PROVINCETOWN, Mass. − Days after identifying the long-unknown homicide victim “Lady of the Dunes,” as Ruth Marie Terry of Tennessee, law enforcement officials are now seeking information about a man they believe she married several months before her death.
Now deceased, that man was named Guy Rockwell Muldavin, born Oct. 27, 1923. Also known to use the names of Raoul Guy Rockwell and Guy Muldavin Rockwell, he is suspected in the deaths of his second wife and her daughter in 1960, according to newspaper accounts.
Terry was also known by Teri Marie Vizina, Terry M. Vizina, and Teri Shannon, police also said. She was 37 when she was killed in 1974 by a blow to the head and left in the sand dunes of Provincetown, near Race Point on Cape Cod.
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“We do know there was an association between the two in other states at another time,” Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said of Muldavin and Terry on Wednesday evening. “Now we are doing our best to try to put the two of them together in Massachusetts and specifically Provincetown.”
Guy Rockwell Muldavin was suspected of other deaths
Muldavin was suspected in the deaths of his second wife and her daughter in Seattle, Washington, in 1960, according to a 1961 story in the Erie (Pa.) Times-News.
He fled Seattle but was arrested by the FBI in Brooklyn, New York, in December 1960 and charged with “unlawful flight to avoid giving testimony relating to ‘mutilation of human remains,'” the FBI told the Associated Press at the time.
Muldavin also faced larceny charges for swindling his third wife’s family out of $10,000 around the time his second wife went missing, according to the Associated Press account. He was convicted in 1961 on those charges and sentenced to no more than 15 years, according to the Erie Times-News. In March 1962, a judge suspended the sentence provided he repay the money.
O’Keefe said investigators are looking into whether murder charges were filed against Muldavin in connection with the deaths of his second wife and her daughter, and have contacted law enforcement officials in Seattle.
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In 1974, the handless body of a woman was found in Provincetown
In the summer of 1974, a 12-year-old girl and her parents were hiking back to the Province Lands Visitors Center in Provincetown when they came upon the handless, nearly headless body of a woman, now identified as Ruth Marie Terry.
She had been in the stand of scrub pines for at least a week, police said at the time.
She was the longest unidentified murder victim in the state before a Monday announcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division.
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How the ‘Lady of the Dunes’ was identified
Terry’s identity was discovered using investigative genealogy, a unique method that can generate new leads for unsolved homicides, as well as help identify unknown victims, said Joseph Bonavolonta, a special agent with the Boston bureau.
She was born in Tennessee in 1936, he said, and “was a daughter, sister, aunt, wife and mother.” She had connections to California, Massachusetts and Michigan.
Staff writer Anne Brennan contributed to this story.
Story Credit: usatoday.com