Katherine Kolodziej Unsolved Murder

SCHOHARIE, NY — Police investigators are looking for new leads in a nearly 25-year-old murder case — Schoharie County’s oldest unsolved homicide.

Katherine Kolodziej was a 17-year-old freshman at the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill when she disappeared the night of Nov. 2, 1974. She left her friends at a Cobleskill bar and wasn’t heard from again.

On Nov. 28 of that year, her body was found five miles away in a Richmondville field. She was naked from the waist down and had been stabbed repeatedly in the back.

After years of fruitless investigation, police held a press conference Wednesday in Schoharie in an attempt to drum up new leads and finally solve Kolodziej’s murder.

“The purpose of this is to heighten awareness of what occurred, hopefully to develop the one lead that would break this case,” said Maj. Bart Johnson, Troop G commander. “This also reinforces the fact that (unsolved) homicide cases never close.”

Since Kolodziej’s death, more than 3,000 people have been interviewed, Johnson said, including the entire student body of Cobleskill Tech. The initial investigation revealed the following:

On the night of Nov. 2, at about 1:30 a.m., Kolodziej left a Main Street bar called the Vault (no longer in existence).

Partway between the bar and the campus, an elderly woman looking out a second-story window observed a woman matching Kolodziej’s description climb into the passenger side of a yellow Volkswagen Beetle.

About 15 minutes later, a delivery man at Agway near the campus saw a yellow Volkswagen Beetle in the parking lot and heard a woman yelling inside.

Police conducted a nationwide search of cars matching the description, but found nothing.

“We’ve been unable to identify the yellow Volkswagen or even that those events did take place,” Johnson said.

Soon after her disappearance, police were notified that a shoe matching a description of one belonging to Kolodziej’s was found on McDonald Road in Richmondville. On Nov. 28, 1974, police found Kolodziej’s body a half-mile from the shoe, in a field, on a low stone wall lined with trees and bushes.

“She was right on top of the rock wall,” said Investigator Peter Scotti.

No murder weapon was recovered, but police said she had been stabbed repeatedly with several different types of knives. Her wounds were in the back, back of her neck, and shoulders.

Police would not comment whether Kolodziej had been sexually assaulted. But police have DNA evidence of an unspecified type.

Serial killers such as Theodore “Ted” Bundy and Louis Lent were even interviewed in connection with Kolodziej’s death.

“It was determined they were not responsible and had nothing to do with the disappearance or homicide,” Johnson said.

Senior Investigator Michael Guiry said friends described Kolodziej, a Ronkonkoma native, as friendly and popular.

“I would say she was just an average 17-year-old girl,” he said. “She seemed to be happy-go-lucky.”

Her parents, Edward and Hedwig, still live on Long Island. The renewed push to solve the murder has raised painful emotions with her mother, Guiry said.

“Her father, his attitude was, it’s been 25 years. Forget about solving it. It’s not going to happen,” Guiry said. “But they’re 100 percent behind this.”

I submitted this article to A & E’s Cold Case File.  Maybe they will investigate.  I went to Connetquot High School  with Kathy.  I didn’t know her well but my friend, Ramona did.  Ramona would visit Kathy’s parents.  They lived a few blocks from me.  Her mother always had roses growing along the fence and in the yard.  I think one or both of her parents may still be alive.

Kevin K. Singer
Staff Writer

The Daily Star

Thank you to all who have posted comments and memories. If any one has information regarding Kathy’s murder, or perhaps you were one of the students who was never interviewed, but have information, please contact the New York State Police as noted, below.

Additional Information
Incident: On November 2, 1974, seventeen year old Katherine Kolodziej of Ronkonkoma, NY was reported missing from the campus of the State University of New York at Cobleskill. She was in her freshman year at this college, and lived on campus. She was found murdered, on November 28, 1974. Investigation revealed that she was last seen leaving the Vault Tavern on Main Street in Cobleskill, NY.
Last Seen: Date: 11/02/1974
Location: Vault Tavern, Main St., Cobleskill, N.Y.
If you have any information, please call: 

Agency: New York State Police
Address: Troop G, SP Princetown
Phone: (518) 630-1700
Agency: New York State Police
Address: Troop G, Major Crimes Unit
Phone: (518) 783-3211
or e-mail the information to:
Please include your
name, address and
telephone number.



Author: radioactv915

Triage is derived from the French trier, meaning “to sort.” Triage is a brief clinical assessment. A system used to allocate a scarce commodity only to those capable of deriving the greatest benefit from it. Click to zoom in on my visitor map!

91 thoughts on “Katherine Kolodziej Unsolved Murder”

  1. What creeps me out are the little kids, now grown up, who may know something and who are afraid to come forward. If a person saw or heard something as a five or ten year old, they would be in their 30’s or 40’s now… think about it. Who knows something, and is too afraid to tell? I’m SURE there is someone…

    1. “Please don’t” mad a good point. We can only hope that someone will come forward with information. You never know where one piece of information could possibly lead.

  2. “Soon after her disappearance, police were notified that a shoe matching a description of one belonging to Kolodziej’s was found on McDonald Road in Richmondville. On Nov. 28, 1974, police found Kolodziej’s body a half-mile from the shoe, in a field, on a low stone wall lined with trees and bushes.”

    Someone noticed a shoe on the side of the road, and then phoned it into police? This seems highly suspect, and makes me wonder “who” made this phone call.

    One of the poster’s also commented about a VW Beetle, but in fact, many of the smaller 1970’s cars – at a quick glance – could be wrongfully identified as a Beetle. In particular, the 1970’s Honda Civic could easily be mistaken for a VW bug, especially at night and when viewed from behind…

    1. Responding to CSK’s comment on ‘who may have called in the shoe sighting’, I have made this comment before, but my gut still says the murderer was someone that was local (or still is) — there are too many inconsistencies suggesting that it was purely a random transient killer — the way her body was carefully laid on the stone wall with her red coat covering her, the apparent delay in time from when she was abducted and when she was murdered and her body placed on the wall, the back-road location in relation to downtown Cobleskill, her shoes nearby on the roadside, etc… Someone out there must know something more than they are telling…?

    2. I agree. Time passes and memories fade but I believe someone saw something, intuited something, or has not linked what they know to what happened to Kathy.

  3. I was also a friend of Reggie Reynolds and I found out just this moment that her murderer had been found. I lived with pain and guilt for years after her death and it changed me forever. Reggie and I were in Sidney Center water coloring just weeks before her death. We had a wonderful day listening to music, painting and discussing college. I was still in H.S. and she was telling me how much I would enjoy college. In the middle of our conversation she suddenly said, ” I don’t know how I am going to get back to Morrisville”. I retorted with a quick response, “hitchhike”. Several weeks later I heard the news and I became a tormented soul.
    I saw the news maybe a week or two after her disappearance and they reported a white van had picked her up hitchhiking. After that there were no further news articles about the white van. She had vanished. It was then reported her body was found, slain. At 16 I could not handle the burden of her death. There was not grief counseling offered back then and this burden became buried deep inside.
    I always felt heartache for her family.
    Today, I felt a big sense of relief. Reggie was an interesting, fun and kind individual. Our friendship had blossomed. I will always remember her.
    I hope that the family members and friends of Kathy and the other homicide victims will one day have relief too.
    I do think about the family of Sigsbee. What a horrible thing for a wife, children, siblings, grandchildren,friends and customers to live with. It is not their fault. I hope they do not bury shame in their hearts.
    Several years later I went through another unsolved murder. The murder of Jack. I hope one day this will be solved too.

    1. If you would like to talk to me about the other unsolved murder please contact me. It is so hard to lose someone we care about, but even harder when it is the result of senseless crime.

  4. I feel so sad when I think about what happened. I was in Ronkonkoma a few months back visiting friends and I passed Kathy’s house. Of course a new family is living there, the house was extended and a lighter green siding is now on the house. It was strange seeing it after all these years. I share Concerned’s view, I hope the police keep looking into all connections and never give up. The police just solved a 54 year old murder case. They went went back to someone who was questioned at the time of that crime and she now produced a train ticket that led to the suspect. He is 71 years old. It’s never too late. Hopefully this case at be solved before that timeframe. I wonder if someone who knew Kathy placed that ribbon on the tree Concerned referred to.

  5. I read about this murder in our local paper only when they were investigating it as a cold case. I attended SUNY Cobleskill in 1981. I don’t remember anything about this murder. I do remember going to ‘The Vault’ many times. I lived on Long Island for many years and raised a family. A few years ago I moved to the Cobleskill area. I live very close to the road mentioned, where her body was found. I remember when we moved in, I noticed a tree across the street that had a very, very old ribbon tied to it. Often people will do this when a loved one has died at a particular location. I remember thinking when I saw it that someone might have died in this location. Now I wonder how close I really do live to the actual field where she was found. There have been other mysterious disappearances of women, who are never found in the Albany area. I certainly hope the police are doing their job and looking into these possible connections. I don’t think serial killers just stop, unless they die or are caught. The problem with looking for a yellow VW was that back then this was a very popular car. It would be tough to find records on each one. Records were not kept long back then.

  6. Thanks Diane for replying, i thought it was the two little girls i also babysat with kathy, but i do remember the blue mascara. so many things we did , i can’t put everything down.

    thanks diane, for letting me know , even though in my heart i was hoping you were the one little girl me and kathy had babysat for , but it wasn’t. but thanks for answering me. now if only sheliia would. just remember teach your children well.

  7. its just very sad and i don’t really think they’ll ever find the killer. the girl diane above who said kathy use to baby sit for her, i wonder if i had babysat with kathy for her. one time i babysat with kathy for 2 little girls , i don’t remember if they were twins or a year apart and when the girl said about blue mascara, it was like a punch in my stomach., i had forgotten all about blue mascara.but i did babysit with kathy one night for 2 little girls and it was so cool because when the father drove us home he said i wish my generation could had spoken more up for themselves, he told kathy and me that it was so great to be young today in 1971 and that we knew what we wanted and just didn’t listen to what our parents told us to do. it was a time of change , to every season, but it made us feel so good that someone acknowledge a new and different generation. such a fantastic time in history and we lived through it.

    1. To Maggie May,
      I don’t think that was us you and Kathy babysat for, there were three of us. I remember really liking that blue and green mascara that she wore it brought out her eyes.

  8. Whenever I think about Kathy I get really sad. I hope her killer is found soon and brought to justice (if he is still alive.) She used to babysit for us. She was so pretty and nice. She did not deserve this. I sometimes wonder if the information is in her file but the investigators are missing it. Supposedly there are so many files and they are in different locations. I prey that something comes together and allows this case to be solved.Diane

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    10 iRate This

    I also remember Kathy. She used to baby sit for my sister, brother and I. I remember how nice she was, how pretty she was and I always loved the make up she wore. At that time blue and green mascara was in. Kathy had a beautiful smile. Now that you mention it, I remember she loved horses. It saddens me terribly when I think about what happened to her. I remember my father and his girlfriend discussing the alleged details-hitchiking, going to the club. I was very sad at that time also. Although it happened decades ago, I hope the authorities can by the Grace of God solve this case. That beautiful, sweet, kind girl deserves it. May
    murderer rot in hell.

  9. I knew Kathy when she worked at my dad’s movie theatre in Lake Ronkonkoma the spring and summer before she went to college. I was only 14 at the time, and she 17, but I looked up to her and thought she was so pretty and “cool”. She dated my brother that summer and spent time at my house swimming and having BBQ’s. I was devastated when she was killed as was my brother. I will never forget that funeral as a 14 year old girl. It has left an impact on my my entire life. Her best friend Debbie also worked at the theatre. They always talked about their horses. I hope this guy Donald, if it was him, is rotting in hell.

    1. three dog night, grassroots, deep purple, allman brothers, santana , beatles, left bank , flying machine

  10. I graduated from Cobleskill in May 1975 — this murder was a trajedy and it is still puzzling that it has never been solved. My gut says that the killer was someone that was ‘local’ (or still is) at the time of the murder — just the way her body was carefully placed and covered on a stone wall (likely done at night), somewhat off the beaten path from the main highway (Rte 7), suggests to me that it was not the work of a transient killer. I believe one of the reports also suggested that she may have been alive for a period after her initial abduction. Mulitple stab wounds from different knives may also suggest more than one killer…

    1. I agree with Mark. Although I didn’t know Kathy “real” well and had not seen her since 9th grade, I don’t think she would have gone with someone she didn’t “know”. Several different weapons? More than one person? Didn’t want to look at her while killing her? Remorse but over ridden by fear of being identified? Knew area well enough to hide body well so as to not be found right away? But still to be found? So many questions. DNA evidence? And nothing matching in system yet? She was a very pretty girl, maybe someone couldn’t hide his feelings nor control them when they weren’t returned? Keep looking

  11. Perhaps it was John Hopkins. He admitted to others. And this happened in the 70’s to a Utica girl. I think the police should look into it. But Hopkins is dead. He committed suicide in jail.

  12. This murder and the one of Barbara Jean Kemp both match the just solved cold case murder of the girl in Utica in the 1970’s. The killer was John Hopkins from Johnstown NY who killed 2 girls there and admitted to more. Really scary as he had access to different cars and stabbed all his victims. And supposedly travelled to college campus areas. Maybe the police should look into that as the Utica police just did.

  13. I went to junior high with Kathy, I always remember her as sweet and friendly. I think of her often and am glad that her case is still being investigated. So senseless, hopefully someone will be punished someday for taking her from her family and friends.

  14. Really nice looking page, its really cheerful looking. i just want to say hi to all the people i knew that knew kathy, delores, barbie, shelia ‘and the other two sisters i can’t remember they,re names . one had blonde hair and one brown. so mysterious.

    1. I think my mother may have been the brunette sister you mentioned – Carol Carbone and her younger sister, blond, my Aunt Denise Carbone?I grew up hearing about the tragic story of Kathys death. In fact, we were just talking about it today. 40 years has passed but I hope that one day this horrible case is solved and justice is served to sweeth Kathy. Rip

  15. In the 1970’s I was trying to establish a drug abuse council during that time period. There were three young women murdered in Fulton County. Their names were Sherrie Ann Carville, Cecelia Genatumpo and Selene Edwards. I did not know or never met them. I obtain some street information that these girls liked to go to parties. I had no knowledge whatsoever if they in fact went to parties.
    I tried to obtain support from the police agencies for a drug abuse council. The was no suspects in those murders at the time. I went and spoke with the Chief of Plolice in Gloversville Mario DiMiao and he told me that there were no drug problems in Gloversville. I then went to Planned Parenthood. and I was told they could not release any information. I told them the girls were murdered and there was no information available on who murded those gilrls. I told told that information can not be released.
    A gentleman that I was employed with told me he seen where one of the victims was picked up and she was with a group of young people. He told me it was at a street corner and there was a cemetery there. A Pyschic was on the news and she kept seeing a cemetery and I called her an I told her a witness seen her picked up a cemetery. I informed the Chielf of Police and he said that is pure hog wash but he did relay that information. An assistant DA said it was irrevelent to the case.
    John William Hopkins was later on convicted. The key testimony against was he was seen carring one of the victims. He as going to bury her. Hopkins and his family kept fighting the convicts. Hopkins passed away in prison. He was convicted of Carville.Denatumpo and arquittal Edwards.
    I tried to get information on the verdicts to see if there was dna or information of drug use. Nor is there information on how they were abducted.
    The newspaper article stated that Katherine Kolodziierj. Was Katherine served alcohol? I don’t remember if there were other murder cases around that time period. I believe all cases that are not solved should be kept open. I think people should standup and get involved with their children and their friends. Sincerely,
    Thomas J. O’Brien

  16. Kathy and I attended BOCES – Horse Care & Horse Training in our Senior year of High School. We were from different districts and car pooled daily along with another out of district student. The three of us became close friends that year. I am glad that others have good memories of her and haven’t forgotten her. I remember the story of her going to the rally with her fur coat. It was typical Kathy. Her love of animals – her pup Yogi – her horse Sandy…
    I’ve always wondered if they solved her murder. I’ve heard about Donald Sigsbee being a suspect. It’s too bad they we will never know if he did it.

    Thanks for keeping her memory alive.

  17. From The Oneida Daily Dispatch October 28, 2009

    ROME — Convicted murderer Donald Sigsbee died Monday at the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome.

    The New York Department of Corrections said Sigsbee died of natural causes at the age of 74.

    The Madison resident was convicted in March, 2004 in Onondaga County Court on two counts of second-degree murder in the death of Regina Reynolds, the 19-year-old Morrisville State College student, killed in 1975.

    The first count charged Sigsbee with intentionally killing Reynolds, while the second charged him with causing her death during a felony rape.

    Sigsbee, a retired cabinet maker who had a shop in Oneida, was a suspect in the rape and murder from the beginning, when several of his business cards were found with Reynolds’ body. He was convicted using DNA technology that was not available in 1975.

    In February of 2003, state police retrieved a drinking straw used by Sigsbee from the trash at a fast food restaurant. The DNA from the drinking straw matched the DNA found in samples taken from Reynolds’ body.

    Reynolds was last seen alive hitchhiking at the intersection of state Routes 20 and 46 in Morrisville on Nov. 6, 1975. A fisherman found her body 13 days later near Otisco Lake in southern Onondaga County.

    Reynolds was a Sidney, N.Y. resident, who studied Natural Resource and Conservation at Morrisville State College .

    Family members have since moved from Sidney, but there is a memorial to Reynolds at the high school there. At Morrisville State College there is another memorial for her near the infirmary.

    The case was profiled in November, 2004 on the A&E Network.


    I don’t know if Sigsbee was responsible for Kathy’s murder but he always seemed a viable suspect to me.

  18. I don’t understand who started this website. was it kevin singer or radioactive and i think you should have more control over it. Also i want to know if i want to get in touch with someone i know on this website how would i do it?

  19. I too was a good friend of Kathys. I met her in 6th grade too and am wondering if that is the same Sheila I knew that named her daughter after Kathy, I believe it is, I doubt if Kathy knew another Sheila and a Sheila that was such a good friend. I was her summer friend and sometimes as we got older she would visit me in the city. When I remember Kathy I remember her beautiful blue eyes and a big smile and always laughing. Kathy would play around alot with words and we could go on for hours laughing over whatever we made up.
    I remember one time she was going to go to the mall and hand out pamphlets about animal cruelty and wearing of fur coats, this had to be 1971, well she was leaving her house and ran back in for her coat, an old fur coat, taped up on the inside with duct tape, everyone was wearing them then, and realized oh wait a minute I can’t wear this, it was very funny.
    I remember summer afternoons spent listening to the doors, bob dylan and the grateful dead, going to the beach and her love of horses. When I first met her and went to her house she had pictures of horses all over her wall.
    I think when she went off to college I couldn’t understand, I always thought she would go somewhere close to home. When her mother called me and asked me if I saw Kathy, I was like “no” I really didn’t understand what she was trying to say. She told me the police were searching a lake up there. I didn’t know where up there was, but now with computers I see how far up she was. I just figured maybe Kathy didn’t like college and was staying with a friend or something. I never imagined that. Also in the original newspaper article it said she was seen getting into a small foreign car.
    When I went to visit her parents years later and her mother asked me if I thought Kathy would hitchhike by herself I said no, we always hitched
    together or with someone else. I really didn’t believe she would do that, and till this day, I don’t know. Did she go in the car willingly and this guy, if it is the guy that killed her, would have been 40 years old and would have looked old and creepy. Remember when you’re only 18 everyone over 30 looks old.
    If that is the guy who killed her, how sick was he and pathetic, not even at the end would he admit it. I just know the devil knew he was dead long before he could’ve reached heaven.
    Anyway this is a page for Kathy and all I can say is that we had great summers and I was always glad I had had the chance know her and became friends. And yes we did give her mother a few hard times.
    A friend just recently told be about this page, I didn’t know anything about it. Well reading it all over again brought back alot of emotions. It was just such different times. Thank God kids don’t hitchhike anymore.
    Well all I can say is that I loved her and always remember her a dear friend.


    1. I also remember Kathy. She used to baby sit for my sister, brother and I. I remember how nice she was, how pretty she was and I always loved the make up she wore. At that time blue and green mascara was in. Kathy had a beautiful smile. Now that you mention it, I remember she loved horses. It saddens me terribly when I think about what happened to her. I remember my father and his girlfriend discussing the alleged details-hitchiking, going to the club. I was very sad at that time also. Although it happened decades ago, I hope the authorities can by the Grace of God solve this case. That beautiful, sweet, kind girl deserves it. May
      murderer rot in hell.

  20. Thanks for posting info in Sigsbee dieing in prision. I didn’t know that. I thought I read they did have some DNA evidence from
    Kathy?? AN unspecified type?? I hope they can solver her case.
    She is remembered always….

  21. Hello,

    Does anyone know what town Paula Burke grew up in? I am from Hyannis, Ma and had a Paula Burke in my middle school. Just wondering if it was her. Just wondering….

    1. Paula Burke was from Chittenango, New York, as was Terri Fuller, who was found murdered with her. Paula disappeared in the Fall of 1976, when she was in 7th grade….

  22. Kathy and I were great friends from 6th grade on. I am amazed at all the info I’ve just read. Please don’t ever give up. I named my daughter after and she is now 33.

    1. Is this the Sheila that I know from Connetquot H.S. who I drove up with to Cobelskill to visit Debbie McKay in a Peugeot ? And you use to pick me up for school with Debbie and Kathy in Ronkonkoma ? Could this be you Sheila ? This is Kevin Perry….

  23. I agree with my sister, {radioactv915} When we were kids we lived in a “neighborhood” knowing someone well or just in passing didn’t matter, you were still a “Ronoknkoma neighborhood” kid.
    “Walk in Beauty”

  24. I did not know that he died last year. Thank you for posting a comment on my blog. Sigsbee spent many years as a free man and it was only because of DNA evidence that he was linked to the Regina Reynolds crime. Maybe they will eventually link him to this crime, if there was any DNA collected from Kathy.

  25. I remember walking the walking into the student building where what was referred to the commuter lounge was and seeing a picture of a girl on a TV and information that she was missing. I was a commuter from Schoharie (and like many other students then, I was not part of the “whole student body” interviewed) and while I did not know Katherine, or at the time even remember if I saw her on campus, I never forgot the image of her picture on that screen. For some reason I started thinking of her today but could not remember her name, and googled “SUNY Cobleskill student missing 1974” and found this site. I believe when you think of someone in a good way, it is like saying a prayer for them. I have thought of this girl, and her parents, now and then over the years, and I am certain Katherine is smiling knowing she is still remembered, even by people who did not know her.

  26. I was a friend of Paula Burke. I was in fifth grade when she went missing and was found shot to death with Terry Fuller. I wish he would confess so that we all could have some type of closure. I was so young when this happened but as an adult I never let my kids out of my sight always remembering what could happen.I will carry my friend forever in my heart and remember her in my prayers. May they all rest in peace. May their killers be found.

    1. I was a year ahead of Paula Burke. I had always thought the story was that they were at the diner, where one of their fathers worked, in Canastota, missed the bus to Chittenango(6 miles away), and decided to hitchhike home. Both towns are in Madison County, where Regina was murdered while hitchhiking.
      I see Paula’s sister made a statement above, saying they hadn’t been hitchhiking. Whatever the circumstances of their disappearance, they were found shot to death in the woods, not stabbed like the others.
      Their murders changed our small town forever. I actually found this website while searching Donald Sigsby. Just today, their murders were being discussed on a FB page, and Sigsby’s name was mentioned as the suspected culprit. Over 35 years later we still think of them and wonder what monster murdered these two girls.

  27. I don’t know how any parent endures the pain of what Kathy’s parents probably went thru. All they had was each other, family
    & faith in God. Thanks for the blog about her. I know in alot of
    people’s memories she will not be forgotten. But One day I hope
    they find an ending to this tradgedy. I will always remember her
    as a happy upbeat person. Full of life.

  28. I just saw the Cold Case episode and immediatley remembered Katherine. I was at Cobbleskill at that time and had hung out with Katherine and remenber the Vault. I remember feeling bad that I went home that weekend and maybe if I was at school that weekend I would have had the opportunity to make sure she got home that night. I do remember people being interviewed also going out to look for her. I seem to remember that they said that even though she was found 3 weeks later that she was only dead only a few days. I still to this day wonder if the police had solved this and watching the Cold Case episode was hoping that this guy Sigsbee was found to be the guy. The yellow beetle comment is something I heard but don’t know if this was just rumor. We used to hitch hike alot then and even though it was at night there was alot of people around. I still wonder how no one didn’t see anything.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Mikeh. So many people were affected in some way by Kathy’s death. It’s like a pebble thrown in a pond; the ripples through calm water spread out and continue, even 30+ years later. No use feeling bad. I believe that that is the way it was meant to happen & Kathy is no longer here to feel the pain. I believe Sigsbee was her murderer and he’ll have his special Hell to visit.

  29. I went to Connetquot HS with Kathy. I was one year behind her in
    graduation. We had one class together, & she was one of the nicest, most friendly people around. Always upbeat & a great smile
    & raspy laugh & really ice blue eyes. She was just a happy person. She always talked about her horse & she was so excited to go to College. I thought to myself what a bright future she will have. Well I will never forget the feeling I had on that cold Nov day when I ran down to the 7-11 in Ronkonkoma to get my Dad a newspaper
    & I was riding home I flipped the paper over & saw a picture of
    her on the front page that she was missing. I stopped in my tracks & got a cold feeling all over. Who would hurt such a
    good person….I felt sick…mad …sad… & to this day I still
    wonder who had done this to a person that wouldn’t hurt anyone.
    I hope they find this guy one day…he robbed the world & alot of
    people of a really special human being. It’s been alot of years &
    this still sticks with me & bothers me that this happened to a
    friend of mine & that this has happened alot in this area & no one
    has been tied to these crimes. I hope the police solve these cases
    one day…& bring Kathy’s killer to justice.

    1. From Paul via email:
      Thanks for the reply, I had read your comments on the web page I found on Kathy. I agree with you…alot of evidence points to Sigsbee, I just hope they find somthing that links him to Kathy’s murder ie: DNA . Whether it is or not he will have to meet his maker one day…. Sounds like he has alot to answer for if not Kathy’s death. Anyway…things do happen for a reason, I believe that. Us that knew Kathy whether it was for a long time or short time…truly were touched by a very good person & she will always be remembered .

    2. Sometimes there is no justice in this life. I do believe that Sigsbee murdered her. The sad thing is that he had 5-6 children…I wonder what he may have done to them? I, too, went to school with Kathy. I did not know her well. She was a friend of a friend, but I had been to her house & met her mother. Her mother grew such beautiful roses along the fence. After Kathy died I would pass the house & think of the pain her family endured through all this. I’m happy that so many people read the blog and about her.

  30. I was attacked by a man in a yellow beetle and got away. It was bright yellow, shined and quite nice- the kind of car one would not suspect of belonging to a rapist. I was walking in albany near New Scotland. He pulled up and asked if I wanted a ride. It all looked harmless. I got in and almost immediatley he began to tell me what he wanted and was going to do. He had exposed himself. I cannot go into details but I then felt my life was on the line. It was bizarre. Very bizzare. He knoew where to drive and began driving to a secluded area- this area goes to Schoharie. I told him that a local liquor store (I knew existed) was robbed and there would be a road block up the road… He bought it and turned around. He forced me into sexual acts by my hair- I can’t go into but I managed to break free only becuase we were near houses and people…. It was about 1973- 1974 Fall. He looked like the UGLY Bridges brother- weak chin but ruddy skin, med brown hair. I had seen him several times before driving around. I had seen him in the company of some guys in my neighborhod. HOWEVER until the 1980’s I did not think about it too much. It was so painful. One night I heard a news report about Katherine Kolodziej as I was cooking dinner. I think I was prenant with my first son maybe 1983-84…I listened. I heard Yellow Volkswagon. I knew. I Absolutely know this. I know it is him. I say this becuase of his violent sexual energy and the bizzare nature of his behavior. He was determined- no “I’m sorry” but it seemed planned out. He covered his lap with a shirt or something so I did not see what he was up to until I got in. Then he began to sepak to me. I cannot tell you what he said but he is an antisocial personality, has sexual issues and I do beleve he drove the area in the unsuspecting car doing this. The raod he treid to take me down is the link to Scoharie. I called the police after the news in the 80’s (it was difficult) and they blew this all off. I never heard from them again. This has not gone away. I now believe he may have killed a few coeds around Albany who were walking and then were found missing. This kind of deviance does not go away. I am a psychologist now and I know this. I have a vauge idea who would rmemeber this guy. I have given this to the St. Police. They also blew it off. Told me to try to find out where or who he is. I gave them a basic idea of who I saw him with all those years ago – his age and where he might have gone to school. He would be 54- 60 now. I do not know what is worse- knowing this and seeing no one take it seriously or thinking he could be still doing this. The yellow beetle DID exist- they need to get car dealer records from the few dealers in this area. The police need to get year books and names. I recall his chubby poor looks and every detail of the incident.

    1. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate that you shared your painful story with me. In one of the articles I read the following phone numbers were listed below as contact points for submitting information about Kathy’s disappearance. Maybe you should call and ask to speak to a cold case detective handling the case at one of the numbers. I would be interested to know if they are willing to take the information you provided on my blog.

      Police are asking anyone with information regarding Kolodziej’s disappearance or death to call the following numbers:
      • New York State Police: (518) 234-3131 or (518) 895-5300.
      • Schoharie County Sheriff’s Department: (518) 295-8114.
      • Cobleskill Police Department: (518) 234-2111.

  31. Wow. It still hurts after all these years, but I am grateful that so many are doing what they can to bring justice to the perpetuators of these unspeakable crimes…. While a student at Morrisville I was hitchhiking when a car Reggie Reynolds was in stopped and gave me a lift. Reggie was intrigued by my travels and in the months that followed we hitchhiked to many places, and so you can probably imagine the sense of responsibility and guilt I have carried around because of her murder. Personally, while I am grateful that Donald Sigsbee was eventually tried and convicted, I am amazed that he was not tried back in 1975; he had literally left his calling card with the body (four, I believe). Were his vehicles seized? Was his place of business and his home searched? Were car washes questioned? Obviously he would not have had a verifiable alibi as to his whereabouts.; was an attempt made to catch him in such a lie? I am no legal expert, but it seems a highly convincing circumstantial case could have been presented; what was to gain by letting him remain free for 28 or so years? How many more victims did he claim?

  32. Sigsbee was circumstantially linked to another murder that of Martha Allen, a 21-year old student, whose nude body was found in a lake in the Finger Lakes area in 1973. He was linked to her murder when her address and phone number were found in his rolodex when police searched his office in connection to the Reynolds murder.

    Unfortunately the lake where her body was found remove any trace evidence that could have linked him to the murder. It is hoped that once his appeals are exhausted that he will finally talk about this and any other murders he may have committed.

    After all Regina was more than likely not his only victim.

  33. I was followed in 1974 (I think) by a guy in a bright yellow beetle- Very yellow and bright. He was from Albany and i vaugley knew him to be someone I had seen before. He asked if I needed a ride. He was freindly and I assumed it was ok to accept…He tried to rape me by taking me out rt 85. I told him There were police there- that the liquor store on 85 was robbed becuase I knew if he went that way I would be dead. I cannot go into the detials of what happened but many years ago I did tell the police- they ignored me. I do believe he IS the person. I say that because of the car- it did exist. When I heard the clue on the News I was stunned— It has to be him. I called the police several times trying to get them to listen ot me- they asked why I di dnot report it in 1974!!! I was so ashamed of being so stupid… I am angry that they never followed up. The guy would be close to 60 now or at least around 56… I know it was him- he could have easily killed me. He was so sick and thought he was entiteld to rape me…

  34. I saw the Cold Case Files episode and had this eary feeling that I could have also been a victum of Donald Sgsbee. I lived in Norwich, NY and was at teh bowling alley when I was approached by a man who told me he was a photographer and that I was very beautiful and he gave me his business card to call him so he could photograph me. I remember he looked like a father with big glasses and he didn’t look like a photographer but what do I know about what a photographer looks like. I went to visit my mother because my parents divorced and told her about this. showing her the business card and she was so upset telling me that this person could take advantage of me and never to do anything like that. She has passed away but my step father remebers how upset she was that I may have just gone without telling anyone. When I heard that they found business cards near Regina’s body I got chills thinking about it. I can’t remember what the cards looked like, but I do think they had photography on them. Madison, NY isn’t that far from Norwich, NY so who knows if it was him. My heart goes out to the family and you are in my prayers.

  35. I never got to meet Kathy, but I was very close to her parents, Heddy and Andrew (I married into the family). Well, Heddy and Andrew have both passed away and they, along with Kathy, are buried in a family plot. Heddy told me about the pain she went through. I honestly don’t know how she was able to deal with it. It’s nice to see that Kathy isn’t forgotten and that the police are still working on this.

  36. I went to Jr hi with Kathy, i lived with my Aunt at the time and she lived a few houses away from my cousin and I, I was living in Fl when my Aunt gave me the news of her murder. She was a very unique person and loved animals. She had several from bunnies to birds that she rescued. I truly miss her

  37. I was a friend of Kathy’s. All of her friends it seemed had older sisters going to Coby at the time. I was in their dorm on the third floor, they all were on the 1st floor. Since I was friends with their sisters, I was asked to take them under my wing, teach them how to break the dorm rules without getting caught and be a kind of dorm mother to them. All of the girls were great, Kathy was incredible. She had these wonderful blue eyes that just spoke to you of happiness, she had this throaty raspy laugh that was contagious, but more importantly she had a heart of gold.

    I made sure that when I was out with the girls, and The Vault was a favorite haunt, I wouldn’t allow anyone to walk home alone or most of all, hitch hike. That weekend however, I was out of town and asked the girls to look out for one another.

    When I went to my first class that Monday morning, one of the girls sister a very good friend of mine told me that Kathy was missing. There were searches looking for her, and yes the police did interview a lot of people, but not the entire student body like the article stated.

    Kathy was an only child, her death changed alot of peoples lives, including mine. I hope they catch the s.o.b. that did this, and put him away forever.

  38. I grew up in Richmondville, went to Coby (72-74), and even baby-sat once or twice for one of the state troopers in Troop G. I remember the events around the murder well.

    I think part of the problem the NY State Police face in their investigation is that there was no I-88 at that time; NY Route 7 was the main route between Albany, Oneonta, and Binghampton. Traffic through Cobleskill, while not heavy at that time of night, would have been steady. Not only that, many of us hitchhiked back to campus or farther from the bars and a car stopping to pick up a hitchhiker would not have attracted very much notice. I was hitching that night (from the Ale House, not the Vault), but don’t remember any particular cars. In fact, I had to walk all the way to R’ville.

    I’m not sure, but I believe Knapp has been excluded in Kathy’s case. I do hope they find more or better evidence somehow and put this case to rest, for Kathy’s sake.

  39. well, the relief is that all these years i wondered if the reynolds murder was related to someone i knew. apparently, it was not, which also leaves me some room for at last feeling relief that the Cobleskill murderer is likely that person, either.

    i would love to see the Cobleskill murder solved.

    as for earlier comment expressing hope that Sigsbee’s daughter’s urgint him to “come clean,” i can only say is that that is an incredibly huge task to ask of someone.

    trust me on this one, Sigbee’s family likely has huge, huge issues and dealing frankly with dad’s past is probably something far beyond the ability of the average or even above average person—more likely a grandchild or grand of Sigsbee will do the probing, not the children.

  40. Odd that I received your email-comment on 9-14-07. Today I was watching a taped episode of A&E’s Cold Case Files (#77) called “The Calling Card” and it was about the Regina Reynolds case. At the end of the episode Kathy Kolodziej and other young women who were murdered in the area were mentioned as possible victums of Donald Sigsbee. Did you watch the episode? Interesting. When I first learned about Regina Reynolds I wondered if he had anything to do with Kathy’s unsolved murder. Apparently, the NY State Police do. I think there was DNA evidence in Kathy’s murder and I hope they test it against Sigsbee. Maybe her family will finally get closure/justice.

  41. every couple of years i look for information on the Cobleskill murder because I was told that I’d spoken with Katherine at a meeting (I was a freshmen at Coby that year but never have remembered meeting her) and because I l was very familiar with the area where Regina Reynolds’ body was dumped.

    Nope, the police did not interview “every student” at Cobleskill.

    I am very glad to hear that they caught Reynolds’ murderer.

  42. Cindy,
    I was a sophmore at SUNY Oneonta when Linda Velzy was abducted and murdered in mid-December 1977 on a cold dark afternoon. A local guy named Ricky Knapp was caught transfering her body to a new grave in the woods a few weeks later. Knapp was a known problem and had a bad history of prior offenses against young woman in the area. He should have never been out so easily but was.
    This murder occured three years earlier and only 20 miles away.
    I wonder if they have enough DNA from this crime to attempt a match agianst Knapp. He is in jail in NYS serving a 25 to life. He is about 55 years old by now, so he’d have been about 22 when this crime occured.
    Linda would have been about 48 now. I often think of her and her parents and their loss. They have been relentless about keeping Knapp in jail everytime his parole hearings come up.

  43. I have lived in this area since I was little and didn’t know that there were so many unsolve homosides in the area. I am just glad tha people are taking an interest and keeping it on everyone’s mind. about the vw even in 1974 it was distinctive as there wasn’t many small round cars then, remember everyone had the land whales. I hope that all get solved.

  44. I guess there aren’t two unsolved cases in Oneonta. My mind must have combined the other two in Morrisville and the above article about the one solved case there… probably why I didn’t remember mention of them. That’s good news, though!

    There was a man arrested just this month in the Buffalo area (google Altemio Sanchez or Bike Path Rapist). His crimes date back at least 25 years and include at least 3 murders. This was a recent ‘America’s Most Wanted’ episode… the latest murder was last fall. He was apprehended in a very similar manner to Sigsbee. Police observed and took possession of a glass that Sanchez drank from in a local restaurant.

    Criminal DNA technology is like night and day compared to what it was only 5-10 years ago. Not only can a few cells from someone’s mouth in saliva on a straw now yield results but a DNA mixture can now be sorted into its individual contributors. This is how they determined that no member of the Duke lacrosse team was among the 3 guys that had recently been involved with the dancer there. It’s also how they could remove Reggie’s (known) DNA from the scraping of her epithelial cells, leaving the DNA from the cells that Sigsbee left at the crime scene… it’s possible police didn’t even realiize what they were preserving in 1975. That’s exactly what makes the reviews of the old cases so important… new ways to use existing evidence come along constantly… never give up hope.

    These arrests are happening! Remembering that both Sigsbee and Sanchez were well thought of, church-going men with kids and devoted wives and that both had been looked at by police early on in their investigations, if you know something or suspect someone, call State Police. They need a solid link to a person. Nothing else sounds like one, but what about yellow Pintos, Chevettes, Horizons, Corollas or the Datsun or AMC versions of that day that could have been confused with a VW Bug from a distance? Yellow is very distinguishable and a rare car color… what about repainted cars? Anyone remember any of these?

  45. I also googled Sigsbee’s name, hoping to get some information regarding his family and their thoughts on the crime(s) their father committed. You would think that they would have urged him to come clean about any other crimes he may have perpetrated against others. It bothered me that he had daughters that may have been his victums. I also have great respect for those hard-working detectives who never give up trying to solve cold cases. abcdefg is correct in pleading with those with any information, no matter how trivial they think it may be, to come forward and help to solve these cases.

  46. I stumbled on this site recently when I googled Donald Sigsbee. I grew up with Reggie Reynolds… basically next door neighbors. I attended the 3-day Sigsbee trial and can address some questions and comments from above.

    Any DNA that Troopers have in this Cobleskill case has already implicated Sigsbee, or not because they have his DNA. If not, what they need now is a solid link between the crime and someone they’ve looked at previously or somebody new. I would urge anyone that has any information, no matter how trivial they think it is, to call State Police.

    I believe ‘America’s Most Wanted’ will cover cold cases but there usually has to be a recent development for them to get involved. I believe ‘Cold Case Files’ concentrates on solved cases and how they were finally solved. An episode of ‘Cold Case Files’ about Reggie’s case was produced and it will air again on A&E, on Feb, 20th at 10 PM. I believe it mentions the other two girls in the Morrisville area and may mention this girl in Cobleskill though I may be mixing that up with one of the many newspaper articles over the years. I don’t remember the two girls in Oneonta being mentioned. Sigsbee has been looked at in 6 or 7 similar crimes. He still maintains that, “I’ve done nothing wrong,” and any hope of him admitting involvement in any of them will not happen at least until he’s exhausted all his appeals.

    Sigsbee has a large family. On the surface anyway, he was well thought of in the community where he lived and by neighbors and fellow church members… he’s even been the Mayor of that community. His wife attended every day of the trial but (some of) his kids only attended intermittently. He was not well thought of by the Court, however and the strong wording at his sentencing reflected that.

    Having grown up in the shadow of Troop C, I’ve always had a deep respect for the NY State Police. At a time when DNA wasn’t even dreamed of as a tool to solve crimes, I consider it just short of a miracle that they retained the type of sample they did in Reggie’s case, say nothing for preserving it sufficiently to be used after many years of storage in the evidence warehouse. In my opinion, it’s the commitment of State Police resources and manpower to pull up unsolved murders on a regular basis and review them against new technology that’s truly thoughtful. Again, since this case in Cobleskill is presently being reviewed, now is the time for anybody who has information that might be helpful to PLEASE CALL STATE POLICE.

  47. Does anyone have info on the murders of Terry Fuller and Paula Burke – they were hitchhicking and found murdered in Morrisville in 1976. I went to school with Terry in Chittenango. Was Sigsbee investigated for more that one murder?

    1. I AM PAULA BURKES SISTER AND SHE WAS NOT HITCHHIKING!!!! There has been so much garbage spread reguarding these girls!!! My sister was the youngest of the slain girls and she did not fit the profile just happened to be in the WRONG place at the WRONG time!!! My heart greives for her every day that goes by as she was a sweet kind and intelligent little beautiful girl!!!Forever my heart will be stuck in the 70s and i wrestle with the thoughts of what must have been going through her little mind at the time of execution?????????

  48. The information was taken directly from an article in the Daily Star written by Kevin Singer. In fact, Troop G Commander Johnson stated that the entire student body was interviewed. Maybe they didn’t do as good a job of talking to or interviewing the “whole student body”?
    Thank you for your comment.

  49. I was a student at Coby in 1974 and was never interviewed regarding Katherine’s disappearance/murder…nor were any of my friends. I believe that fact was overstated in the above article and just wonder why.

  50. This girl reynolds was also stabbed in the heart. another article said she was stabbed in the abdomen. So the killer also used a knife. both girls were stabbed. The police must have cross referenced both killings. That is what they look for in serial killer cases.

  51. I thought it was rather spooky that both murders took place in the early part of november and both girls were college students hitchhiking…and both took place not that far from each other…if it is sigsbee at least he is behind bars right now.

  52. The Daily Star
    Ricky Knapp to appear for second parole hearing

    Victim’s parents worry about Oneonta’s safety

    By Jack Mazurak

    Staff Writer

    ONEONTA — The parents of a woman murdered in 1977 expressed concern for the Oneonta community as their daughter’s killer goes before the state parole board this week.

    Ricky Knapp, who is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence in the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick, will be up this week for his second parole hearing, state officials said.

    Howard and Carol Velzy, the parents of Linda Velzy, said Sunday they believe, based on Knapp’s record, he would kill again if he’s let go.


    Linda Velzy was an 18-year-old student at the State University College at Oneonta when Knapp picked her up on Dec. 9, 1977, as she hitchhiked back to campus along West Street.

    Police said he tried to sexually assault her, hit her in the throat, fractured her skull and hid her body along Case Hill Road in Franklin.

    Knapp, a part-time tree surgeon from West Oneonta, was arrested Jan. 1, 1978 as he tried to move her frozen body to a grave he’d dug near Winney Hill Road in the town of Oneonta.

    At the time of Velzy’s murder, Knapp, then 26, was free on bail. He had been charged in September 1977 with unlawful imprisonment and sodomy based on another SUCO student’s reports.

    Speaking from their Haines Falls home, the Velzys said it’s Knapp’s record of attempted and actual abductions and sexual assaults — dating back to 1971 — that has them worried.

    “It’s that he’s likely to return to the Oneonta area, and with his previous pattern of behavior, our concern is for the women in the Oneonta area,” Howard Velzy said.

    The couple met with a parole board commissioner in July to give a victim-impact statement, they said.

    “It wasn’t just our pain but the whole family,” Howard Velzy said. “Dozens of people felt the pain. Every two years we have to reopen this, and it’s disturbing. He’s given us a lifetime sentence.”

    And as Knapp goes before the board this week, the commissioners will at least have that report before them.

    “We feel confident they’re aware of the situation,” Howard Velzy said. “There’s the nature of threat to community but, of course, there are other factors they have to consider.”

    Scott Steinhardt, spokesman for the state Division of Parole, said the board will do a detailed and thorough examination.

    “Each case is separate and unique, but they look at the individual’s history,” he said.

    He confirmed Knapp’s hearing was scheduled for this month.

    “He’s eligible to go before the parole board every two years, but the board certainly does not have to grant parole,” Steinhardt said.

    Knapp was found guilty of second-degree murder in June 1978 and a month later was sentenced to 25 years to life.

    That conviction was overturned in September 1982 on a technicality, and a year later he was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

    His sentence, leveled in October 1983, remained the same.

    Knapp’s first appearance before the parole board came in August 2002, and he was denied.

    Linda Foglia, spokeswoman at the state Department of Corrections, said Monday that Knapp’s prison record was clean.

    “There are no disciplinary issues on file,” she said.

    Knapp has participated in aggression-replacement courses and vocational classes, she said, including business and automotive repair.

    “He’s been a paralegal assistant in the law library and served since July as a mason assistant in the prison’s maintenance unit,” Foglia said. “He’s now a student in the electrical trades.”

    But Howard Velzy, a Methodist minister, said it’s unlikely he’s changed without long-term therapy.

    “It’s a tremendous chance a community takes when they release someone like Ricky Knapp.” he said. “Certainly locking him in a cage for a period of time is going to address those issues.”

    Carol Velzy said she agreed.

    “He doesn’t seem to have a capacity, with his record, it’s too ingrained,” she said. “We’re really are convinced it’s going to happen again.”

  53. Also from The Daily Star
    Sidney student slain 30 years ago

    Just about a week before Thanksgiving 1975, Sidney and the surrounding areas were shocked with the news that a college student had been found dead. The subsequent murder case was unsolved by police investigators for the next 28 years.

    But with 21st-century investigative technology, the case of Regina Reynolds, a Sidney student attending Morrisville College, was solved.

    In early November 1975, Reynolds, 19, was last seen on the north side of U.S. Route 20 near the intersection of state Route 46 in Pine Woods, Madison County. Apparently, she was hitchhiking back to Morrisville. Her Nov. 2 disappearance was not immediately reported, and college friends apparently searched for her for several days before reporting her missing.

    A fisherman on the shoreline of Otisco Lake, in the Onondaga County town of Amber, made a grisly discovery the morning of Nov. 19. He found a partially decomposed body in an abandoned gravel pit near the shore. It was Regina Reynolds, and the cause of death waAdvertisement

    s ruled a homicide; she had been stabbed repeatedly in the abdomen.

    State police at Oneida said they took a southern Madison County man into custody for questioning. His identity was not given, and he was released from custody Nov. 20.

    The former Arizona Restaurant, at the intersection of Routes 20 and 46, was where three witnesses saw Reynolds hitchhiking, and she was picked up by a driver of a VW van.

    The response of many Sidney residents to Reynolds’ murder was undoubtedly that of shock and grief. A typical response or thought by many was, “It couldn’t happen here.” The 1974 Sidney graduate was a sophomore at Morrisville. Both in Sidney and Morrisville, those who knew Reynolds said she had many friends and was well- liked and very active in school ac %PUTHERE% tivities.

    Reynolds’ friends had started a collection after her disappearance, offering a reward for information about her disappearance. The day her body was found near Otisco Lake, the students were set to announce how much they had collected for the reward. Later that day, the announcement came that the reward was for the arrest and conviction of the murderer.

    It took until 2003 for a break in the murder case. Apparently, that unnamed suspect in 1975 was Donald Sigsbee, then 40, of Madison. Sigsbee became a suspect because a small folder containing four of his business cards was found near Reynolds’ body. Sigsbee was a cabinetmaker.

    However, authorities said they were unable to file charges against Sigsbee until DNA tests, completed in March 2003, linked him to the victim. Police had recovered a drinking straw Sigsbee had used and dumped in the trash at a fast-food restaurant, enabling them to match DNA with a previous semen sample.

    In April 2003, Sigsbee was charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Sigsbee pleaded innocent.

    In January 2004, William Shields, a biology professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, was hired to assist Sigsbee’s case. Shields worked for the defense in the famous O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson murder cases.

    Sigsbee’s trial began in March 2004. The immediate Reynolds family had moved from the Sidney area after the murder but came back to attend the trial.

    Sigsbee, then 68, was convicted by an Onondaga County jury March 29, 2004. Prosecutors had successfully used DNA evidence from the crime scene and the drinking straw.

    Steve Reynolds, brother of Regina, said, “We never want people to think that all of what happened to my sister is closed, because it never can be.” Reynolds called the verdict “justice served.” The family and relatives had thought that this day would never come.

    On April 21, 2004, Sigsbee was sentenced to a maximum term of 25 years to life in prison.

    “You are an evil, violent man,” Onondaga County Judge Anthony Aloi told Sigsbee as he was sentenced in the Syracuse courtroom. “It is time for you to face your past and the awful truth and reality of what you have done.”

  54. From The Daily Star
    Tuesday, March 30, 2004

    Man guilty of Sidney grad’s murder

    College student killed in 1975

    By Mark Boshnack

    Tri-Towns Bureau

    Friends and relatives of a Sidney High School graduate who was raped and murdered in 1975 expressed a range of emotions Monday after a Madison man was found guilty of the crimes.

    Donald Sigsbee, 68, a retired cabinetmaker from Madison, was convicted by an Onondaga County jury on Monday. Prosecutors successfully used DNA evidence from the crime scene and from a drinking straw Sigsbee used and discarded.

    Steve Reynolds, the victim’s brother, said he was staying at a hotel there along with his brother, mother, family and friends, who had attended the trial.


    “We never want people to think that all of what happened to my sister is closed because it never can be,” said Reynolds, speaking by telephone from Syracuse. The verdict is “justice served,” he said.

    The immediate family had moved from the area in the years following the murder. Steve Reynolds lives in Memphis.

    Reynolds was a student at Morrisville State College when she disappeared while hitchhiking Nov. 6, 1975. Her body was found 13 days later near Otisco Lake, 15 miles southwest of Syracuse. Authorities said she was stabbed in the heart.

    In the case against Sigsbee, the first count of murder charged him with intentionally killing Reynolds, who was 19 years old at the time. The second count charges him with causing her death during a felony rape.

    Sigsbee will be sentenced April 19. He faces a minimum 15 years and a maximum 25 years to life in state prison.

    The murder happened so many years ago, Steve Reynolds said, “we never thought anything would be resolved” until about a year ago, when Sigsbee was arrested.

    That occurred in March 2003 after police matched the semen to the DNA in a saliva sample authorities recovered from a drinking straw Sigsbee dumped in the trash at a fast-food restaurant.

    “We had to come to terms in the past year, again, with what happened,” Steve Reynolds said.

    He said the family wanted to thank the New York state police and District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and his office, for the successful prosecution of Sigsbee.

    Sherri Kinsella, who was among those who attended at least part of the trial, said she was two years younger than Regina Reynolds, but her sister was a classmate.

    “Everybody knew Reggie,” Kinsella said. Following the verdict, she said Reynolds “can finally rest in peace.”

    Sue Hayen, who was in the victim’s class at Sidney, said she also attended much of the courtroom procedure.

    “We all know the family,” she said.

    About how she handled dealing with her friends death all these years, she said, “I think you lay it to rest after such a long period of time.

    But “a lot of those feelings resurfaced during the testimony in the trial,” she said. Her reaction to hearing details of Reynolds death, was “you wish you could turn back the clock and she were alive today.”

    Sitting in the courtroom, she said she was impressed by the number of troopers who were present.

    “They never let this case drop,” she said about troopers and the district attorney.

    Sidney science teacher David Pysnik, who was not at the trial, said he is one of the remaining teachers on staff who had Reynolds as a student.

    He described the verdict as “a great sigh of relief.”

    “A lot of people are thankful the justice system has worked,” Pysnik said. “And now we can continue to move forward.”

    Jurors deliberated for eight hours Friday before adjourning for the weekend. They returned their verdict Monday morning.

    Sigsbee became a principal suspect at the time of the killing after investigators found several of his business cards near the body, which had been dumped in a shallow ravine about 300 yards off a rural road.

    Authorities, however, were unable to charge him because of a lack of other evidence. However, a state police investigator preserved a semen sample taken from Reynolds’ body.

    During the three-day trial, dueling DNA experts offered differing opinions about the probability the semen belonged to Sigsbee.

    William Shields, the only witness called by the defense, told jurors he thought the state police lab-test results were inconclusive. Shields, a biology professor from the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry who has worked for the defense in the O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson murder cases, said he would neither include or exclude Sigsbee as a suspect.

    But Russell Gettig, testifying for the prosecution, told jurors the probability of someone other than Sigsbee being linked to the semen was less than 1 in 115 million.

    Gettig, a forensic scientist with the New York state police crime lab, said he based his conclusion on a comparison of the DNA from a sample of the victim’s blood, the semen sample found in her body, the saliva sample recovered from the soda straw and a court-ordered known sample from Sigsbee.

    A complete DNA profile could not be developed from the semen sample because it apparently degraded over time, Gettig said. But what was developed was consistent with the defendant’s DNA sample, he said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  55. In November 1975 a woman was found murdered on the shores of Otisco Lake just outside Syracuse, NY. Next to her body police found the business card of a Madison, NY cabinetmaker, Donald Sigsbee. Sigsbee was the prime suspect for a number of years in the rape and stabbing death of the victim but police we unable to positively connect him to the crime. In 1975 the use of DNA evidence had yet to be conceived, but due to the diligence of a single State Police forensic scientist, a sample of the semen from the crime scene was preserved as a microscope slide. That thoughtfulness led to the DNA profile that matched the DNA of Sigsbee taken from a discarded drinking straw. Now 28 years later the family of the victim has their justice and a final conclusion for the death of a loved one. Sigsbee now faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years to life in prison.

  56. Her murder was never solved. Sometimes I wonder if the killer “Googles” her name to see what, if anything is happening with the case. What a shame that Kathy wasn’t able to live her life. I often think of her parents and hope that one day justice will be served.

  57. The Regina Reynolds murder has been solved after 30 years. A man by the name of Donald Sigsbee was sentenced to 25 years on April 21, 2004. The murder of this girl was early in November and he drove a vw van. I found the article on line in The Daily Star. just google her name. The two seem to be similar murders…I wonder if it was Sigsbee who killed katherine???

  58. I graduated from cobleskill in 1974 and i do remember her horrible death and the police coming to our dorm rooms. I wondered if they ever found her killer. We were also out that night at the vault like lots of students. My friend walked home that night too alone. What a shame that this crime went unsolved. In my search of Katherine I came across an article also naming Regina Reynolds of Sidney 1975 student of Morrisville was murdered and in 1977 Linda Valzy of Oneonta also a student murdered. All were hitchhiking. I wonder if any of them were solved and if possibly they were linked to the same killer.

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