MA RORY GENE KESINGER: Missing from Plymouth, MA - 27 May 1973 - Age 24

Scorpio

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Rory Gene Kesinger escaped from the Plymouth County Correctional Facility on May 27, 1973

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Scorpio

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Scorpio

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Rory Gene Kesinger was a woman who disappeared in 1973 after breaking out of a Plymouth, Massachusetts jail. She had a lengthy history of drug use and other types of criminal activity. Aliases she used included "Jennifer Marie Lynn," "Linda Lynn Koch," "Penny Susan Johnson," and an alternate spelling of her last name as "Kessinger."

Weeks after being booked at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, Kesinger broke out of custody on May 27, 1973, with the aid of a guard. She had been arrested for the attempted murders of two police officers in Pembroke, Massachusetts. She was initially arrested with members of an organized crime group she belonged to.

Police are suspicious that Kesinger was killed by members of the group following her escape for their own protection, and if she was, her body would have been disposed of locally. One of those arrested with her in 1973 claimed the rumor of Kesinger's murder was true.

Near the end of the 1980s, a possible link to the 1974 Lady of the Dunes case in Provincetown, Massachusetts surfaced. Police considered this a vital lead, and DNA information was collected in the years following. Initial comparison proved inconclusive; a 2002 test eliminated the possible match.
 

Scorpio

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Mystery of `lady of the dunes':
Ebbert, Stephanie Boston Globe [Boston, Mass] 23 Aug 1998

...At 15, she [Rory Kesinger] ran away from home -- police won't say where that home was -- and already had a record in several states when she landed in Massachusetts. She was allegedly a drug user involved in running guns and drugs, tied in with bank-robbing accomplices, police said.

"She was wanted all across the country at that time," said Tobias.

She was only 24, an attractive young woman, when Pembroke Police Lieutenant Willard Boulter came upon her in January 1973. Boulter was assisting Stoughton Police in delivering notice of a traffic violation to a home in Pembroke, when Kesinger and several others scurried out the back door into the woods.

He caught Kesinger when she tripped and fell. The woman, wearing only lingerie, claimed she had just been raped, but when Boulter took her back to the house, she tried to steal his gun.

He pushed her away and led her in the house, and as he called for help, Kesinger turned off the lights and slipped into another room. Boulter flicked on the lights to find Kesinger with a gun in hand.

"I'm sorry, but I have to kill you," she said.

He dove for her, pushed the gun to the side, threw her on the floor, and handcuffed her. "You would just not think that a nice- looking girl like that would kill you in a heartbeat," he said.

Police took Kesinger to the hospital, where she ended up stealing another officer's weapon. "Die, you {expletive} pig," she hollered, aiming at the officer. Again, she was thwarted: He flung up his hand and was able to keep the gun from firing.

She was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder and sent to Plymouth County jail, said Sheriff Peter Forman.

She didn't wait for trial. Sometime between the night of May 26, 1973, and the following morning, she escaped, using a hacksaw blade that someone had smuggled into the jail for her. She went to the window of the laundry room, tied together sheet after sheet, and hacked the bar of the window until she could squeeze herself through. Then she lowered herself to freedom.

Someone must have been waiting for her nearby in a car, Forman said. She was never seen again, but her mark was indelible.

"In the old prison, which is still up, you can still see the cut marks on the bars where she cut out," Forman said...

'Murder in the Dunes:' By K.C. MYERS Cape Cod Times Aug 8, 1998
[Excerpt]

...Kesinger ran with a tough crowd. She had pulled a weapon on a police officer during a bank robbery. She also had been arrested for pulling a gun on a case worker and police officer after being brought to a hospital because she was high on drugs, White said.

Her accomplices in the bank robberies include a man later killed by an FBI agent in a shootout during a bank robbery, White said. Another is serving a prison sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., for bank robbery.

Kesinger's mother, who is almost 80, has not seen her daughter since the girl ran away from home at age 15...
 

Scorpio

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‘Murder in the Dunes’
Posted Aug 8, 1998 at 2:00 AM

Police hope genetic tests will identify the corpse found in 1974.

PROVINCETOWN - One of the most haunting and uncrackable cases in state history may soon be at least partially solved with the help of computer and DNA technologies.

For 24 years, the death of a woman whose decomposed body - minus hands - was found in the Provincetown dunes has remained a bizarre, unsolved crime, a frustration for police, a sensational murder mystery for the public.

This month, the victim may finally be identified, which would pave the way for continuing efforts to track down the killer.

A private detective, Phillip E. White Jr. of Brockton, and Provincetown police Detective Warren Tobias have used an address from a 1974 arrest warrant for the woman believed to be the victim to find the current residence of her mother and brother.

Investigators could use the relatives’ DNA to see if it matches samples from the dead woman’s skull. Then the case - the oldest in the state police Cold Case Unit - will be partially solved. The world will know for sure if Rory Gene Kesinger, a 15-year-old runaway who robbed banks, used five aliases, took hard drugs and escaped from prison, died at age 25 in the Province Lands sand dunes.

“We had very limited information,” White said. “We had an escapee’s name and a general area where the mother used to live. Police had found the general area of the mother. But then they were at a dead end.”

White used all his computer databases to track the mother’s current residence. It took three days. The Provincetown police had been seeking the information since they first got the tip on Kesinger in 1989, he said.

In 1989, then-Provincetown Police Chief James Meads started to suspect Kesinger was their mystery victim. She had escaped from the Plymouth County House of Correction in 1973 and disappeared.

Meads, in a 1990 interview, said Kesinger had the kind of criminal history that made it unlikely she would remain out of sight and not appear in arrest records again.

The body, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8, matched Kesinger’s height. It also was similar in age and hair color, a reddish brown. The decomposed corpse was determined to have been at the scene anywhere from five days to three weeks. Forensic tests put her age between 25 and 35.

Kesinger would have been 25 on July 26, 1974. That’s the day a 13-year-old girl, walking her dog in the dunes near Race Point Beach found the nude body lying face-down on a blanket.

The girl ran the entire mile home. The dead woman’s head was almost completely severed. Her death was the result of a blunt object crushing her skull. But the most difficult part for the police was the fact that her hands had been removed, taking away the possibility of fingerprint identification.

Extensive and costly dental work - she had gold crowns on eight teeth - failed to turn up any matches.

A state police anthropologist in Boston soon will conduct further tests on the skull to try to get a better idea of the victim’s age, said Sgt. Rick Nagle, of the state police Cold Case Unit.

The police may use the DNA of Kesinger’s mother to match that of the skull, Nagle said. But they will attempt other, more simple tests first, he said.

Michael O’Keefe, first assistant district attorney for the Cape and islands, would not comment on specific methods of investigation, or on new clues to the crime. He would only confirm the police are working again on the mystery.

White, president of the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts Inc., said he volunteered to help Tobias find relatives of Kesinger when he heard about the Provincetown Police Department’s 20-year search.

Using databases not available to police departments, White found relatives who could be used to match the DNA.

Tobias, who has led the investigation for many years, refused to comment.

Authorities knew Kesinger escaped from jail in Plymouth, where she was serving time on a charge of assault with intent to murder. She had been incarcerated for four months. Then, White said, someone smuggled a hacksaw blade into the prison, which Kesinger used to cut the lock and the bars of her cell.

The hacksaw marks left by Kesinger are still inside the old prison in Plymouth, he said.

If the victim really is Kesinger, the police may now be able to find her murderer.

There is certainly no shortage of possibilities.

Kesinger ran with a tough crowd. She had pulled a weapon on a police officer during a bank robbery. She also had been arrested for pulling a gun on a case worker and police officer after being brought to a hospital because she was high on drugs, White said.

Her accomplices in the bank robberies include a man later killed by an FBI agent in a shootout during a bank robbery, White said. Another is serving a prison sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., for bank robbery.

Kesinger’s mother, who is almost 80, has not seen her daughter since the girl ran away from home at age 15. After living without her daughter for nearly 30 years, the elderly woman received a call from Massachusetts detectives this year, White said. Now this woman, who White would not identify, may find closure.
 
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Scorpio

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Investigators also followed a lead involving missing criminal Rory Gene Kesinger, who would have been 25 years old at the time of the murder (she broke out of jail in 1973). Authorities saw a resemblance between Kesinger and the victim.[22] However, DNA from Kesinger's mother did not match the victim.[2][14][25]
 

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