Who killed Beverly Jarosz? 1964 Garfield Heights murder remains a mystery

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio - Beverly Jarosz was killed in her Garfield Heights home while on her Christmas break from Marymount High School.

The 16-year-old had a shopping trip planned that afternoon, a shopping trip she didn’t make.

A friend knocked on the door, there was no answer.

“She was normally a reliable person,” said Garfield Heights Police Chief Robert Sackett. “Somebody got a hold of dad at work and dad came home and discovered the pretty bad crime scene.”

Jarosz was brutally stabbed numerous times in her upstairs bedroom of the Thornton Avenue home on Dec. 28, 1964. A piece of rope, used to tie the teen up, was found in the bedroom, but the murder weapon was never found.
There was no sign of forced entry leading to speculation she may have known her murder.

The Cuyahoga County coroner, Sam Gerber, used the media to appeal for tips and to try to calm the nerves of a community shocked by the teen’s murder.

“It was front page news in the newspapers,” Chief Sackett said. “Literally thousands of tips came in.”

Among the tips, people offering their confessions to the crime. All tips were checked but soon the trail for Beverly Jarosz’s murder went cold. Over 50 years, tips have trickled in but nothing to crack the case.

Robert Sackett was a young boy growing up in Garfield Heights when the Jarosz murder occurred. He would join the city’s police force in 1983, rise through its ranks and become its chief.

In 2001, as a detective, he and a colleague looked at advances in forensic science and DNA. Science gave them hope that they could find the killer.

“The coroner’s office still had all the evidence. So there was some preliminary DNA testing done and that didn’t help us out,” Sackett said.

In the years since that testing, science has advanced and testing continues.

The detectives met with the retired lead investigator on case, Bill Horrigan. In 2001, Horrigan talked for hours about the investigation.

“He had opinion on who he thought the suspect was and through the years didn’t have the evidence to prove of disprove it.”

Persons of interest from a murder 50 years ago remain alive.

Beverly’s father passed away in 2012. He lived in the home where his daughter died until the time of his death.
Her mother and sister moved away years ago, still in Ohio; Chief Sackett hopes to someday make a call to them telling the case has been solved.

“Mom and the sister deserve an answer," he said. "We don't have an answer yet and we're not giving up," the chief added.

Jarosz is buried next to her father in Cleveland’s Calvary Cemetery.

Web extra: Video player also contains Bill Jacocks story from Dec.28, 1977.

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