Date of Discovery: October 22, 1980
Location of Discovery: Nye County, Nevada
Estimated Date of Death: Unknown
State of Remains: Unknown
Cause of Death: Homicide from four gunshot wounds, two to either side of the head (.22 caliber type weapon).
Estimated Age: Adult
Height: 5'4" to 5'6"
Weight: 140-150 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown
Clothing: Green and white floral-type shirt, green slacks, brown Florsheim shoes (size 7D), and brown socks.
Jewelry: A gold chain with a medallion inscribed with ".98". The value of the medallion and necklace were estimated between $400.00 and $700.00. The medallion appeared to be a custom piece of jewelry made with poor to medium quality craftsmanship. During this time frame, Rip Taylor hosted a game show titled the "$1.98 Beauty Contest". Efforts to link the homicide to the game show have been unsuccessful.
Additional Personal Items: Unknown
The victim's decomposed remains were discovered in an area approximately one hour north of Las Vegas, 9/10 of a mile east of Highway 95 on a dirt road 60 mile south of Tonopah, near Beatty.
As part of the original investigation, the necklace and medallion were taken to numerous jewelers without success in identifying the designer. In 1981, Chuck Barris Productions, who produced the $1.98 Beauty Contest was contacted. The necklace was not recognized and investigators were referred to Milt Suchin who was the agent for Rip Taylor. Rip Taylor hosted the $1.98 Beauty Contest show. Milt Suchin stated that there were no promotional materials given away as part of the show which would resemble the medallion. Suchin referred investigators to Taylor.
Investigators met with Rip Taylor who was performing at the Las Vegas Flamingo Hilton. Taylor stated he had not seen the medallion prior to this night. Taylor does not recall anyone else giving away promotional materials such as the medallion, e.g., Chuck Barris Productions, Milt Suchin. Taylor stated that he does not know of anyone who would have been into making jewelry, such as the medallion, to say that someone associated with the show may have been an amateur jeweler.
The Jeweler's Security Alliance is a nonprofit organization working in crime prevention with jewelers throughout the nation. They agreed to publish a photograph of the necklace in their monthly newsletter and to attempt to get national trade magazines such as Modern Jeweler and National Jeweler to also publish the case. No leads were generated as a result of these efforts.
The case was submitted to the FBI Intel Unit based in Las Vegas to determine if there might have been ties to organized crime. The inquiry met with negative results.
Agency Name: Nevada Department of Public Safety
Agency Contact Person: Detective Greg Prestipino
Agency Phone Number: 775-684-7430
Agency E-Mail: gprestipino(at)dps.state.nv.us
Agency Case Number: C-80-207
NCIC Case Number: U965482009
NamUs Case Number: Not listed
Nevada Department of Public Safety
Added: Prior to 2011; Last Updated: 1/13/16
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** Listed information may be estimated.