Crime | news | Vintage

25 Years Later, Murdered Girl Gets Justice

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Her Murder Shook A Small Town To Its Core, 25 Years Later She's About To Get Justice


Four days after her disappearance, Lisa Ziegert's body was found less than one mile from where she vanished. People gathered all along the road as investigative teams spent more than 11 hours collecting evidence.

"I think whoever left her here had to know the area," a resident who lived near the card store said. "You need a four-wheel drive to get through the mud and there are a lot of different entrances to this place."

Detective Terry Latellier, right, hands an article of clothing to detective Stanley Chmielewski near the site where Ziegert's body was found.Mass Live

An autopsy would later prove that Ziegert died of a single stab wound to the neck.

"I don't believe we have a drifter here," one resident told local media outlets. "I've lived here all my life and I've never even known about that field."

Funeral Service

More than 800 people gathered to pay their respects to Lisa Ziegert. Members of the church where Ziegert had taught Sunday school wore white ribbons to the service, which had been handed out three days earlier at Easter Sunday mass.

"There is a wound in the heart of each of us," Rev. David J. Joyce says in his eulogy.


The police and FBI spent months trying to identify Lisa Ziegert's killer. There were two potential suspects in the case, both of whom knew Ziegert, but both were released after questioning. Months passed, and authorities still had no leads.

"We are still receiving calls on the hot line number and people should not hesitate to call if they think they might have some information, no matter how small or insignificant it is," Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett said.

One year later, police still had nothing to go off of.

In the days before the one-year anniversary of Ziegert's death, Agawam Middle School students tie a white ribbon to a tree in the school's courtyard.Mass Live

Continuing Hope

As years passed, no one gave up hope for finding Lisa Ziegert's killer. Hundreds of people gathered every year to remember the lost life.

"She was a great friend to laugh and to cry with," Dianne Ziegert, Lisa's mother, told gatherers. "She was a great listener."

"We are never going to forget Lisa, and ... we are never going to give up," Mayor Christopher C. Johnson says.

Dianne M. Ziegert speaks at a vigil on April 15, 1996, the fourth anniversary of her daughter's death.Mass Live

It's now been 25 years since Ziegert's death, and now her family may finally get some peace.

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