cold case

Relative of ‘Lady of the Dunes' Speaks: ‘This Is Very Shocking'

Brittanie Novonglosky, whose grandmother was the aunt of Ruth Marie Terry, says her family lost saw the slain woman when she came home to Tennessee just months before her body was found in the dunes of Provincetown, Massachusetts; from 1974 until this week, the body was unidentified

NBC Universal, Inc.

Days after a murder victim whose body was found on Cape Cod in 1974 was identified, her family members are speaking about the case.

The woman, known for decades only as "The Lady of the Dunes," was identified Monday as Ruth Marie Terry. Her family is still trying to process what happened.

Brittanie Novonglosky, whose grandmother was Terry's aunt, says her family last saw her when she came home to Tennessee to visit just months before her body was found in the dunes of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Novonglosky says Terry was very loved, and her family never gave up searching for her. They never thought she would be the victim of such a horrible crime.

"This is very shocking. It's very crazy, and it's very sad, it's very, very sad for us, because she was up there for 50 years all by herself," Novonglosky said. "No one knew where she was. No one ever thought to look there. No one in my mother's side of the family is from that area."

Terry was born in Tennessee in 1936.

Ruth Marie Terry was identified as the victim of a 1974 murder on Cape Cod.

"It's devastating to see that she was not only taken from this world in such a brutal way, but to be so alone, even though you have a very loving and persistent family down south," Novonglosky said. "There was no way for us to know she was there."

The NBC10 Investigators have learned she married several times. According to a marriage certificate, she exchanged vows with Guy Muldavin in Reno, Nevada, using a different name, six months before her body was found.

Novonglosky says her family met Muldavin, who is now the focus of the investigation into Terry's murder.

The family had no idea about Muldavin's past, Novonglosky said, including that he had been eyed in the mutilation deaths of his former wife and stepdaughter back in 1960. He was never charged with their murders.

Wednesday evening, Massachusetts State Police officially identified Muldavin, who is dead, as a person of interest in the investigation. They gave his name as Guy Rockwell Muldavin, born Oct. 27, 1923, though he also went by Raoul Guy Rockwell and and Guy Muldavin Rockwell.

Terry also went by Teri Marie Vizina, Terry M. Vizina and Teri Shannon, police said.

Anyone with information about either Muldavin or Terry's whereabouts in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and New England from 1973 to 1974 is asked to call police at 1-800-KAPTURE, emailing or by texting 226787

Sources say that Muldavin had a questionable past, making headlines coast to coast. He was the focus of an investigation into the brutal killing of his ex-wife and stepdaughter in Seattle in 1960, but was never charged with their murders.

News reports from the time show that after Muldavin's ex-wife and stepdaughter the women went missing, human remains were found in the septic tank of the family’s home. Muldavin was arrested by the FBI and charged with unlawful flight for not giving testimony related to the mutilation of human remains. He was later found guilty of grand larceny, but had his sentence suspended after 15 months in jail, according to The Seattle Times.

An obituary shows Muldavin died in California in 2002 at the age of 78.

"The Lady of the Dunes," the Massachusetts killing victim who has gone the longest time without being identified, has been named. Ruth Marie Terry was found dead in Provincetown on July 26, 1974.

Terry's killing was gruesome — she died of a crushing blow to the head, was nearly decapitated and her hands were severed; authorities believe she was killed several weeks before her body was found in Provincetown.

After 48 years without being identified, investigative genealogy helped investigators figure out who Terry is, according to the FBI.

Decades-old crimes are being solved using genetic genealogy. Here’s what you need to know.

It’s a case that’s haunted Alyssa Metcalfe her entire life. Her sister Leslie, who has since died, discovered Terry’s body.

"It didn't really feel like we thought there was some murderer in our midst," Metcalfe said. "It just seemed so uncharacteristic for Provincetown that it never occurred to us that the the murderer would have been anything but some transient."

Terry's family says they never stopped searching for her and even hired a private investigator to help.

The FBI released a flyer with pictures of Terry and are asking anyone with information about the case to contact authorities.

Contact Us