The husband of the woman who was killed in Massachusetts in 1974 and dubbed “The Lady of the Dunes”, was revealed by prosecutors on Monday. Her body, which was badly mutilated, was discovered on a Cape Cod Beach. This led to a plethora of theories as to her death.
Ruth Marie Terry (37), a Tennessee woman, was identified as the woman found nude in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on July 26th, 1974. According to the FBI, Terry was identified by investigative genealogy.
Investigators have said that this is the oldest unidentified murder victim in Massachusetts history.
Although identifying Terry was a significant break, authorities said there were still questions. Why was Terry, who was from Tennessee, Michigan, and California, in Massachusetts at the time of her murder?
Investigators from the Massachusetts State Police have learned, since the identification, that Terry Muldavin married Guy Muldavin between 1973 and 1974, according a statement released by Cape and Islands District attorney Robert J. Galibois on Monday. After their wedding, the couple traveled and stopped in Tennessee to visit her family.
The police also discovered that Muldavin had returned from his trip in summer 1974 driving a vehicle that was thought to be hers. He had also told others about the death of his wife, according to prosecutors.
Muldavin and Terry’s brother tried to find Terry’s sister. Muldavin, however, told Terry that “they had a disagreement during their honeymoon and he hadn’t heard from her again”, according to prosecutors.
The statement stated that “Based on an investigation into the death Ms. Terry in 1974, it was determined that Mr. Muldavin is responsible for her death.”
Muldavin was a suspect in the disappearances of his former wife and stepdaughter, both in the Seattle region in the 1960s.
In a flyer about Terry’s death, the FBI said that she likely died of a head injury weeks before her body had been found. The left side of Terry’s skull was crushed. Theflyer stated that no weapon was found on the crime scene.
Terry’s dead body was found on a towel. According to a Provincetown website dedicated exclusively to her case, she lay on the towel’s half, as if it were shared with someone else. The website stated that her body was exhumed back in 2000.
According to the FBI, Terry’s hands had been removed, “presumably by her killer, so that she could not be identified via fingerprints. Her head was also nearly severed from her corpse.”
It was a case that sparked national interest and led to many theories. Terry was an in the movie “Jaws” which was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard during the summer of 1975.
Galibois, the District attorney of Galibois County, expressed his condolences for Terry’s death to Terry’s loved ones.
He said, “Victims will never be forgotten.”