‘Lady Of The Dunes,’ FBI Solves 48-Year-Old Murder Mystery

The women's body – without hands so she couldn't be identified by fingerprints – was first discovered in a Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dune in 1974.
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At a glance

  • The FBI has identified the deceased woman as Ruth Marie Terry, who until know was know to investigators only as the “Lady of the Dunes.”
  • The FBI says he has finally learned of her name and identity through investigative genealogy.
  • “After nearly a half-century of investigative efforts, we have identified the oldest, unidentified homicide victim in Massachusetts,” said FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Joseph Bonavolonta. f”She is Ruth Marie Terry from Tennessee who was just 37 years old at the time of her death.”
  • On July 26, 1974, Terry, 37, was found deceased in the dunes about a mile east of the Race Point Ranger Station in Provincetown.
  • The cause of death was a blow to the head and is estimated to have occurred several weeks prior.
  • Her hands were missing, presumably removed by the killer so she could not be identified through fingerprints and her head was nearly severed from her body.

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