When Ruth Whitman's body was found on Sand Creek Road in Colonie on the morning of December 8, 1959, she didn't have any form of identification on her. Police gave the media a description of the young woman and where she was found, and local radio stations quickly began broadcasting the gruesome discovery.
Later that afternoon, Ruth's fiance, Nelson Paul, told his boss that he feared the woman found in Colonie was Ruth. Shortly thereafter he was picked up by police and positively identified Ruth.
In this episode, we detail the last moments of Ruth's life. Students at the Cold Case Analysis Center spent hours sifting through the massive case file containing interviews from approximately 500 people, searching for similarities and inconsistencies regarding Ruth's last 24 hours.
We speak to forensic anthropologist Dr. Mercedes Fabien who expands on Ruth's autopsy report while sharing fresh insight on blood evidence found on Ruth's clothes.
Additionally, Colonie Police Investigator Kevin Terry, the Director of the Cold Case Analysis Center Dr. Lane, students from the Center and I travel to the crime scene. The roads surrounding the area have changed, Sand Creek Road has been widened, and buildings have been built along the stretch since Ruth's murder. However, the ditch in which she was found remains much the same.
See original crime scene photos and photos from our visit to the area 60 years later below.
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Photos: Colonie PD & Phoebe LaFave