1968 Drum Corps Murder Still Unsolved


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Next month will be the 41st anniversary of the murder of 13-year-old Jacalyn Harp, who was strangled with her own leather flag carrier after she left practice for the Midland Park, NJ Imperial Knights All-Girls Drum & Bugle Corps.

Nobody has been charged in the case, although one guy's name has surfaced often as a possible suspect. He is a suspect in many other unsolved murders of that era.

Here is a small piece about it on a crime sleuths website:

Jacalyn Harp

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Time for "Cold Case."

Next month will be the 41st anniversary of the murder of 13-year-old Jacalyn Harp, who was strangled with her own leather flag carrier after she left practice for the Midland Park, NJ Imperial Knights All-Girls Drum & Bugle Corps.

Nobody has been charged in the case, although one guy's name has surfaced often as a possible suspect. He is a suspect in many other unsolved murders of that era.

Here is a small piece about it on a crime sleuths website:

Jacalyn Harp

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  • 5 years later...

I was researching this case for a forensic science course( I' m trying to go into profiling) I took last summer however this case really stuck with me.. When I first started I didn't really research it thoroughly I honestly only got what I needed to get the assignment done but its left such an impact and has been at the back of my mind for about a year I honestly feel like I own it to her to put more effort into researching her case.. as my instructor said this is a common response to first cases however when I get my credentials this will be the first unsolved case I jump for until then I'm just going to do all the research I can

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When you think about it, any number of people could have done it. When it is known that an all-girl corps is practicing at the same

location at the same time each week, a deranged person could have planned weeks ahead for just the right opportunity to abduct a young girl

who may be walking home from practice. Then again it may very well have been the guy whose name was often mentioned, since he was later suspected of other murders of young girls in the area.

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yes but the way she was both murdered and disposed of doesn't suggest he had known her or even known of her, she was strangled with her guard case this suggest a sexual sadist, and or power orientated. Since her garments were tapered with I am personally leaning more to sexual sadist. For the fact that he used the guard case suggest that he didn't have a personal relationship with her, because if he did he would have wanted her death to be more intimate and would have used his hands. The fact that he dumped her body in an open area suggest hes not a native of the town. If he was he would have disposed of her body in a more discreet place for fear of it leading back to him.

Edited by Brittany Mendoza
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  • 2 years later...

Hi everybody!  I was a friend of Jackie, the girl that was murdered, and spent the day with her and walked to practice with her on the day she died.  I see in these posts that there was a name that was often mentioned.  Where did you folks get your information and who is it?  And Brittany, Jackie was not dumped.  She was at a place a lot of us hung out at called "Washies" and was attacked there.  She would take the short cut through Washies to get home from practice.  I believe she knew EXACTLY who it was, and that there were two people involved in her death.  One to hold her down with the flag strap while the other one attempted to rape her.  She had been having issues with a boy in town, who, by the way, moved out of the area shortly after Jackie was murdered.  Sorry, just seeing somebody write that she was "dumped" has really upset me.

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Thanks for posting on here!  You certainly would know more about this than any of us.

I started this thread back in 2009.  I first heard about it in an old issue of Drum Corps News, and I was interested to know if anyone was ever arrested.

Years ago there was much more about this case that showed up on the internet than there seems to be today.  My original post included a link, that apparently is no longer active.  It was on the websleuths online crime community, where amateurs discuss old unsolved crimes.  I also once saw a website where the suspected person's name was mentioned (sorry I don't recall who he was).  He was a suspect in other NJ cases.

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3 hours ago, C Neill said:

Hi everybody!  I was a friend of Jackie, the girl that was murdered, and spent the day with her and walked to practice with her on the day she died.  I see in these posts that there was a name that was often mentioned.  Where did you folks get your information and who is it?  And Brittany, Jackie was not dumped.  She was at a place a lot of us hung out at called "Washies" and was attacked there.  She would take the short cut through Washies to get home from practice.  I believe she knew EXACTLY who it was, and that there were two people involved in her death.  One to hold her down with the flag strap while the other one attempted to rape her.  She had been having issues with a boy in town, who, by the way, moved out of the area shortly after Jackie was murdered.  Sorry, just seeing somebody write that she was "dumped" has really upset me.

I'm glad you clarified Jackie story.  she came back with me, on the queens bus a lot back then.  I still believe it was a hate crime.  I contacted the local police, asked then if they would "open" the case back up, I was told by the captain that it was "still" being investigated.  I tried doing a back ground check on him, but found nothing.  Mrs. Harp was being sent horrible mail after Jackie's death..maybe that's why the family moved..  I wish this would be solved..I cared a lot about her...( I was the co captain of the color guard back then..Eleanor was captain) queen village queens

I wonder if the investigator Brittnay Mandoza, would follow through.

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