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Killer In Infamous ‘Lady Of The Dunes’ Case Identified

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After nearly 50 years, investigators closed the infamous “Lady of the Dunes” murder case on Monday, determining that the victim’s husband was her killer.

Ruth Marie Terry, 37, was found dead on July 26, 1974, by a family in the dunes of Cape Cod in Provincetown, Massachusetts. At the time, authorities could not even identify her body but investigated the case as a homicide.

Now, investigators say Terry was killed by her husband, Guy Muldavin.

“Based on the investigation into the death of Ms. Terry, it has been determined that Mr. Muldavin was responsible for Ms. Terry’s death in 1974. Mr. Muldavin passed away in 2002,” the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office announced in a news release on Monday, according to Boston 25 News.

According to Provincetown’s government website, Terry’s deceased body was found nude on a beach towel, with her head resting on folded jeans. The left side of her skull had been crushed and her hands severed from her body, but no weapons were found on the scene. Her death, which likely occurred up to three weeks before she was found, was determined to have been caused by a blow to the head.

The case gained widespread attention over the years, with several theories arising about what had happened. For five decades, investigators worked to identify Terry using blood and DNA samples, clay model facial reconstruction and age-regression drawings. She eventually became Massachusetts’ oldest unidentified homicide victim.

Finally, the FBI identified Terry last October through investigative genealogy, which combines DNA analysis with traditional historical research. A special agent from Boston’s FBI described the development as a “major break” that would lead investigators closer to identifying her killer.

The investigation also revealed that Terry and Muldavin had been traveling together in 1974 shortly after their marriage. Investigators found that Muldavin had returned from the trip that summer in Terry’s vehicle and had told people that his wife had died.

Muldavin was also a suspect in the disappearance of his previous wife and his stepdaughter in the 1960s, according to NBC News.

The Provincetown Police Department and Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.



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