Murder in Amish Country; the case of Lindy Sue Biechler

 

This article is a reprint of a Guest-Blog article that I wrote for the late true crime writer, Michelle McNamara’s site TrueCrimeDiary.com

(If you have not explored Michelle’s wonderful true crime articles, be sure to check out her site TrueCrimeDiary.com while it’s still up)

Over the years, I have corresponded quite a bit with Lindy’s family, so her case is one that is very important to me. Here’s the article as it appeared on TrueCrimeDiary.com-

 

 

Lindy

Date Published 05.26.13

Guest blogger Mike Morford operates the website zodiackillersite.com.  He lives in New Jersey.

 

The words are as chilling now as they were when they were first committed to paper in 1976.

“hi sheeler (Police Chief Sheeler)

Just Eats up your heart knowing you havn’t caught me yet, still around, Lindy’s marker on her grave just turned me on like she did, and the way she looked all bloody, like the paint on her Marker, the scratch and nick marks represent the knife stabes.

Count them.

you wondered if the guy at the gas station in Mountville were related to Biechlers murder. forget it man, no way.

I’ll tell you what Chief Pig, you print this Letter in the paper along with a Picture in Friday nights Lancaster Paper and saturday mornings paper, and I might confesss When I get off my trip. You see the world owes me a living, maybe I give you a few hints who I am.

got busted once for Drugs a few years back

Live in West end of Lancaster Suburbs

I am 5’10” tall 205 LBS fat and Beautiful

and capable of killing again without knowing it

Dec. 5, 1975 was under the stupor of amfetamines Like right know.

Well educated man in the Community, single, good job but god please chief help me I am loosing my mind help me before I kill again, the headaches kill me Every time it aches, the Drugs only Calm it temporarily.

Will god forgive me ———

Please print this Chief in the paper so I know you got it. v then I write you again, god I need a priest what have I done.

Help me please

P.S. chief sheeler my friend has confess to the killing of Lindy Sue biechler, as god is my withness Do as he asks, print this letter on the front page, I am not aware of his intentions right now but contemplating murder is not his intentions, he is mentally sick. When the letter appears, then he will turn himself in, he described the relationship he and Lindy had before he killed her. He only realizes it now when your on Drugs your not responsible for your actions. Please he is asleep now. That’s why I finished the letter. All I can tell you my friend frequents manor shopping center in the Evenings and the fields around it. Mostly weeknights. He will contact you very soon and oh when he Does please bring a Catholic priest to the police station. Janice Crum”

 

 

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These are the contents of a letter sent to police in the case of a young murder victim in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area back in 1976.  The murder of Lindy Sue Biechler was a shock to the quiet and  peaceful neighborhood near Amish country, and left a family devastated.  Did Lindy’s killer write the letter? We may never know. The writer attempted to open up a line of communication with the police, but they did not respond. I discovered this case while researching the Zodiac Killer, and was amazed at how much this letter read as if it was written by the Zodiac himself, including some of the very same spelling errors, words, and phrases. Most interesting of all was that the writer wanted his letter published in the “Friday paper,” just as Zodiac had requested when he first wrote to police in 1969. As I researched the case from the angle of determining if it might be a Zodiac murder, I soon realized that such a task might not be possible to complete; however, I quickly realized how fascinating the case was no matter whom the killer might turn out to be.

Lindy was a young wife and floral shop worker when she was murdered on December 5, 1975.  In the weeks leading up to her death, she reported to her family that she felt she was being stalked, and said that she had seen somebody peeking through the sliding glass doors of her apartment.  It became so unnerving for her that she did not want to be home alone. On the night of her murder, she ran errands and returned to her apartment to wait for her husband to come home from work. She arrived home at about 7:15 pm, and carried some groceries into her apartment.  Some relatives decided to go over and sit with her until her husband came home from work, and arrived at her apartment at about 8:40 pm. They couldn’t possibly be prepared for what awaited them.

When they entered the apartment, they discovered Lindy’s lifeless body on her kitchen floor. She had been stabbed several times, and there was a knife still embedded in her neck. Investigators would discover that the knife in Lindy’s neck was a knife that belonged to her from her own kitchen, but that a second knife was used in the attack as well, one that was not found at the crime scene and presumably was brought to and from the scene by her killer. Although police believed the attack was sexual in nature, there was no evidence of rape, or robbery. Police were quickly stumped. They had no real strong suspects at the time, and the case would quickly go cold. Until about a year later.

 

 

On, or around, the one-year anniversary of Lindy’s murder, her gravestone was vandalized. Somebody spilled red paint all over it, and using a sharp instrument, possibly a knife, slashed and chipped at the stone leaving several marks. Was this a cruel prank, or had Lindy’s killer paid a visit to her final resting place to relive the murder in some way? Then, weeks later, the anonymous letter was sent to police.

The letter was a mix of hand printed and cursive writing. It was written in two parts, one part from somebody that claimed to be the actual killer, and the second part from somebody that claimed to be a friend of the killer, a “Janice Crum.” Police believe that the same person wrote both parts of the letter, and they never found a woman by that name that could be connected to Lindy’s case.   Did Lindy’s killer send the letter, or was this a cruel prank? The writer wanted it published in the local paper, but police decided against it, and never again heard from the letter’s author. Many people, myself included, feel that the police very possibly missed a golden opportunity to open up a line of communication with the killer, which may have eventually lead to clues that might have resulted in the identity of the writer being discovered, or in Lindy’s case being solved.

The case officially went cold, and remains so today. Over the years however, there were some twists and turns in Lindy’s case. Both police and Lindy’s family developed suspects. They ranged from a hospital worker that used to go in to the flower shop where Lindy worked, to a man who had dated Lindy’s mother, and even one of the investigators handling Lindy’s case.  In addition, the lab in charge of the evidence in Lindy’s case lost the original letter sent by the unknown author. It seems as if frustration and missed chances were around every turn.  Today, this case is as cold as ever. Along the way, Lindy’s mother passed away, never finding justice for her daughter. Lindy’s brother started a now defunct website to draw attention to Lindy’s story, and even erected a billboard asking for help or tips. Almost forty years later, Lindy’s case does not appear any closer to being solved, but the quest to find justice for her remains very much alive, as does the memory of Lindy Sue Biechler .

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Murder in Amish Country; the case of Lindy Sue Biechler”

  1. How big, generally based on body types, is a 5’10 205lb man?

    I’m shorter, the same weight, and I’m fat but a “small fat”. If the stats are true I would assume it was a woman writing it.

    However, this note points directly to the Gas Station attendant imo.

    1. The note strongly suggest cops should leave the guy alone.

    2. This might be a long shot but Sybil was published in 73, two years before the murder. I haven’t read it in a long time but I believe all the different personalities had different appearances.

    A Sybil TV mini series came out the same year the cops received the letter. I didn’t see what month the letter was received.

    I could see someone faking DID in the letter to throw off the scent even more.

    I have a hard time imagining most women at 5’10 205 looking heavier than I am. This makes me think random details were added to further throw the cops off.

    1. Thanks for this reply. Your analysis is interesting trying to direct attention away from the gas station guy (or maybe using reverse psychology and trying direct it to him)Also, that Sybil point is interesting. Some good points to think on

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