Friday, February 12, 2010

Three Unsolved Cases from Tennessee

China Videon has been missing for nearly eleven years

Tennessee’s Unsolved
by Robert A. Waters

I lived in Tennessee from 1969 to 1974. I met the lady who would become my wife there and got my undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Since the Marcia Trimble murder, I’ve been interested in crimes that have taken place in the Volunteer State. In a previous post, I wrote about the kidnap and murder of six-year-old Dorothy Ann Distelhurst in Nashville. Here are sketches of three other unsolved cases in the state.

On the morning of June 11, 1973, Nashville police were called to Rothberg’s Shoe Store at 4914 Charlotte Avenue. The business had been a fixture in the city for many years. When investigators arrived, they found the body of fifty-nine-year-old Mollie Rothberg behind the counter. She’d been stabbed repeatedly. The motive appeared to have been robbery. A person of interest was seen in the area riding a “chopper” motorcycle. His jacket displayed a skull, crossbones, and Nazi-style cross. He was never located and the case has never been solved.

It’s been more than ten years since China Videon disappeared off the face of the earth. She was a student at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro. On the evening of October 19, 1999, China got off work at the Bi-Lo Grocery Store and visited her mother at a nearby beauty salon. After chatting for a few minutes, she left to go to a friend’s house. She has never been seen since. China’s car, a black Mazda, was found nine months later at an apartment complex in Antioch, a few miles from Murfreesboro. Items she’d bought at the grocery store were still in the car. Rutherford County Sheriff’s Detective Bill Goodwin said, “It’s clear that China Videon was a victim of a crime.” But investigators never had any good leads. Her mother, Suzanne Videon, believes her daughter is dead. “China and I were almost like friends,” Suzanne said. “[But] I’m denied a chance to bury her, to say goodbye to her.”

At about two o’clock on the afternoon of March 7, 1991, Pauline George, 50, drove to her home just outside of Knoxville. She checked her mail, took a shower, and put on a housecoat. Three hours later, she was found dead in her basement. Pauline worked as an admissions clerk at Fort Sanders Parkwest Medical Center. At five that afternoon, she planned to go to dinner and a movie with her boyfriend, Jack Lane. Lane discovered her body when he arrived to pick her up. A terrific struggle had taken place. Pauline had been brutally beaten but died from multiple stab wounds. It’s unclear if a sexual assault had occurred--DNA testing proved inconclusive. Pauline’s purse with money still inside was left on the bed and no jewelry was missing. Her home stood near a railroad track and some investigators theorize that she was murdered by a transient who’d hopped a train. Others think it was someone she knew, although Jack Lane and family members have been eliminated from suspicion. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this baffling mystery.

Murderers walk among us.

From decades-old graves, their victims cry for justice.

1 comment:

daniel said...

My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine what you and your family have been through. I know it's painful. I have a thirteen year old son,who I have not seen in 12 years. so i know that for me at least, there isn't a day or minute that goes by that i don't think of him and wonder about so many things. most of all, i wonder if he's healthy and happy. i'll keep you in my prayers.