Crowd Sourcing a Wisconsin Cold Case

Date Published 05.19.14

Cold cases are solved everyday through advancements in forensic science, but they can also get a boost from a tool most of us now take for granted: the Internet. When Barbara Nelson, 34, was abducted on August 5, 1982 from the convenience store where she worked in Albion, Wisconsin the case received a great deal of attention from the local news, but back then that’s where stories stayed --- in the immediate community. Which is too bad, because Nelson’s case had a few specific, intriguing clues that crowdsourcing might have helped with. But it’s not too late. Nelson’s case remains unsolved, but the world is far more connected. Jeff Brown, who grew up in the area and now works for the Edgerton Reporter, a local newspaper, has banded together with cold case detectives to get the word out about Nelson’s case and ask the public for input on key evidence.


I’ve attached Brown’s stories about the case here and here, and here and here. Also, here’s a link to a local news segment featuring Brown talking about the case.


Questions of particular interest are:


Nelson’s body was found partially clothed in a vest that police believe was the killer’s. Is it a men’s, women’s or unisex vest? What kind of style is it? Does anyone have any ideas or memories about what types of people wore such vests?



Why abduct the victim if no rape? If robbery, why not take her wedding ring and purse? Why hold her for 24 hours?


Any thoughts on the make and model of the truck.


If people have ideas or thoughts, please leave in the comments and I'll pass on to Jeff and the investigators. Thank you.













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