Cold Case

By: Alan Joes
By: Alan Joes

A mystery story is always exciting to let it unfold to its conclusion, often taking the reader places not expected. An unsolved murder is also a mystery, but for the families of the victims, there's little excitement, only sorrow. The family of Rosemary Peterson is feeling that sorrow even now, 25 years after her murder.

The headline says it all "Police Hunt Slasher in Killing." Twenty-three-year old Rosemary Peterson was tied to her bed, cut and stabbed repeatedly, and left to die in the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Willard Colwell, Jr. It was Dec. 5, 1979. Neighbors heard noises in their Edelweiss Road duplex.

Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro with the Rockford Police Department says, "Actually, the neighbors had called out to them as they heard an argument, said what's going on in there? A male voice said Rose and I are just having an argument. The neighbors called the police. By the time the police got there the suspect had fled and they found Rosemary Peterson who was severely injured."

Police even believe they might have spoken to the killer while they surveyed the crime scene.

Iasparro says, "Apparently, to check to see what was going on there. He gave a false name. We were never able to identify who the caller was. We believe the caller very well could have been the killer and talked to the officers on the scene at that time."

Rosemary was alive when taken to St Anthony Medical Center, but she lapsed into a coma and died the next day. Rosemary's friends tell 23 News she was a very social person and dated quite a bit, so police interviewed numerous suspects and eventually whittled down the list, but were unable to pin the grisly killing on anyone.

Rosemary Peterson rests in peace, but having her killer run free brings nothing to her family.


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