There is no statute of limitations on murder. And police departments around Southern Colorado are dedicated to solving every unsolved murder on the books. Crime Stoppers reporter Jeannette Hynes recently talked to Pueblo Police about one of its cold cases.
Preserved evidence, new technology, and maybe a troubled soul---that's what Pueblo Police hope will help solve a brutal murder.
Verla Jean Dodds owned Jeanie's Bar on East Evans in Pueblo for 31 years. Steel mill workers would frequent her watering hole at shift change. Jeanie used to say, "Every rummy in town knows me," according to a Pueblo Chieftain article.
But on June 21, 1991, someone strangled Jeanie to death. Her mother found Jeanie on the bedroom floor, in the apartment that sits right behind the bar she owned.
Jeanie's Bar has a new owner and a new name. It's called Grandpappy's now. And someone else lives inside her apartment, but Pueblo Police have not given up on her case.
"We don't forget these cases. We're going to stay on top of them." Deputy police chief John Ercul was a captain at the time. "I remember that morning---responding to work. It was just after 7:30 in the morning, and the call went out over the radio of a robbery and possible homicide," he says.
A dozen years later, detectives continue to work the case. "Even though it's been going on 12 years, you can see where the siding was pulled loose," Ercul says. He says that's how Jeanie's killer got inside her place. And whoever killed her, probably did it for money.
Jeanie kept the cash boxes in her closet, which was attached to the bar. "We followed numerous leads concerning the people who had been in the bar that evening---people she had problems with in the past," Ercul says.
Police even looked into a print of a pair of jeans they found at the crime scene. But that was another dead end. Now they hope new technology or new information will help them crack this case. "What we are hoping for is that somebody remembers something that may be did not remember at the time, or something that's been troubling them over the years that they want to bring forward," Ercul says.
Pueblo Police would like to hear from anyone who might know something about this case. Even if you think your information is minor, it could be the piece police need. You can give your information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers. The number in Pueblo is 542-STOP. Your tip could earn you a cash reward.