How does a well-liked, 19-year-old, small town girl wind up dead in a Columbus garage? Unfortunately, even after nearly 60 years, no one knows.
The lifeless body of Mary Margaret “Peggy” Andrews was found in a garage near the Ohio State campus on September 20, 1962. She was shot three times in the face and—judging by the condition of her clothing when investigators arrived—sexually assaulted.
Peggy moved out of her parents’ home almost immediately after graduating from her Catholic high school near Steubenville, Ohio in 1961. Along with two other young women, Peggy lived in a boarding house on 18th Avenue near Buckeye Donuts. She enrolled in night classes at the Columbus Business University (now Bradford School) and worked full time as an accountant’s secretary.
She was smart, well-liked, and deeply religious. People close to her described her as “carefree” and “lighthearted,” reports Columbus Monthly.
It was a Thursday at 5:00 PM when Peggy left her downtown workplace before heading to class. She met up with her two roommates, Carol Maxwell and Carol Eick, and two male classmates outside her office. Typically, Peggy would’ve taken the bus with her roommates, but she wasn’t feeling well that day. Instead, she caught a ride with her friend and classmate Ron Negutt to avoid the uncomfortable bus commute.
He pulled up to Peggy’s boarding house and watch her walk to her door under the streetlamp light. Negutt took off before she had gotten inside, eager to meet his buddies at the 7-11 Club. He arrived at the bar around 9:30 PM, reports Columbus Monthly.
This was also the time Maxwell and Eick say they arrived back at the boarding house. Both women, along with the housemothers, waited for Peggy’s signature high-heeled entrance through the back door, but she never came.
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Meanwhile, Columbus Business University student Gary Ontko was moving into his new apartment on Woodruff Avenue. Around 11:30 PM, Ontko volunteered to help out his roommate who had forgotten to roll up his car windows.
He approached the garage cautiously as he was new to his surroundings. As he grew closer, that’s when he saw them: a pair of human legs illuminating in the moonlight.
Peggy’s purse contents were strewn about, her long red coat was covered in dirt, but the small black bow remained pinned to her curly brown hair. Her school books were discovered neatly stacked on the ground behind her boarding house.
Everybody in Peggy’s life, including Negutt who was the last known person to see her alive, were cleared as suspects. Police expanded their search to registered sex offenders in the area, which garnered a possible link. A .22-caliber pistol found in a university district drain spout in 1963 supported the link, but did not cement it.
Another break in the case occurred decades later in 2000. Forensic scientists extracted DNA from a stain on the back of Peggy’s shirt and tested it against DNA samples obtained at local, state, and federal crime scenes. The tests garnered no results.
This stain just may be the key that unlocks the entire mystery. Now, if they could only find a match.
Anyone with additional information or questions regarding this case should submit a tip.
Jeffrey Epstein, a 66-year-old millionaire financier and registered sex offender, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking dozens of minors between 2002 and 2005. According to The Daily Beast, one of Epstein’s accusers is claiming to have been assaulted in the home of local billionaire Leslie Wexner.
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In April, a woman came forward accusing Epstein of sexually assaulting her in a New York mansion in the 1990s. Wexner purchased the property at 9 East 71st Street for $13 million in 1989. The Cut reports Wexner “turned over” the mansion to Epstein in 1995, but he didn’t claim public ownership of it until 1996. Property records show that the deed wasn’t officially transferred to Epstein until December 2011, though, reports Vox.com.
Wexner, whose net worth of $4.7 billion makes him the richest man in the state of Ohio, is Epstein’s only known client, according to The Daily Beast. Wexner hired Epstein to manage his multi-billion-dollar fortune in 1987, reports The Observer.
The Wexner family has yet to make a statement publicly, but L Brand shares tumbled by more than four percent on Tuesday, just days after Epstein’s arrest.
The search continues for a thief who made off with an undisclosed amount of cash from Park Street Tavern Sunday morning.
According to Columbus police, a man forced his way into the 501 North Park Street bar around 10:50 AM Sunday. Unable to get inside the registers, the suspect waited inside the building until an employee arrived.
The employee complied with the suspect’s demands for money, according to NBC4i. The man left Park Street Tavern on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.
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The suspect is described as a black man, 25-40 years old, approximately 6-feet tall with a heavy build and should-length dreadlocks pulled back into a loose ponytail. He was wearing a black jersey.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Columbus Police Robbery Unit at 614-645-4665.