In 1966, convicted sex offender murdered 10-year-old girl

In 1966, convicted sex offender murdered 10-year-old girl

A prosecutor said Thursday that a 73-year-old convicted sex offender has been charged in relation to the 1966 abduction and death of a 10-year-old Massachusetts girl.

Betty Lou Zukowski, who left her Chicopee home on the evening of May 26, 1966, was found beaten to death a few days later in the Westfield River in West Springfield, according to the prosecution’s claims in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield. Donald Mars was charged with first-degree murder in her death.

Mars submitted a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Although his lawyer did not protest to his client being detained without bail, he reserved the right to do so in the future. A message asking for comment was placed on the defense’s email.

Anthony Gulluni, the district attorney for Hampden, stated at a news conference following the arraignment that “while this investigation won’t bring Betty Lou back to her family or give her the chance to grow into the healthy adult that she and every child deserve, it is for them and for Betty Lou that we embark upon this journey of seeking justice.”

Stanley and Mildred, Betty Lou’s parents, have since passed away, but the police have been in contact with her family’s living relatives, he added.

After receiving a call from a person she claimed to be her lover, the victim departed her family’s Chicopee residence, according to Gulluni. Later that evening, her parents reported her missing.

Boys fishing in the Westfield River in the community of West Springfield discovered her “damaged and mud-covered 4-foot-7 inch, 75-pound carcass just offshore,” he added.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that numerous blunt force injuries to her head, a skull fracture, and fatal drowning were the causes of death,” he stated.

Investigators think she was familiar with her assailant since she left her house on her own will.

On June 2, 1966, which would have been her 11th birthday, he added, she was buried.

Mars, who would have been a teenager at the time Betty Lou was killed, was connected to the murder as early as 1997 but eluded capture, according to Gulluni. He said that Gulluni’s cold case section had just returned to the investigation, however he did not specify what evidence had brought them to Mars.

Mars was found guilty of child rape and assault and battery on a kid under 14 in 1995, according to the state’s sex offender registry. He is classified as a Level 3 sex offender, the one most likely to commit another offense. It was Bedford where he most recently resided.

He watched the arraignment on video, but he said nothing. As the prosecution recounted a litany of the previous crimes he was charged with, he repeatedly shook his head.

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