The victim of a gruesome murder has finally been identified by cops – almost five decades after her lifeless corpse was discovered on a beach with its hands hacked off.
Tragic Ruth Marie Terry had been found by a young girl who was walking her dog in in Princetown on July 26, 1974.
Ruth, who was aged 37 when she was butchered with a fatal blow to her head before her killer sexually assaulted her and tried to cut her head off, was named as Massachusetts' longest-unidentified homicide victim.
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The heinous killing may have taken place weeks before her body was found, investigators said, as there was no sign of a struggle near or on the body.
FBI officials formally named her as the ‘Lady of the Dunes’ – her nickname during the horrendous case – on what would have been her 86th birthday on October 31.
Top cop Joseph Bonavolonta, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, toldthe Boston Globe: "This is without a doubt a major break in the investigation that will hopefully bring all of us closer to identifying the killer.
"It was a brutal death, and for the last 48 years, investigators with the Massachusetts State Police and Provincetown Police Department have worked tirelessly to identify her through various means.
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"We also realise that while we have identified Ruth as the victim of this horrific murder, it does not ease the pain for her family. Nothing can.
“But hopefully it answers some questions while we continue to look for her killer."
Ruth, who was married with a kid, was identified formally after a combination of DNA analysis and a search of historical records.
Sadly, no arrests have been made at any point throughout the investigation with local District Attorney Michael O’Keefe admitting the possibility the evil killer may have died without being brought to justice.
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