The 1972 unsolved murder of Vickie Lynn Harrell

Vickie Lynn Harrell was described as a “young, attractive, red-headed divorcee”. She was just 25 years old with a young daughter, Samantha. They lived in

Bloomington, Indiana, with a roommate and she was working at the local K-Mart in the men’s clothing department.

On August 12, 1972, Vickie got into her dark blue 4-door 1965 Plymouth Valiant after her shift at work and drove away.

The next day, Vickie’s roommate became concerned that she never arrived home. She made calls trying to locate Vickie, but it seemed no one had heard from her. That’s when the roommate reported Vickie missing to the Bloomington Police.

The police brushed the report off since Vickie was an adult and could take off whenever she wanted. Because of that there were never any searches done to find Vickie, except the roommate looking for her.

On August 14, 1972, Vickie’s vehicle was found in a parking lot near the College Mall in Bloomington, Indiana. There is no information on if anything was found in the vehicle, such as evidence or signs of a struggle.

Also on that day, which was a day before her 26th birthday, a body was found by a

member of the Owen County Highway Department three miles from Spencer, Indiana.

The body was in a ditch along an access road to McCormick’s Creek State Park.

In a newspaper clipping it reads:

The nude, mutilated body of a young woman, believe to have been sexually assaulted and strangled, was found laying face-down in a water-filled ditch.

It was confirmed to be Vickie Harrell’s body.

Pathologist at the Bloomington Hospital said she was strangled, probably with a rope, and the initials KN were carved on the chest.

According to police, there were no belongings of Vickie’s found at the scene and there were no signs of struggle either. They believe the crime took place elsewhere and she was dumped in the ditch “since a rain storm Saturday night”.

Vickie’s murder quickly faded from the newspapers and the investigation was at a standstill. Owen County had a lot happen that year: the jail caught fire, there was a jail break, and a suicide occurred at the jail. And not to mention, the Sheriff’s Office was understaffed.

Unfortunately, Vickie Lynn Harrell’s murder still remains unsolved.


Newspaper clippings:

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