Massachusetts authorities have finally closed the case of the "Lady of the Dunes," identifying Ruth Marie Terry as the victim and determining that her husband, Guy Muldavin, was responsible for her murder in 1974. The gruesome discovery of Terry's mutilated body in the dunes near Race Point Road in Provincetown shook the state nearly 50 years ago, but it was only in October of this year that she was officially identified.
Terry's cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the skull, and the violent nature of her murder made it difficult for authorities to identify her for decades. The killer had gone to great lengths to conceal their identity, removing Terry's hands and almost severing her head from her body. However, advancements in DNA testing allowed investigators to finally link her remains to her family in Tennessee.
Massachusetts State Police took over the investigation upon the identification of Terry's remains, and their efforts revealed a troubling history surrounding her husband, Guy Muldavin. Detectives discovered that Terry and Muldavin had been married in either 1973 or 1974 and had gone on a honeymoon together. Upon their return, Muldavin began driving Terry's car and telling witnesses that she had died. Terry's family, however, stated that Muldavin had only mentioned having a fight with her during their honeymoon and claimed to have not heard from her again.
The case took an even more sinister turn when investigators unearthed Muldavin's connection to the deaths of his previous wife and stepdaughter in Seattle in 1960. The suspicions surrounding Muldavin deepened, and the pieces of the puzzle began to come together, pointing towards him as the prime suspect in Terry's murder as well.
Finally, on Monday, the Cape and Islands district attorney, Robert Galibois, officially announced that Ruth Marie Terry's husband, Guy Muldavin, was responsible for her death in 1974. The case, which had remained one of Massachusetts' most infamous cold cases, had finally reached its conclusion. Terry, who was 37 years old at the time of her death, was revealed to be a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, and mother, with her tragic fate haunting her family for decades.
The closure of the case brings a sense of justice to Terry's loved ones, even though Muldavin himself passed away in 2002, escaping any legal consequences for his alleged crimes. Nevertheless, the conclusion of the investigation into the "Lady of the Dunes" reminds us of the importance of relentless pursuit of justice and the power of new technologies in bringing closure to long-unresolved cases.
themes: Seattle Massachusetts Tennessee Washington (state)