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Our Unsolved Family Murder of Maggie & Mary Jenkins 

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Old 10-26-2013, 05:17 PM
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Our Unsolved Family Murder of Maggie & Mary Jenkins

Maggie and Mary Jenkins were my Aunts who were murdered a few years before I was born. For a while Ted Bundy was a suspect because he was killing in that same area, but DNA testing ended up eliminating him. They were both redheads though and that didn't really fit his MO.

As of today even, with the DNA sample in the system no match has yet to be found and my family is still left wondering.

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It was spring 1973, when hitchhiking was common practice for young people with somewhere to go and no car to drive there.
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Maggie and Mary Jenkins were sisters, just 18 and 16 years old. The former North Scranton Junior High School students' journey to Key West was supposed to be a carefree break soaking in the Florida sun. The sisters, who had grown up in Scranton, were last seen hitchhiking back to their parents' home in suburban New Jersey.

They never returned, and their deaths remain a mystery.

"The Keys, especially in the 1970s, were very transient," said Detective Mark Coleman of the Monroe County, Fla., Sheriff's Department.

"Two teenage girls, hitchhiking ... you can imagine the dangers."

They were found dead together in an isolated, wooded area of Key Largo on May 3, 1973, about 100 miles from Key West off Route 1, a road that links the scattered coral islands with one another and the mainland.

"They were my best friends," said their older sister, Sarah Jenkins Barlow, in a recent phone interview from her home in Wilmington, Mass. "Every place we went, we went together.

"I wonder what would have happened if I (had gone) with them," said Ms. Barlow, who was 19 when she learned her sisters had been murdered.

Detective Coleman was given the job of trying to piece together the crime, considered a cold case, several years ago.

The sisters were last seen hitchhiking a few miles from Key West, apparently trying to get back home, the detective said.

Flipping through the case file, he learned that Maggie and Mary were shot multiple times and it appeared they had been sexually assaulted. A man walking his dog found their bloodied bodies covered with sticks and leaves.

Last year, investigators armed with the latest technology took a closer look at specks of male DNA found on the sisters' bodies.

"We do have some workable and viable evidence that is being looked at right now," Detective Coleman said, although the DNA is very degraded, making it difficult to link to a suspect.

Scranton roots

Ms. Barlow said their father, Thomas Jenkins,had deep ties to Northeast Pennsylvania, where his father had been coal miner in Lackawanna County.

Due to some rough times for the family during their younger years, Maggie and Mary spent many years living in Scranton, where they were raised by aunts and uncles.

Ms. Barlow remembers visiting her sisters in Scranton, where they would talk the day away about "boys they had crushes on." Mary would show off awards she won in gym class, while Maggie loved horses.

"She used to say she was going to have a farm and have hundreds and hundreds of horses," Ms. Barlow said.

Investigators have struggled to solve the case - which remains open - because of where the sisters were killed and because they were hitchhiking, making them easy targets for random strangers who could easily flee, Detective Coleman said. Because Route 1 is the only highway connecting the Florida Keys, it is very busy with tourist traffic.

In 2007, a suspect from St. Louis voluntarily submitted a sample of his DNA, but it did not match what was found on the girls, Detective Coleman said.

DNA recovered from the sisters' bodies was recently sent to a state crime lab and reviewed by the FBI to see if it could be linked to any convicted serial killers. Ted Bundy, who went on a killing spree of young women in Florida the 1970s, was eliminated as a suspect. So was Christopher Wilder, another serial killer who targeted women in Florida.

As investigators continue to seek answers, so does Ms. Barlow.

"How could someone hurt them?" she still asks herself. "How could someone do that?"

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:43 PM
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Re: Unsolved Family Murder

Pick a name of a scumbag with an MO that is similar:

Oba Chandler springs to mind

And may your Aunties be resting in peace,bless you Rosie

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Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 AM
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Re: Unsolved Family Murder

Awesome post, Rosie. I hope this gets solved in your lifetime.

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Old 01-13-2014, 05:35 AM
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Re: Unsolved Family Murder

Good luck to you, its awful that someone could do that to another person. :-(

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Old 01-15-2014, 05:49 AM
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Re: Unsolved Family Murder

Oba Chandler does sound possible. 2 girls, one killer. Another comes to mind: Bobby Joe Long?

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Old 09-29-2015, 07:23 AM
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Re: Unsolved Family Murder

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Originally Posted by mandragora View Post
Oba Chandler does sound possible. 2 girls, one killer. Another comes to mind: Bobby Joe Long?
OMG, Oba Chandler. That fat somebitch. I beLIEve his last words were before his execution were, Kiss my rosy red ass, or, that's what he initially said he was going to say.
I know he lived in the Tampa St. Pete area, right?
The Rogers wife, mother and two girls was so sad. I felt so bad for their husband and father. He is a super nice guy, honest and very hard working.

Bobby Joe Long, this asshole needs to be executed yesterday. He's been appealing for years. F*&kin coward!
He lived in the Tampa area too. I have always wanted to wipe that smug grin off his ugly mug with a flame thrower but they will not let me.

I know its said these two started killing in the 80's. They are/were at the age where they could have done it, but Chandlers mo was the water and his boat. Hmmm.

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Old 10-10-2015, 01:42 PM
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Re: Our Unsolved Family Murder of Maggie & Mary Jenkins

How about Henry Lee Lucas. He committed some murders in Florida. Or Gerard Schaeffer. I know he was arrested just 4 days after these girls were found, but he still could have done it, and he was known for taking 2 girls at a time. Anyway, so sorry this happened to your family, and I hope it's eventually solved.

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Old 10-13-2015, 08:14 PM
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Re: Our Unsolved Family Murder of Maggie & Mary Jenkins

I too hope this is eventually solved in your life time. I know firsthand the pain of losing someone like this. Thinking of you and your family Rosie.

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Old 10-16-2015, 01:00 PM
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Re: Our Unsolved Family Murder of Maggie & Mary Jenkins


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Old 01-03-2016, 05:01 AM
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Re: Our Unsolved Family Murder of Maggie & Mary Jenkins

That's awful. I hope they find who did this. Forensics keeps getting better. In cases like this sometimes we have to wait for our technology to advance enough to work with the evidence we have. I'm so sorry. I'm sure this is still hard for your family.

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