List of cold cases

May 23, 2004

The following are the 10 unsolved homicide cases in Washington County. Dates indicate when bodies were found.

June 11, 1975

Three fishermen found the badly decomposed body of John William Clark, 17, of northwest Washington, D.C., floating in the Potomac River about 40 feet from the West Virginia shore, two miles east of U.S. 522.

According to published reports, Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class R.D. Brown said the man had been "shot once in the chest and once in the back. It's definitely not suicide."

According to published reports, his body had been in the water for more than five days.

Maryland State Police Sgt. Steve Ganley said Clark left the Washington area with an unidentified person. Links to his murder never were made, although many tips surfaced during the investigation.


Dec. 23, 1978

With several rings on her fingers and a blue coat by her side, the body of Lisa Ann Ryder, 16, was found with two gunshot wounds to her head in a ravine off Md. 65 near Antietam National Battlefield. She was naked from the waist down.

Ryder's blue jeans were found more than two miles from where her body was found, according to published reports.

Ganley said the girl last had been seen at her mother's Alexandria, Va., home on Dec. 21, 1978.

March 13, 1979

Nearly three years after she graduated from Clear Spring High School, the body of Goldie Elizabeth Fritz, 20, was pulled from the Potomac River west of Indian Springs.

Ganley said that before her drowning, Fritz had been with her boyfriend. Ganley said the boyfriend told police that while the two were hanging out on the banks of the Potomac River in a remote area near Hancock, they were accosted by a man with a gun. The boyfriend told police he was ordered to swim across the Potomac River, and once he made it to the West Virginia shore, he called authorities there.

According to the boyfriend, Fritz was forced at gunpoint to walk to the river's edge, Ganley said.

Ganley said the boyfriend said he heard two shots after he made it to shore. The man since has moved to Colorado, Ganley said. But Fritz, Ganley said, died from drowning.

April 14, 1984

Loraine Zimmerman, 15, wearing a South Hagerstown High School embroidered varsity jacket, left her aunt's house in downtown Hagerstown on April 6, 1984, after playing with her aunt's 14 cats. She was seen walking in the areas of East Franklin Street and North Cannon Avenue.

Her body, hidden under large pieces of cardboard weighted down by rocks, was found eight days later, 3.6 miles south of Boonsboro and about 70 yards south of Reno Monument Road, Ganley said. She had been strangled, raped and beaten.

A search team combed the area just after her body was found and looked for a weapon, the girl's sneakers and school supplies.

According to published reports 10 years after Zimmerman's death, retired Maryland State Police Sgt. Keith Wattenshaidt said the investigation never turned up any solid leads. In an attempt to solve the case, Wattenshaidt appeared in 1988 with nationally known psychic Dorothy Allison on "Unsolved Mysteries," according to published reports.

July 20, 1987

The blood-covered body of Sherry Ann Knapp, 24, was found by her mother shortly after noon on the first floor of her West Franklin Street apartment. Her baby was found alive in its crib upstairs, and was thought to be in the apartment when Knapp was killed,

Hagerstown Police Department Lt. Richard Johnson said Knapp was stabbed to death.

Johnson said "there were some persons of interest, but there was never sufficient evidence to bring charges."

July 1, 1989

Charles Thomas Hopkins, 65, was found shot to death at about 4:30 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of 157 S. Prospect St.

Hopkins, who told neighbors he worked for the U.S. Navy, had for 11 months rented an apartment just down the street from where his body was found, according to published reports at the time.

County Medical Examiner Dr. Edward W. Ditto III said Hopkins was shot at least four times in his upper body and died instantly, according to published reports.

Dec. 30, 1993

Mildred Wagoner, 35, was found on her bed, dead from a gunshot wound to her head at her home at 2401 Dargan School Road.

One of Wagoner's children found a .22-caliber handgun with one spent round and put it on the nightstand next to the bed. Another child put the gun in the nightstand's drawer, Ganley said.

He said Wagoner had been in an argument earlier in the day with family members and "no one was willing to write this off as a suicide."

There was not enough evidence to show whether it was a suicide or a homicide, he said.

March 9, 1998

Clara Elizabeth Miller, 19, was being sought on an accessory after the fact charge in connection with the beating that resulted in the death of a Greencastle, Pa., man when her badly decomposed body was found by a Conrail worker in a wooded area on the west side of the 900 block of South Burhans Boulevard.

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