Two Montana Sweethearts Were Fatally Shot in 1956. The Case Was Just Solved.

When Detective Sgt. Jon Kadner of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office in Montana was informed in 2012 that he was being put in cost of the investigation right into a long-unsolved double murder, the case was already greater than 50 years previous.

It was the primary time that Sergeant Kadner, who’s 40 and grew up in small-town Iowa, had heard of Duane Bogle and Patricia Kalitzke, teenage sweethearts who had been fatally shot in January 1956, greater than 20 years earlier than he was born, presumably after they drove to an space in Great Falls, Mont., generally known as a lovers’ lane.

“There was just years and years of documentation and numerous suspects that had been looked into,” the sergeant stated. “But I knew the key was going to be DNA.”

On Tuesday, the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office introduced that it had cracked the case. The workplace recognized Kenneth Gould, a horse coach who died in 2007, because the “likely suspect” who had shot and killed Mr. Bogle, 18, and Ms. Kalitzke, 16, greater than 65 years in the past.

Sergeant Kadner stated he believed it was the oldest murder case in the United States to be solved with genetic family tree, which makes use of DNA from crime scenes to establish the family members of potential suspects and ultimately the suspects themselves.

John M. Butler, an professional on forensic genetics on the National Institute of Standards and Technology, stated whereas he was not conscious of any group that formally tracks chilly circumstances, “Certainly, 1956 is the oldest that I have heard about up to this point.”

The investigation concerned painstaking analysis right into a long-ago crime that had as soon as generated nationwide media consideration.

Ms. Kalitzke was a junior at Great Falls High School. Mr. Bogle was an airman from Waco, Texas, stationed close by at Malmstrom Air Force Base. They each liked dancing and music, and he was “instantly smitten with Patty,” after they met in December 1955, Sergeant Kadner stated.

The youngsters have been final seen at Pete’s Drive-In restaurant in Great Falls, simply after 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, 1956. When they didn’t come residence that evening, their households assumed they’d eloped, Sergeant Kadner stated.

The following day, three boys mountain climbing alongside the Sun River in Great Falls discovered Mr. Bogle’s physique in an space that was generally known as a rendezvous spot for youngsters.

He was face down, and had been shot in the again of the pinnacle. His arms had been tied behind his again along with his personal belt. The ignition change, radio and headlights on his automotive have been on, and the automotive was in gear. His costly digicam had not been taken.

Investigators initially feared that Ms. Kalitzke had been kidnapped.

But the subsequent day, Jan. four, 1956, a county highway employee discovered her physique off a gravel highway about 5 miles north of Great Falls. She had been shot in the pinnacle and had accidents that have been in line with a wrestle or a sexual assault, Sergeant Kadner stated.

Newspaper headlines described the youngsters as “lovers’ lane slaying victims” and recalled a “wide search” for a “brutal killer.”

Over the subsequent half century, detectives investigated about 35 potential suspects, together with James (Whitey) Bulger, the infamous South Boston mobster who was convicted in 2013 of collaborating in 11 murders. Mr. Bulger, who died in 2018, had lived in Great Falls in the 1950s and had been arrested in a rape there in 1951, Sergeant Kadner stated.

But nobody was ever charged, and the case went chilly.

Investigators turned to genetic family tree in 2018, after the authorities arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, generally known as the Golden State Killer, and accused him of committing 13 murders and almost 50 rapes that terrorized California in the 1970s and ’80s. It was the primary high-profile case to be cracked with genetic family tree.

“That’s when we really started looking at what evidence we had, and if we could potentially do the same thing,” Sergeant Kadner stated.

Sergeant Kadner stated the essential piece of proof was a DNA pattern from a sperm cell that had been collected from Ms. Kalitzke’s physique throughout her post-mortem. That pattern had been preserved in an proof vault for six a long time.

In 2001, it had been despatched to the state crime lab for evaluation, however didn’t result in any matches in a nationwide legal database.

In 2019, with the assistance of Bode Technology, a Virginia firm that specializes in DNA evaluation, one other DNA profile was extracted from the pattern, which enabled investigators to construct a household tree that led them to Mr. Gould, Sergeant Kadner stated.

Because Mr. Gould had been cremated, investigators collected DNA from his kids, which linked Mr. Gould to the sperm cell that had been discovered on Ms. Kalitzke’s physique, Sergeant Kadner stated.

Mr. Gould, who was 29 in 1956, lived simply over a mile from Ms. Kalitzke’s home and saved horses about 600 yards from the home the place she had grown up, Sergeant Kadner stated. He had married one other 16-year-old lady in 1952 and ultimately had 5 kids.

After the killings, he left the realm and was seen residing in two different Montana cities earlier than transferring to Alton, Mo., in 1967.

He by no means returned to Montana, even to go to his household, Sergeant Kadner stated. Mr. Gould had no recognized legal historical past, and detectives have no idea if he had any relationship with Ms. Kalitzke or Mr. Bogle. Mr. Gould died in 2007 at age 79 in Oregon County, Mo.

“Obviously, I can’t put the gun in his hand,” Sergeant Kadner stated. “But when you put everything together, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the suspect.”

PictureKenneth Gould, who has been recognized because the suspect in the 1956 killings of two youngsters in Great Falls, Mont., died in 2007.Credit…Cascade County Sheriff’s Office

Mr. Gould’s kids, three of whom submitted DNA samples, have been all stunned to be informed that their father was being investigated in reference to a double murder in 1956, Sergeant Kadner stated.

“His daughter basically said, ‘You never know. Some people just have secrets that they never told anybody,’” the sergeant stated.

Ms. Kalitzke’s sister has superior dementia, Sergeant Kadner stated. Mr. Bogle’s brother died in 2013. Based on conversations along with his spouse, “it really affected him throughout his life, just not knowing what happened to his brother,” Sergeant Kadner stated.

Sergeant Kadner stated it was “pretty surreal” to have recognized the doubtless suspect in two homicides that occurred so way back. “I’ll be honest,” he stated. “It feels great to give this family closure.”