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 Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961

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Theforeigner
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PostSubject: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:28 am


Found this horrible January 1961 Vallejo murder case, and found it interesting:



http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?t=2927

Nurse Maria Cavanaugh
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oakland Tribune
Tuesday, January 31, 1961

NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY

Missing Woman's Body Discovered In Slough By Fisherman

Vallejo, Jan. 31/ The body of Mrs. Maria Cavanaugh, a veteran nurse, was found in a slough near here yesterday after the woman had been missing ten days. She had been strangled.

Mrs. Cavanaugh, 43, of 530 1/2 Tennessee St., part-time nurse at the Kaiser Hospital here and former nurse for ten years at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco, apparently had been lashed about the face with heavy cord or wire before being strangled.

An autopsy will be made later today to determine if the woman was assaulted and how she was strangled.

BODY FOUND

Sheriff's investigator Lewis Richey believes her body was dumped in the ditch off Sears Point road about four miles west of here, on Sunday night. The area in which the body was found is frequented by sportsmen and the body was discovered by a fisherman.

Deputies said the body probably had been there only a few hours but that Mrs. Cavanaugh had been dead 48 hours or more. They speculated she was killed elsewhere and the body driven to the slough area.

The woman's husband of three years, James, a Mare Island Naval Shipyard employee, told authorities he last saw Mrs. Cavanaugh on Jan. 21, when she boarded a bus for a shopping trip to San Francisco.

When she failed to return home that evening, Cavanaugh said he assumed that his wife either went to a movie or visited friends.

CALLS FRIENDS

The next day, he called four San Francisco friends seeking his wife, but they hadn't seen her. Cavanaugh then thought his wife may have traveled to El Salvador, her homeland, to visit her father.

But a check of the El Salvador consulate in San Francisco also uncovered nothing.

On Jan. 24, Cavanaugh filed a missing persons report.

It was the information on that report that led deputies yesterday to the identification of the strangling victim.

WIRE GAG

Richey believes Mrs. Cavanaugh's assailant used either heavy cord or wire to gag the woman. Both sides of her mouth were slashed and cuts were evident on the back of her head.

Cavanaugh said his wife was wearing a wedding band and platinum engagement ring when he last saw her, but they weren't on the body.

The only major clues to the slaying were eliminated after the first few hours of investigation. An early report suggested a private tow company had pulled a car from a ditch near where the body was found, but Richey was unable to confirm this.

A money order receipt found near the body had been dropped by a fisherman in the area a few weeks ago.

Mrs. Cavanaugh worked for Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco from 1949-1958, when she came to Vallejo.

The slaying victim, whose maiden name was Uriquilla, obtained a nursing degree in her native El Salvador.
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tahoe27
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:28 pm

Interesting TF! Thanks for sharing.

The husband's comments make me think it was him.

He knew he'd have to report her missing. He thought she may have traveled to El Salvador? Ok.... Who just takes off for El Salvador and doesn't tell their husband? Not a very close relationship! Rings missing...looks like a robbery.

I wonder if this case was ever solved?

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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:12 pm

I looked through newspaper archive and could not find that Maria Cavanaugh's murder had been solved. However a little more than a year later her murder was tied to two other similar murders.

I'm reposting the article TF posted because it has a photo of Maria Cavanaugh.



Next is another article written on the same day as the first but with slightly different information and along with that article is the article written a little more than a year later telling about a possible connection of Maria's murder to two others in the Bay Area.



The first person I thought of after reading that article was Joseph Naso because of the murdered women have the same or similar names. Not sure if Naso can be placed in the Bay Area in 1961 and 1962 but his older brother Anthony aka Toby was living in San Francisco at the time. Perhaps Joseph was visiting his brother. Total speculation.....

I was able to find a couple of articles on one of the other women but not the other.

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Quagmire
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:15 pm

Interesting that police wondered if the killer had been jilted or somehow cheated on by someone called Maria or Marion. Wasn't Marion the alleged cheating wife of Lafferty's suspect? Neutral
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Seagull
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:10 pm

Yes, Grant's wife was named Marion but they didn't marry until Sept. 19, 1964 in Solano County. I know she had been previously married, her married name was Fate and her maiden name Serhan. She was from Pennsylvania. I can not find that she divorced in California or Nevada so maybe back east??? I believe Grant was previously married, too.

I do not know when they hooked up, maybe Zam or Sandy can answer that.
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:18 pm

Lashed with wire? Jesus. Someone really had it out for this poor woman. Sounds like a very personal, rageful attack.
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:43 am

Interesting that in one of the two later articles it refers to the victim as being "kicked and choked to death". Where have we heard that before?

I don't have tome to look for it now but I found a story about nurses being murdered a while back. I can't remember when it was from but it would have been within 1960's/70's. I think it may have been further north, possibly Tahoe area.

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Quagmire
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:44 am

Seagull wrote:
Yes, Grant's wife was named Marion but they didn't marry until Sept. 19, 1964 in Solano County. I know she had been previously married, her married name was Fate and her maiden name Serhan. She was from Pennsylvania. I can not find that she divorced in California or Nevada so maybe back east??? I believe Grant was previously married, too.

I do not know when they hooked up, maybe Zam or Sandy can answer that.

Ah - guessed it was very long shot but thought I'd mention it as I knew that Grant was one of the older Z POIs.

Anyway, I'm not sure Z was the "marion" type. Geddit!!? Thanks folks I'm here all week. Giggity Giggity! pirat
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tahoe27
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:03 pm

traveller1st wrote:
Interesting that in one of the two later articles it refers to the victim as being "kicked and choked to death". Where have we heard that before?

I don't have tome to look for it now but I found a story about nurses being murdered a while back. I can't remember when it was from but it would have been within 1960's/70's. I think it may have been further north, possibly Tahoe area.

I believe it was the Sacramento area.

The thing is, a lot of women were nurses back then. It's what they did. Nurses, school teachers, stewardesses, etc. So you can look at it as someone who targeted nurses, or it just being a coincidence since there were so many.

Unless it was a "Florence Nightingale" type thing. I wonder if LE looked into old patients!

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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:15 pm

tahoe27 wrote:
The thing is, a lot of women were nurses back then. It's what they did. Nurses, school teachers, stewardesses, etc.


AHHHH!!...The good-ole-days lol.

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AK Wilks
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:25 pm

March 1970 Sacramento nurse Judith Hakari killed and of course September 1970 nurse Donna Lass abducted/missing likely killed in nearby Tahoe.

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sandy betts
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:43 pm

AK Wilks wrote:
March 1970 Sacramento nurse Judith Hakari killed and of course September 1970 nurse Donna Lass abducted/missing likely killed in nearby Tahoe.

Adding to the Nurse list :Kathleen John's who survived a Possible Zodiac attack, Carol Hilburn Nov 1970 Sacramento, Rosa Vasquez May 1973 San Francisco, Susan Dye who worked at a Hospital in Santa Rosa Oct 1975 ( Seagull will know about her for sure )
While working during the 1970's -1990 in Oakland Ca., I was told by a nurse ,that there were many nurses missing from Alameda county.

It seems as if the killer hung around the bus depot to hunt for his victims ? The wire or rope that was used and left deep cuts on the one victims mouth , made me think of the Black Dahlia's mouth , could hers have been done by a wire or a knife ? ( Just thinking out loud)

Good finds TF and Seagull, I also thought about a Naso connection, but I can't help but think of Zodiac when there is no rape .
Oddly enough, I was just at the Vallejo Greyhound station, which stopped there to pick up passengers, before going on to the Oakland station.
Not a good place to be at night !

I remember the Sand's had a great dance floor !

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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:55 pm

Sandy for the life of me I can not find that Susan Dye ever lived in Santa Rosa or worked there as a nurse or anything else. Susan was only 19 years old when she was killed, too young to have gone through nursing school. I do not have Susan's death certificate to be able to see if there is even an occupation listed for her. Given that Susan was hitchhiking when she was killed and also the manner of how she was dressed I really don't think she could have been a nurse. How many nurses hitchhike as a regular means of transportation? If you have a job that pays reasonably well, like a nurse, you probably can afford a car.

From articles I have read about her and her murder it seems that she had been in the Crescent City area, Del Norte County, and was hitchhiking to her parents home in Santa Clara where she was raised. I do not think that she had ties to Santa Rosa because that would have been mentioned in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat articles I found.

http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com/t673-susan-dye-oct-16-1975

I wonder if you are thinking of Theresa Matthews who did work as a nurse's aide in Marin County. She's on Graysmith's list #48. She was last seen in Marin County and found strangled and nude in West Sacramento, Yolo County Feb 1979.

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Theforeigner
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:52 pm



Great inputs/replyes/research, thanks guys and gals:)
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sandy betts
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:50 pm

Seagull wrote:
Sandy for the life of me I can not find that Susan Dye ever lived in Santa Rosa or worked there as a nurse or anything else. Susan was only 19 years old when she was killed, too young to have gone through nursing school. I do not have Susan's death certificate to be able to see if there is even an occupation listed for her. Given that Susan was hitchhiking when she was killed and also the manner of how she was dressed I really don't think she could have been a nurse. How many nurses hitchhike as a regular means of transportation? If you have a job that pays reasonably well, like a nurse, you probably can afford a car.

From articles I have read about her and her murder it seems that she had been in the Crescent City area, Del Norte County, and was hitchhiking to her parents home in Santa Clara where she was raised. I do not think that she had ties to Santa Rosa because that would have been mentioned in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat articles I found.

http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com/t673-susan-dye-oct-16-1975

I wonder if you are thinking of Theresa Matthews who did work as a nurse's aide in Marin County. She's on Graysmith's list #48. She was last seen in Marin County and found strangled and nude in West Sacramento, Yolo County Feb 1979.


I certainly could be mistaken, it was in the late 80's that I went to the Santa Rosa library to look up the murders up there. I did have notes on the different victims , if I remember correctly, Kim Wendy Allen worked at a Scandinavian furniture store as a sales person ? I was pretty sure I read Susan Dye worked as a "tray person" at the hospital in Santa Rosa, she was not a nurse , I think they were called "Candy stripe-rs" ? Sorry I didn't make it clear when I mentioned the others being nurse's then said Susan worked at the hospital , it sounded like I was saying she was a nurse, I should have said tray person.

I was looking to see if the victims could have been the work of the Zodiac , because of the timing . Z had stopped in the S.F. bay area at that time. I have felt and still do feel that he never did stop killing, he just went to other areas to do his thing and did change his MO. Perhaps even raping a few , we can't say either way. We can only go by what he did in the past and that could have changed . Thanks for all your hard work.
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:04 pm

Kim Allen worked in a health food store in Larkspur, Marin County. I will email you!
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sandy betts
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:50 pm

Seagull wrote:
Kim Allen worked in a health food store in Larkspur, Marin County. I will email you!

Too many names for me to get straight without looking at my old notes LOL. Ok, Kim was the one who had the barrel with the Asian writing on it .I obviously didn't do as much in depth research as you have on the Santa Rosa murders ! Before I look too stupid, I will read your site before commenting on any of those victims .
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:21 pm

Sandy I don't blame you a bit for not being able to keep the victims straight. I have a memo that says between what information the Sonoma County SO and CA-CII Dave Struve were able to gather from the counties in Northern California from 1970 until mid 1974 there were 78 unsolved murders of girls and women similar to the SRHM, which at that time was six confirmed murders for a total of 84 unsolved cases.

Mind you that's not counting any Southern California murders or murders that were not similar! Mind boggling.....
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PostSubject: Re: Maria Cavanaugh NURSE FOUND STRANGLED IN VALLEJO MURDER MYSTERY 1961   Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:33 pm

Holey Moley that is a lot !
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