Detectives looking into the unsolved killing of Ruth Marie Terry, known for years only as "The Lady of the Dunes," are focusing on the woman's relationships — including her last husband, a man who had once drawn FBI scrutiny in another killing, sources told the NBC10 Boston Investigators.
Terry's identity was revealed by the FBI on Monday — until then, she had been the longest-unidentified homicide victim in Massachusetts. The case has taken investigators from the dunes of Cape Cod, where Terry's body was found in the summer of 1974, to Tennessee, California and Michigan.
Terry was born in Tennessee in 1936, and the NBC10 Investigators have learned she married several times. According to a marriage certificate, she exchanged vows with Guy Muldavin in Reno, Nevada, using a different name six months before her body was found.
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Massachusetts State Police on Wednesday evening officially identified Muldavin, who is dead, as a person of interest in the investigation. They gave his name as Guy Rockwell Muldavin, born Oct. 27, 1923, though he also went by Raoul Guy Rockwell and and Guy Muldavin Rockwell.
Terry also went by Teri Marie Vizina, Terry M. Vizina and Teri Shannon, police said.
Anyone with information about either Muldavin or Terry's whereabouts in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and New England from 1973 to 1974 is asked to call police at 1-800-KAPTURE, emailing MSPTips@pol.state.ma.us or by texting 226787
Sources say that Muldavin had a questionable past, making headlines coast to coast. He was the focus of an investigation into the brutal killing of his ex-wife and stepdaughter in Seattle in 1960, but was never charged with their murders.
News reports from the time show that, after the women went missing, human remains were found in the septic tank of the family’s home. Muldavin was arrested by the FBI and charged with unlawful flight for not giving testimony related to the mutilation of human remains. He was later found guilty of grand larceny but had his sentence suspended after 15 months in jail, according to The Seattle Times.
An obituary shows Muldavin died in California in 2002 at the age of 78.
Terry's killing was gruesome — she died of a crushing blow to the head, was nearly decapitated and her hands were severed; authorities believe she was killed several weeks before her body was found in Provincetown.
After 48 years without being identified, investigative genealogy helped investigators figure out who Terry is, according to the FBI.
It’s a case that’s haunted Alyssa Metcalfe her entire life. Her sister Leslie, who has since died, discovered Terry’s body.
"It didn't really feel like we thought there was some murderer in our midst," Metcalfe said. "It just seemed so uncharacteristic for Provincetown that it never occurred to us that the the murderer would have been anything but some transient."
Terry's family says they never stopped searching for her and even hired a private investigator to help.
The FBI released a flyer with pictures of Terry and are asking anyone with information about the case to contact authorities.