The Unsolved Murder of Valerie Percy: A Chicago True Crime Story

The Unsolved Murder of Valerie Percy: A Chicago True Crime Story

Chicago : IL : USA | Jun 06, 2010 at 8:00 AM PDT
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There are many unsolved crimes in the annals of Chicago history, however, none has flummoxed and frustrated authorities much more than the murder of Valerie Percy. This infamous murder happened in 1966 and despite a dearth of clues left by the killer, they killer has never been caught. The other thing that makes the case rather strange and interesting are the potential political implications and Percy's father, Charles Percy, was running as a Republican for a senate seat at the time.

Charles Percy was the darling of the Republican Party in Illinois at the time. In fact, in addition to having his eye on the Republican senate seat he was even considered a possibility for the Presidency. He was wealthy and more than a little bit ambitious and he was excited when his twin daughters returned from college for the summer of '66. He was excited because both of his attractive daughters would be able to help with his campaign.

The murder took place on September 18, 1966. It happened very early in the morning and began with someone using a glass cutter on the back door of the Percy mansion. That morning the killer made his way through the house and found Valerie's room. Valerie had been working late at her father's campaign office that night and returned home to go straight to bed. She was sound asleep when her killer opened the door of her room and made his way inside.

Valerie Percy was brutally stabbed multiple times and then beaten. The scene was a bloody mess, and evidently left blood on her killer as two bloody palm prints were found at the scene. In addition, two gloves were found at the scene that had obviously been used by the killer. Finally, as the killer had passed Valerie's mothers room she had looked up to see a shape in the darkness. She was able to identify the shape as male, but then the killer shined a flashlight into her face and dashed away into the night.

The brutal murder put Charles Percy's campaign on hold. It was hoped the evidence left behind would yield a killer quickly, that that did not happen. After several weeks, when it was evident that no killer was going to be caught quickly. The campaign resumed and Percy won the senate seat. He served there until 1984.

The case remained unsolved and without suspects until a newspaper series of stories, in 1973, brought evidence that seemed to pin the murder on a series of Chicago mob-sponsored home break ins. The burglary ring stole jewels and silver. The newspaper won a Pulitzer for the series but there was one thing that seemed against the pattern: nothing had been stolen from the Percy home.

These days the case sits cold in the files of the Chicago police department and federal investigators that were also called in. Murder cases, however, are never closed in Illinois until a killer is brought to justice. A new clue could easily crack the case wide open and new investigative techniques have helped bring justice to some infamous unsolved murders in the Chicago area in recent years.

Back in 1966 the Percy family posted a $50,000 reward for information leading to the killer of Valerie Percy. That reward was never claimed. Today, the Percy family says the rewards is $100,000 for information that would crack open the decades-old case. The murder still remains unsolved.

Bryan Alaspa is based in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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