‘The only thing keeping me going is hope’: Family wants answers to 1979 cold case

A Nebraska family hopes an increased reward and newer technology will help crack a case that has been unsolved since 1979.Laura Jane Linehan was killed in her Omaha home the night of Dec. 13 that year.”She was a character. She was a lot of fun. Really spunky,” Jackie Goodrich said. Goodrich is one of Linehan’s daughters and she has kept a file of all the police reports and private investigator notes surrounding her mother’s death.”I look through this again and think, ‘My God, why, oh why, oh why?'” Goodrich said.When asked how many times she thinks she has gone through the file, she said, “Oh my God! In 42 years? Probably 4,200 times.”Linehan was a widow who worked in the cafeteria at a local high school.On the night of the murder, Goodrich’s sister was in the home, drifting in and out of sleep. She told investigators she heard voices and then suddenly, silence.”And she heard dragging, around the carpet and stuff which actually was him dragging her from the living room to our bathroom to put her in the tub of water,” said Goodrich.Omaha Police Detective Sherry King said investigators don’t know why this happened or who killed Linehan. She said there are a number of theories, but none that can be confirmed. The house is no longer there. It was torn down with others in that area to make room for a freeway.Investigators said there is a chance the killer is still out there and may still be in the area.There are at least three reasons Linehan’s family may finally get justice. First, King believes someone knows and remembers who killed Linehan, even though memories can fade over time.”They do, but I’ve found in this line of work, things that are traumatic usually stick with people,” said King.Second, there are newer tools, like DNA testing, available to investigators.”There are new techniques now that are out that can possibly lead us back to information in reference to that case,” King said.”I told them, ‘God, exhume my mom, see if there’s anything, maybe, just maybe, there.’ I don’t know,” said Goodrich. Goodrich is all for science solving this case, but if science can’t do it, maybe cash can. That’s the third thing: A $25,000 Crime Stoppers reward.”If somebody has the information, in fact, they may have the information and don’t realize they have the information that we need, so we’d like to hear from anyone,” said King.”You know the only thing keeping me going is hope,” Goodrich said. She says she hopes that no matter how it happens, enough information will come in that will let her close her file for one final time.”If nothing does happen, I mean, you know what I’ve lived with it this long I just don’t want to take it to my grave with me like that, nothing ever being done,” Goodrich said.

A Nebraska family hopes an increased reward and newer technology will help crack a case that has been unsolved since 1979.

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Laura Jane Linehan was killed in her Omaha home the night of Dec. 13 that year.

“She was a character. She was a lot of fun. Really spunky,” Jackie Goodrich said.

Goodrich is one of Linehan’s daughters and she has kept a file of all the police reports and private investigator notes surrounding her mother’s death.

“I look through this again and think, ‘My God, why, oh why, oh why?'” Goodrich said.

When asked how many times she thinks she has gone through the file, she said, “Oh my God! In 42 years? Probably 4,200 times.”

Linehan was a widow who worked in the cafeteria at a local high school.

On the night of the murder, Goodrich’s sister was in the home, drifting in and out of sleep. She told investigators she heard voices and then suddenly, silence.

“And she heard dragging, around the carpet and stuff which actually was him dragging her from the living room to our bathroom to put her in the tub of water,” said Goodrich.

Omaha Police Detective Sherry King said investigators don’t know why this happened or who killed Linehan. She said there are a number of theories, but none that can be confirmed.

The house is no longer there. It was torn down with others in that area to make room for a freeway.

Investigators said there is a chance the killer is still out there and may still be in the area.

There are at least three reasons Linehan’s family may finally get justice. First, King believes someone knows and remembers who killed Linehan, even though memories can fade over time.

“They do, but I’ve found in this line of work, things that are traumatic usually stick with people,” said King.

Second, there are newer tools, like DNA testing, available to investigators.

“There are new techniques now that are out that can possibly lead us back to information in reference to that case,” King said.

“I told them, ‘God, exhume my mom, see if there’s anything, maybe, just maybe, there.’ I don’t know,” said Goodrich.

Goodrich is all for science solving this case, but if science can’t do it, maybe cash can. That’s the third thing: A $25,000 Crime Stoppers reward.

“If somebody has the information, in fact, they may have the information and don’t realize they have the information that we need, so we’d like to hear from anyone,” said King.

“You know the only thing keeping me going is hope,” Goodrich said. She says she hopes that no matter how it happens, enough information will come in that will let her close her file for one final time.

“If nothing does happen, I mean, you know what I’ve lived with it this long I just don’t want to take it to my grave with me like that, nothing ever being done,” Goodrich said.

Contributed by local news sources

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