BOSTON — Authorities in Massachusetts, who earlier this week said they had finally identified the “Lady of the Dunes,” the woman whose mutilated body was found on Cape Cod in 1974, are now looking for information about a man she may have married.
The late Guy Rockwell Muldavin is believed to have married Ruth Marie Terry in February 1974, just a few months before the 37-year-old Terry’s body was found in Provincetown, according to a statement Wednesday from state police, Provincetown police and the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the whereabouts of Terry or Muldavin in New England in 1973 or 1974 to contact them.
Muldavin, described as an antiques dealer who also used the names Raoul Guy Rockwell and Guy Muldavin Rockwell, was a suspect in the deaths of a previous wife and a stepdaughter in Seattle in 1960, according to media reports at the time. He was caught in New York City and charged with “unlawful flight.” He died in California in 2002, according to his obituary.
The death of the “Lady of the Dunes” was one of the most enduring and frustrating murder mysteries in Massachusetts.
A young girl out for a walk found the body in the dunes in Provincetown in July 1974. The woman was naked on a beach blanket with her hands severed — so she could not be identified by her fingerprints, officials said. Her skull was crushed and she was nearly decapitated. The cause of death was determined to be a blow to the head and authorities believe she was killed several weeks before her body was found.
Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said at a news conference Monday that Terry, who was originally from Tennessee, was identified using investigative genealogy, the use of DNA analysis in combination with traditional genealogy research and historical records.
Terry, whose aliases include Teri Marie Vizina, Terry M. Vizina and Teri Shannon, also had ties to Michigan and California, authorities said.
Authorities for decades tried to identify her by exhuming her remains, performing clay model facial reconstruction, and releasing age-regression drawings of her face. Investigators had long said she had long red or auburn hair and that they believed she was somewhere between 20 to 40 years old.
They said Monday that the next step is identifying her killer.