The unsolved disappearance of two Chicago teens in 1956 is generating new interest, thanks to a retired police officer and a cohort of amateur detectives, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Barbara Grimes, 15, and her 13-year-old sister, Patricia, disappeared in December 1956 after leaving their Chicago home to attend a movie. On Jan. 22, their frozen, naked bodies were discovered on a rural road southwest of the city, according to the Miami News.
A 21-year-old drifter named Bennie Bedwell told investigators that he and another man beat the girls and dumped their bodies by the roadside, the Associated Press reported, but later recanted the confession, saying he only said it so that the cops would let him go.
Bedwell then signed a statement saying he spent several days with the Grimes sisters, but they parted ways days before the girls' deaths.
Other suspects included Walter Krantz, who called police on Jan. 15 to report he had a dream about where the bodies were. When his "dream" turned out to be accurate within a mile and a half, Kranz was held for questioning, but was never charged.
Many other suspects were also interviewed, but no charges stuck, according to ChicagoNow.com.
A pathological report attributed their deaths to exposure, though one of the doctors still referred to the deaths as "brutal homicides" and told The News and Courier, "Those girls could not have died naturally."
Investigators were never able to determine exactly what happened to the Grimes sisters.
Retired West Chicago Police Officer Ray Johnson is hoping to change that.
Johnson has been interested in the case since 2010, going through old newspaper articles, reviewing clues, and even uncovering new information. Last year, he told the Tribune, a woman contacted him to report that she was with the sisters the night they vanished, but she was too afraid to tell the police at the time.
Now, Johnson is planning to meet each Saturday to discuss theories with others interested in the solving the mystery. The meetings begin June 1, according to the Facebook page, "Help Solve Chicago's Grimes Sisters' Murder."
"I thought nobody should give up on this case," he told the Tribune.
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