Friday, June 24, 2011

Unsolved crimes in WNY

14 year old Nancy Scamarra disappeared from Williamsville in 1984

I find unsolved cases to be very intriguing. There's always the feeling that somebody knows something that will give detectives the break they are looking for.

There are two cases in WNY that come to mind: One is an unsolved murder. The other is an unsolved disappearance. In the first case, the body of a 15 year old girl, Catherine Herold, was found along the railroad tracks along Military Road in Kenmore in 1985. Her father, who had died of a heart attack one year earlier, had been the Executive Director of the Buffalo Museum of Science. At the time, authorities said she had begun hanging out with a bad crowd. At the time, they had no idea that a serial killer was walking around Western New York. The railroad tracks, where Herold's body was found, are the same tracks where Bike Path Killer Altemio Sanchez had raped at least two other girls in the Riverside section of Buffalo. In fact, this location in Kenmore was a half mile from American Brass (where he had worked the night shift). I'm convinced Sanchez attempted to assault this girl, who fought him off violently (just like Joan Diver, his last victim had). She had been strangled with a garrote. Unfortunately, no DNA was found at the scene. Of course, Sanchez denies being involved in this killing, which means nothing. He's a coward who denied being involved in any killings until he was confronted with proof. At the time, police seemed to think Herold's lifestyle and choice of friends caught up with her. Coincidentally, that's the same thing Buffalo Police thought when Majane Mazur's body was found along Exchange Street. Mazur had been a known prostitute. Police had no idea Sanchez was involved until his DNA appeared at the scene. If it wasn't for DNA, Sanchez would have never even been viewed as a potential suspect in the Mazur case. I hope someday, Herold's family will find out who the scum was that took her life.
"15-year-old's murder in 1985 has strong similarities to Bike Path killings; investigators look for link to Sanchez".

I just read about the second case the other day in the Buffalo News. 14 year old Nancy Scamurra disappeared after getting into an argument with one of her siblings on July 1st, 1984. She was last seen heading towards North Forrest Road in Williamsville. From the article, it seems like Amherst Police don't think she was abducted by a stranger. The obvious question to me is, who was she hanging out with at the time?

Amherst Police are going over old leads and interviewing people after 27 years. With the year being 1984, it wouldn't even shock me if Sanchez was involved in Scamurra's disappearance. We know at this time he was raping girls and women all over WNY. He killed a women in Clarence (Joan Diver) and another in Amherst (Linda Yalem). There is no proof of his involvement in this case, however. Crimes like these would keep me up at night if I was a detective. I hope both of them get solved someday. A book on unsolved crimes in WNY might be an interesting one.

1984 missing-teen case haunts Amherst police


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