The case of Rachael Runyan is disturbing, and I’ve learned that I should warn readers early on of troubling subject matter especially involving crimes against children. This is that warning.
The very first article I wrote for this blog in February,2017 was about April Marie Tinsley, a little eight-year old girl who was abducted, raped, and murdered in Indiana in 1988. I’ve avoided writing about any cases like this since then as it’s incredibly hard to do. Writing about children that are terrorized and murdered takes something out of you and makes realize just how shitty this world can be; or at least some of the people in it. At the same time, these cases need to be solved and a spotlight shined on the monsters responsible for these horrifying crimes.
Rachael Runyan is another little girl that came face to face with evil and didn’t survive. It’s cases like Rachael’s that make many parents afraid to let their children out of their sight, even if just to play in their yard. On August 26th, 1982 three-year-old Rachael Runyan played outside of her house only about 15 feet away while Rachael’s mother Elaine prepared lunch. Rachael, along with her two older brothers were lucky enough to live right next to a school and playground in the town of Sunset, Utah. The Runyan children took advantage of the location, and enjoyed themselves before dinner. It wasn’t long before a man approached the group of kids and began offering them ice cream and bubble gum. The man was able to gain Rachael’s trust and without warning, grabbed the innocent three-year-old and threw her into his car before speeding away. Rachael’s young brothers watched helplessly. The boys immediately ran in and told their mother what happened, and horrified, she called police. When police arrived, they quickly started the search for little Rachael.
Continue reading “The Heartbreaking Case of little Rachael Runyan”
I’ve long been interested in writing a blog article about the 1992 abduction, rape, and murder Lisa Ziegert, a 24 year old teacher’s assistant. Due to time constraints, I never had the chance to write that article. Maybe it was for the best, because as luck (and dogged determination by Detectives investigating her case)would have it, an arrest has finally been made which adds a much better ending to this article than could have been previously written.
Lisa Ziegert was a young teacher’s assistant at Agawam middle school in Agawam, Massachusetts at the time of her murder. She was a cheerful and well-liked young teacher with a bright future ahead of her. But all of that would end on April 15th, 1992.
Lisa had been working at her second job, a night job, at Brittany’s Card and Gift shop. On the evening of Lisa’s abduction and murder, customers would come into the shop only to find it quiet and empty. No signs of any employees. While the customers found it odd and unusual that the store was empty, there were no obvious signs of foul play, certainly nothing that stood out enough to call the police. The next morning, an employee arriving to start the morning shift at the card shop found Lisa’s car outside of the store, and her belongings inside the unlocked shop. It was at this point that concern was first raised about Lisa and police were summoned.
A police investigation ensued, and police found evidence that Lisa had likely been attacked or assaulted in the back room of the gift shop. Further investigation led to a witness that reported seeing an SUV with two men in it driving erratically with a distressed woman inside. This sighting occurred in the general area where Lisa’s body would be found four days later, on Easter Sunday, April 19th, 1992. Lisa had been raped and stabbed repeatedly, and her body discarded in a stretch of woods on the edge of town. The crime scene did reveal clues, and evidence was collected including DNA, which was still a relatively new tool used in crime fighting.
Continue reading “Justice at last for Lisa Ziegert”