COLD CASE: LAWYER, POET, LOBBYIST…AND MURDERER?

On the night of Nov. 28, 1980, Lawrence William Fishman, an accomplished 29-year-old who had worked as a lawyer, lobbyist, researcher and poet, walked into his parents’ home in Silver Spring, Maryland, and according to authorities, committed a crime that rocked the community to its core.

Investigators say he murdered his father, who was a local judge, and nearly killed his mother.

According to an old article in the Washington Post, Fishman shot his mother, Evelyn, in the neck and then chased his father, Frederick, with a gun, before shooting him in the back four times. The father died at the scene. Miraculously, Fishman’s mother survived.

Police found Fishman’s rental car a few days later abandoned in a parking lot near a bus terminal.

Fishman was spotted two months later in New Haven, Connecticut, outside a YMCA, according to the Post. A witness said Fishman was standing next to a telephone and recalled him saying he was going to someplace that was warmer. It was the last time he has been seen.

In 1981, two boys playing near a ditch in Prince William County, Virginia, found the gun used in the murder.

Despite the case receiving national attention, with television crime shows broadcasting the story, Fishman remains on the run 36 years later.

The FBI said Fishman suffers from severe mental illness and once expressed interest in traveling to South America. They also said he has ties to Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, Wisconsin, England and Israel.

Thirteen years after the murder, investigators told the Washington Post that Fishman may be hiding in California, where he received his law degree in 1977 from the University of California at Berkley.

A lead investigator assigned to the case said Fishman “probably has assumed a new identity and is now living as a law-abiding citizen.”

Wherever he is, Fishman remains a wanted man.

The FBI said he should still be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about Fishman’s whereabouts should contact their local FBI office.

They can also send an anonymous tip online.

COLD CASE: WOMAN’S HEAD FOUND IN ILLINOIS STATE PARK

Sprawled out across 3,300 acres, Wayne Fitzgerrell state park is known as the “gateway to Southern Illinois’ biggest outdoor playground, a paradise for outdoor recreation for all ages.” The park, located about 90 minutes east of St. Louis and four hours south of Chicago, is popular for weekend getaways to hunt, fish, camp and hike.

On Jan.  27, 1993, this paradise park became a gigantic crime scene when a woman’s decapitated head was discovered. Twenty-four years later, the case remains unsolved.

Who is she?

January 1993 was a time of new beginnings across the country. America’s new president, Bill Clinton, the first Baby Boomer commander-in-chief, had just been sworn into office. Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” dominated the music charts, setting new sales records.

But for one woman, January 1993 meant the end — a gruesome, terrifying end.

Two little girls, ages 10 and 12, were running through Wayne Fitzgerrell state park when they stumbled upon a woman’s decapitated head, about one mile west of Interstate 57, according to the Evansville Courier.

The head was that of a white female, who authorities estimated was around 30 years of age.

Police used dogs and helicopters to comb through the densely wooded area for the rest of the woman’s body. The search came up empty.

The local coroner, Richard Garretson, tried using dental records to identify the woman, but that too proved unsuccessful. While he couldn’t identify her, according to the Courier, the coroner was able to draw some conclusions about the woman. She had reddish brown or strawberry blond hair which fell to her shoulders; her left ear had been pierced at some point; and her head couldn’t have been in the park for more than a couple of weeks because it wasn’t covered up and was lying in a location park visitors regularly frequent.

“It could have been decapitated in another area and thrown out,” Garretson said.

Garretson also told the newspaper the woman had undergone a drastic lifestyle change within the last few years of her life. He noted she had a few rotten teeth, which he said was in stark contrast to expensive dental work she clearly had done years earlier.

Investigators searched computer databases across the country, looking for reports of missing women, and decapitated bodies that had been discovered. There was never a match.

According to state police, the University of Illinois’ anthropology department later determined the woman was between 30 to 50 years of age. They also concluded the woman suffered from wryneck, resulting in a leftward tilt of the head. They also found a lesion on her skull, indicating the condition might have been caused by trauma to the head.

If you can help…
Anyone with information that could help identify the victim, should call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 242-2141, or the Illinois State Police at (618) 542-1137.