Days after authorities announced she had been identified, family members are shining new light on the life of a woman whose body was found in 1974 on Cape Cod.
Her family describes Terry as a loving and caring person who was a free spirit and wanted to explore life outside of where she grew up in Tennessee. She last visited her family four months before her body was discovered in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
"It was just earth-shattering to know that somebody so beautiful and so loved and so bright was taken like that," her great-niece, Brittanie Novonglosky, told the NBC10 Boston Investigators in an exclusive interview. "She was just brutalized and left that way with no dignity."
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Novonglosky said her grandmother told her Terry oozed love and was a loving person.
After almost five decades of living with the unknown, Terry's family's search for her ended in the dunes of Cape Cod, hundreds of miles away from her roots in Tennessee.
Investigative genealogy finally put a name to the composite face of the victim brutally murdered in Provincetown on July 26, 1974. Novonglosky described the outcome of the case as "very shocking," "very crazy" and "very sad."
"It's very, very sad for us, because she was up there for 50 years all by herself," said Novonglosky.
She told us her mother and grandmother never stopped searching for Terry, not knowing she was buried in Provincetown all these years in an unnamed grave. They last knew she was in California with her boyfriend, Muldavin, who sources tell us is the focus of the investigation into her murder.
It was a vicious crime. Terry's skull had been crushed, her head nearly decapitated. Her hands were severed and several teeth were pulled.
According to a marriage certificate obtained by the NBC10 Boston Investigators, Terry married Muldavin in Reno, Nevada, five months before her body was discovered. Her family met Muldavin the year before Ruth disappeared, but they had no idea about his disturbing past.
Sources say that Muldavin, who is now dead, was also known as Raoul Rockwell, and that he was being eyed in the brutal killing of his wife and stepdaughter in Seattle in 1960. He was never charged with the murders.
That crime made headlines, with newspaper reports describing the horror. Human remains found in a septic tank of the family's home and business. Muldavin was front-page news when he was arrested in New York later that year for unlawful flight for not giving testimony related to the mutilation of human remains.
Novonglosky said her family remembers Terry wasn't herself when Muldavin was by her side. She said Terry was almost inaccessible when she was with him, and it was like he owned her, that she was his property.
When asked about her thoughts in the wake of learning Muldavin's history, Novonglosky responded, "Knowing what we know now and seeing it, it would be very shocking if it wasn't him."
She added that it was Muldavin who told her family Terry went missing. Novonglosky's great-grandfather then travelled to California and hired a private investigator, who told them all of her belongings had been sold and that she left the state.
Novonglosky wants people to know Terry was loved, was beautiful and deserves justice.