Lady of the dunes

The Lady of the Dunes Finally Has a Proper Grave Marker

Ruth Marie Terry was only known as an unidentified female discovered in Provincetown's Race Point Dunes until this October

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A photo and name have been officially added to the grave of the Lady of the Dunes in Provincetown Monday, after almost five decades of mystery.

The body of Ruth Marie Terry was found in the Race Point Dunes in 1974. She remained unidentified until this October.

Now, her family has had a grave marker made and sent it to St. Peter’s Cemetery to have it added to her burial site.

Investigators are eyeing Terry's now deceased husband in her murder.  Her son and the Terry family also took out this ad in the local Provincetown newspaper thanking the community and law enforcement for their support and for never forgetting Ruth.

newspaper thank you ad

"A horrible thing happened to my mom in a beautiful place. She was a beautiful person and I wish I could have gotten to know her," Richard Hanchett, Terry's son, told NBC10 Boston in an exclusive interview.

Terry's family described her as a "free spirit" looking for something more than the country life offered to her in Whitwell, Tennessee where she was born.

Family members recall Ruth Marie Terry, killed in 1974 but not identified until this week.

For decades the Terry family never knew what happened to her. But this October, DNA and investigative genealogy led to a match between her family, her son, and her remains.

Ruth Terry married Guy Muldavin in 1974 just months before she was killed. The couple also visited the Terry family in Tennessee that year.  Muldavin who is now deceased is being eyed in her murder.  He’s a man with a dark past who was also a suspect in the mutilation deaths of his previous wife and stepdaughter in Seattle in 1960 but was never charged with murder.

According to the Terry family, Muldavin traveled back to Tennessee in the late summer of 1974 to tell them Ruth was missing.  

“He was so blunt and just said he didn’t know where she was and all that but he didn’t stay very long,” said Jan Terry, her sister-in-law said.

The late Guy Muldavin published a twisted book after the murder of Ruth Marie Terry, known for decades only as the Lady of the Dunes after her body was found in Provincetown in 1974.

Despite the horrific outcome of this case, Ruth’s family is grateful that she was never forgotten. The investigation into her murder is ongoing. 

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