prevention Society Inc. has an executive committee composed of six inmates, including a convicted murderer and a man serving a 21-year sentence for armed rape. The president and founder is Richard Colvin, who was convicted of an armed robbery in South Bend and sentenced to 30 years in the Indiana State Prison at Michigan City in 1974. Colvin's motives apparently are pure, said Vaughn Overstreet, director of adult community services for the Indiana Department of Cor ' Contracts awarded WOLCOTT Contracts totaling $1,705,438 were awarded Monday afternoon by the Tri-County School Board for the Remington Elemen-, tary School Project. ; The project involves construction of a new classroom wing, demolition of part of the existing building and renovation of the gymnasium and cafeteria. The contracts were awarded in 23 separate packages to 21 different companies. Supt. Charles Downing said the total was only 4 percent over the estimated cost, "which in this day and age seems to be a arrangment of the Reifer's storefront 10 years ago. The murdered woman was estimated to be only 5 feet 2 inches. The woman Marilyn saw appeared to be about 5-6. And a Reifer's spokesman said there was no bench in front of the store 10 years ago. "The last benches in front of the store even before it was Reifer's were there way back when it was a streetcar transfer station." Tha spokesman said, however, that people frequenting the downtown areaoften use a ledge on the store front as a seat. "The ledge is where the old steps used to be, a lot of people sit on it," he said. But Marilyn is still adamant about the woman she saw. "I thought of that woman as soon as I saw the drawing. If you're going to remember someone, you're going to remember somebody like her ... I've just never seen anybody else who looked like that." Marilyn said "never saw the woman again. In fact, after I turned away from her and turned back again she was gone." ' Tues.. April 25, 1978 napolis widow, less than a year after her body was discovered in her burning home. "We had a stronger case than the one on (Howard) Willard, and Robinson was acquitted on the murder charge," Schwartz said. "The most serious charge he was convicted of was burglary, and he could be out in four or five years, enjoying the spoils of his crime." Willard was convicted last December of murder, armed robbery, arson and conspiracy in the killing. He is serving a life sentence. Police arrested four other persons. They pleaded guilty. Mrs. Jackson's body was found by firemen in her northside home May 7, 1977. Authorities found about $5 million hidden throughout the home and estimated another $3.5 million had been stolen. changes insurance council approved it 3-2. Mrs. Haniford says she is not aware of any other time that a poll was taken prior to a city council decision. "But after all it's their insurance, not ours" she says. "We (city council members) don't benefit at all from it. We thought they should have what they want, and it was a pretty close vote." Prudential's major advantage over Travelers is a disaster clause that states a family will not have to pay more than $1,000 a year in case of extended hospitilization or repeated surgery, the council president says. "Plus they had other benefits in there that we thought were good." An ordiance also was introduced to the council that would require all rental housing to have smoke detectors installed. rections. But Overstreet said potential contributors may mistakenly believe the state charter carries government approval for the project, and he thinks the charter should be revoked. Colvin said in a telephone interview Monday that he will fight to preserve his corporation and raise the funds necessary for the counseling and educational programs he envisions for criminals and their victims. "I just got a real commitment inside of me. I really want to do some good," said Colvin, a Navy veteran who has spent 14 of his 35 years behind bars. "I don't always want to be noted as an ex-felon. When I pass away, I want to have accounted for something in my life." pretty good job of estimating." Only two companies received contracts for more than one portion of the project. Slutsky-Peltz bid $196,000 for plumbing and mechani-cal work and C.L. Schust bid $185,270 for mechanical sheet metal and roofing work. Downing said the board awarded all of the contracts to the lowest bidders. Downing said construction on the project may begin within 60 days, but could be delayed as much as another 60 days in case of a remonstrance.

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