An unsolved rape and murder in Leonardtown Maryland

PEOPLE

  • THE KILLER
    - injured during the commission of the crime
    - sample of blood on bedsheet did not match the victim. The Enterprise, 12-10-1959
  • A MURDER SUSPECT
    - questioned by four hours by the Sheriff's Office on 12/5/1959 (The Enterprise, 12/10/1959)

    - reported to have scratches on his neck

    - name unknown, no police records can be found

    - "He has not been eliminated as a suspect" - Deputy Sanger, The Enterprise 12-10-1959

    - "We have every reason to believe the killer was injured in the struggle - Lt. Thomas Smith, MSP, The Enterprise 12-10-1959
  • KENNEDY ABELL, JR.
    - cashier at County Trust Bank in Leonardtown

    - takes check order from Ragan the evening of 12/4/1959
  • DR. WILLIAM D. BOYD
    - St. Mary's County Medical Examiner in 1959
  • MARY AGNES BUCKLER
    - wife of Jailer Howard Buckler

    - observes suspicious vehicle driving up the hill from Leonardtown Wharf on 12/5/1959 at 3am
  • DEPUTY BEN BURROUGHS
    - assisted in murder investigation

    - served as elected Sheriff of St. Mary's County 1966-1970

    - died January 2, 2015
  • OLIVE G. CAMALIER
    - neighbor of Henrietta Ragan, reports lights on at the Ragan home at 11pm the night of the murder
  • JUDGE PHILLIP H. DORSEY
    - presided over the March 1960 Grand Jury investigating the Ragan murder
  • JOHN GARDINER
    - brother in law of Ragan

    - last person to see Ragan alive. States he left the victim at 10:30pm. (Medical Examiner places time of death between 10pm and midnight)
  • GRAND JURY, MARCH 1960
    - Philip H. Dorsey, Judge
    Joseph A. Mattingly, States Attorney
    William A. Burch, Foreman

    Jury Members

    Joseph E. Raley
    Pauline D. Adams
    Lawrence L. Cobb
    Samuel B. Davis
    Louis H. Mayor
    Dorothy M. Hayden
    J. Douglas Bowles
    Ann Schneider
    John S. Bean
    Nina O'Brien Baxter
    Thomas Burroughs
    John R. Drury, Sr.
    Robert Bennett
    George W. Merson

    Grand Jury Witnesses (not necessarily for the Ragan murder)

    Curtis Lattimore, Welfare Official
    Ethel Goddard
    Mr. and Mrs. Milton Adams
    Janet Rice
    Julia Calhoun
    Nellie Suite
    Hazel Knott
    Arnedia Redman
    Lt. Thomas Smith
    Dr. William D. Boyd
    members of the Sheriff's Office
  • C.B. GREENWELL
    - St. Mary's County Court Clerk, swears in March 1960 Grand Jury
  • WILLIAM G. HOLLEY, JR.
    - neighbor of Ragan

    - reports suspicious vehicle parked, pointed down the hill, by the Ragan residence, described as a 1955 Ford with light color license plates.
  • VAL HYMES
    - reporter for The Enterprise, writer of all articles on the Ragan murder investigation
  • MICHAEL KRADTZ
    - Crime Lab Tech, Maryland State Police

    -processed Ragan home crime scene
  • CAPT. E.W. MAGAHA
    - Commander of Maryland State Police Bureau of Investigation and Identification

    - reviews case with investigators 12/11/1959
  • MARYLAND STATE POLICE
    - brought into the investigation at the request of the Ragan family.
  • W. CLARKE MATTINGLEY
    - owner of Mattingley Funeral Home where the Ragan viewing is held
  • STATES ATTORNEY JOSEPH A. MATTINGLY, SR.
    - presented the Ragan investigation to the March 1960 Grand Jury
  • SHERIFF ROBERT MIEDZINSKI
    - Sheriff of St. Mary's County in 1959

    - interviews one man Saturday night "with scratches on his neck," but releases him.
  • LT. TRUMAN MOON
    - Maryland State Police, Waldorf Barrack Commander

    - reviews case with investigators 12/15/1959
  • CPL. CARL W. MUCHOW
    - Maryland State Trooper, Waldorf Barrack

    - assisted with the investigation
  • NAVAL INTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATORS
    - assisted with processing the crime scene
  • DR. C.S. PETTY
    - Baltimore Medical Examiner

    - concludes Ragan died by strangulation with evidence of rape. Notes bruises on neck ear and wrist. Discovers gum on Ragan's teeth.

    - places time of death between 10pm and midnight on 12/4/1959
  • HENRIETTA WILMER RAGAN
    - raped and murdered on 12/4/1959

    - buried next to her husband at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Cemetery in Leonardtown
  • MELVIN D. REES, JR.
    - serial killer question in the Ragan case, later eliminated as a suspect. The Enterprise 6-30-1960
  • CAPT E.W. REITH
    - Maryland State Police, Troop A (Waterloo and Waldorf) Commander

    - offers any assistance needed to investigators

    - "If there is anything they need from the outside, it is available." - The Enterprise, 12-17-1959
  • DONALD ROBINSON
    - Crime Lab Tech, Maryland State Police

    -processed Ragan home crime scene
  • DEPUTY GEORGE SANGER
    - assisted in the murder investigation

    - served as elected Sheriff of St. Mary's County 1974-1976.

    - "The wallet is very important to this case. We are extremely interested in recovering the wallet, and any information we receive will be treated confidentially."
  • LT THOMAS S. SMITH
    - Maryland State Police, lead investigator

    - later appointed as Superintendent of Maryland State Police
  • MAURICE THRIFT
    - employer of Henrietta Ragan 1942-1959

    - owner of Thrift Oil, across the street from the Ragan home.

    - tells Sheriff Miedzinski and Deputy Sanger he was in the habit of calling Henrietta when she overslept. She did not answer his call on 12-5-1959 and he went to investigate. Discovers the crime on 12/5/1959
  • CPL BERNARD WEIMER
    - Maryland State Trooper, Waldorf Barrack

    - assisted in fingerprint identification

    - states in the 1-7-1960 Enterprise that 2/3 of the prints taken in the Ragan home have been identified.
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