Massachusetts investigators have revealed new details about the months before the mysterious murder of a woman known for decades only as "Lady of the Dunes" before her body was identified earlier this year.
State, local and federal law enforcement agencies announced on Monday that they had identified Ruth Marie Terry as the "Lady of the Dunes" since her body was discovered on July 26, 1974, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. By Wednesday, they revealed new information related to Terry’s life in the months before her cold case death.
Terry, who was born in Sept. 1936, was believed to have been married to a man named Guy Rockwell Muldavin, who she wed just months before her death, Massachusetts State Police said.
She and Muldavin allegedly went by several names. Terry also used the aliases Teri Marie Vizina, Terry M. Vizina and Terry Shannon, police said. Muldavin was known to also go by Raoul Guy Rockwell and Guy Muldavin Rockwell, police said.
She has been linked to Massachusetts, Michigan and California. Muldavin, who was born in 1923, is no longer alive, police said.
Terry was 37 years old when her remains were discovered in dunes roughly one mile from the Race Point Ranger Station in Provincetown’s Cape Cod National Seashore, the FBI said.
She was discovered naked, "lying on a beach blanket with her head resting on folded jeans," the FBI said.
FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Joseph Bonavolonta described how Terry’s "hands were missing, presumably removed by her killer so she could not be identified through fingerprints, and her head was nearly severed from her body."
A portion of her skull was crushed, and investigators determined she died from a "blow to the head" that was "estimated to have occurred several weeks prior."
Terry’s identity remained a mystery for nearly 50 years, until investigators reached a break in the case through the use of genealogy.
However, much about the circumstances of Terry’s "brutal death" remains a mystery.
Officials are asking anyone with information related to the case to call the Massachusetts State Police at 1-800-KAPTURE (1-800-527-8873) to email tips to MSPtips@pol.state.ma.us. They can also contact the FBI's Toll-Free tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), or online at tips.fbi.gov.