Unraveling a 60-Year-Old Mystery: The Unsolved Murder of Ruth Whitman

When a murder or missing person case remains unsolved, loved ones of the victim become vital to keeping their story alive. But what happens when a family has conflicting memories, when they don't continue to press police?

The body of 18-year-old Ruth Whitman was found face down in a drainage ditch on Sand Creek Road in Colonie on December 8, 1959. She had been severely beaten in the head, with one eye swollen shut and she had a laceration on the back of her head. For 60 years, Ruth's case has remained unsolved.

When we were first introduced to Ruth's case and read through the original case synopsis, it seemed straightforward: a young woman caught up in a lover's quarrel gone wrong fueled by a history of domestic violence. But that straight line of what we thought could have happened to her quickly became a labyrinth of people and theories filled with conflicting information. Working with Colonie Police Investigator Kevin Terry and continuing our partnership with the Cold Case Analysis Center at The College of Saint Rose, Ruth's case will finally get the attention she deserves.

We will detail the events leading up to her death, the statements from those who claim to know her and examine what life was like for a young woman growing up in downtown Albany in the 1950's. We'll explore the way her case was handled and raise questions of what could still be done today, and the possibility that Ruth knew a serial killer not on law enforcement's radar at the time of her death.

Listen Thursday on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are available.

Photo: Whitman Family

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