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The Valerie Percy Murder

Who did it? This happened over 40 years ago. She was the daughter of Illinois Senator Charles Percy. Valerie had a twin sister, Sharon, who later married Jay Rockefeller.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 7901/29/2015

I don't think they ever found the killer. I do remember that the CBS Thursday Night Movie was going to premiere Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO (edited for TV) later that week. The movie was postponed and ,when it finally aired, the shower scene had been edited more.

by Anonymousreply 103/10/2011


by Anonymousreply 203/10/2011

There was a roman a clef about this murder (called 'Punish Me With Kisses') and in that one, the mother did it (because the daughter and the father ....well, you know).%0D %0D There's also apparently a true crime book about the case that is (obviously) long out of print. It is called: Too Nice a Girl to Forget: The Murder of Valerie Percy by Michele A Ferber.

by Anonymousreply 303/10/2011

Oooh. I remember this case vividly and it still freaks me out. A sitting Senator's (Illinois) teenage daughter is murdered in her bed in the dead of night by an intruder and the killer has never been found! A perfect cold-case investigation. AND her twin sister Sharon ended up marrying Jay Rockefeller.%0D %0D Geez. Where's Dominick Dunne when we need him?

by Anonymousreply 403/10/2011

Her twin sister went on to do far more than just marry a Rockefeller.

by Anonymousreply 503/10/2011

I shouldn't post this, as I will be labeled a troll, but this is 100% true...I grew up two house down (beach side) from the Percy house. Their house was on Lake Michigan as was mine, and the police report states that the killer used my family's home's stairway from the beach as the escape.%0D %0D So, what this means, is I grew up around all this Percy murder stuff. I was only a kid when it happened, but I remember the gawkers and looky-loos on Sheridan Road, which is the street side of the bock of houses. And, I do remember being scared. It was right before Gacy too, which was in the Chicago area, so as a kid I had many sleepless nights.

by Anonymousreply 603/10/2011

I don't think Senator Percy was a sitting senator when Valerie was killed: IIRC, I think he was in the process of being elected senator when it happened.

It's almost certain, from everyhing I've read, that it was a random intruder who just happened on Valerie while he (or she) was trying to burgle the house, and so killed her. That's why they never caught the killer--it probably wasn't anyone who had any connection to the Percy family.

by Anonymousreply 703/10/2011

[quote]And, I do remember being scared. It was right before Gacy too, which was in the Chicago area, so as a kid I had many sleepless nights.

Valerie Percy was murdered in 1966, the Gacy murders didn't come in the spotlight for another 10 years.

by Anonymousreply 803/11/2011

[quote]It was right before Gacy too, which was in the Chicago area, so as a kid I had many sleepless nights. Since it also came right on the heels of Mrs. O'Leary's cow starting the Great Chicago Fire, that must have been some childhood.

by Anonymousreply 903/11/2011

Valerie Percy was murdered in September of 1966. This was years before Gacy's crimes were uncovered. Remember: this was just after Richard Speck killed 8 student nurses in July of 1966. Valerie Percy's father, Charles, was running for senator. It is believed that he won the seat (and was re-electged) in part due to sympathy. I was 8 at the time and living in Chicago. %0D %0D Years later, I took a sociology class and the teacher had 2 Chicago homicide detectives come in to talk about murders and murderers. I asked them who killed Valerie Percy and they got strange looks on their faces. They told us that they all knew immediately it was an inside job. They thought it was the step-mother. She was the only person who saw the killer.

by Anonymousreply 1003/11/2011

What would the stepmother's motive be? Why wouldn't the stepmother be covered with blood? It was a forceful, repeated stabbing. Women rarely do that.

by Anonymousreply 1103/11/2011

[quote]Geez. Where's Dominick Dunne when we need him?%0D %0D Dead.

by Anonymousreply 1203/11/2011

The Stepmother was a jealous wench. She couldn't stand the fact that Mr. Percy doted on his daughters and had nothing left for her. Worst kept secret in Chicago.

by Anonymousreply 1303/11/2011

Nobody with any credibility believes the stepmom did it. the stepmom raised the twins since they were very young and she had her own bio kids with Valerie's dad.%0D %0D There was plenty of money for everyone.

by Anonymousreply 1403/11/2011

Whom ever murdered Valerie was extremely angry because she was savagely stabbed repeatedly, and I think her throat was sliced open. If this was a hired killing, the murderer would have been done in a, get the job done and leave routine. I have read once that there was a theory in which she turned down a date with a guy, and he was pissed off and murdered her.

However, what is so interesting about this case, the family had two dogs that slept up stairs near the bedrooms. Apparently the dogs weren't growling nor making any commotion. Which means that the dogs were familiar with the murderer. Also, the mother's bedroom was an adjacent near Valerie's, and she claimed she heard a bit of noise. She got up out of bed and she said the murderer ran passed her? That doesn't make sense because the murderer would have murdered the lady if she encountered him. Also, she claims she couldn%E2%80%99t give any descriptions of any kind of the murderer because she claimed that she couldn't really see him.

R10, if it was an inside job, maybe her half brother tried to hit on Valerie and she refused him? There are sick stuff like that that happens. It%E2%80%99s just a thought.

R3, Amazon has that book, Too Nice a Girl to Forget: The Murder of Valerie Percy by Michele A Ferber, listed and Amazon stated last year that it would come out this year. However, it still listed the titled and the year and that%E2%80%99s it. I called Amazon and they said, it%E2%80%99s coming, but they didn't know when. And another time they said the book doesn%E2%80%99t exist. I went to the library and they had no clue about that book. I went to an out of print seller and they said there is no listing of that book. I have been wanting that book for a long time, but I don't understand why it so hard to find?

by Anonymousreply 1503/11/2011

The author is Michele A. Farber, not Ferber, and she's a law professor at Seton Hall. Amazon says the book came out in 2000. But it's weird that none of the used book sites have it.

by Anonymousreply 1603/12/2011

God, I bet it was the stepmother. %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 1703/12/2011

All I know is that Scooter Libby, that ugly newspaper columnist, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney shoulda been brought up on treason charges.

by Anonymousreply 1803/12/2011

Wrong thread, R18

by Anonymousreply 1903/12/2011

Damn, maybe it was the stepmom, but unlike Patsy Ramsey, I've never heard anything bad about the stepmom.

by Anonymousreply 2003/12/2011

I knew a politically active, older woman from the neighborhood and she told me (this was in the 1980s) that they believed it was a boyfriend or wannabe boyfriend of Valerie. I think she mentioned a name but I don't remember it or maybe she nerve did mention the name. The murder grew out of something about him panicking for fear of being caught in her room. Of course we can't possibly know the real motive.%0D %0D In any event the reason this suspect was believable was that he committed suicide some time after the murder. %0D %0D How believable this woman was (a serious, smart woman on our Board of Directors) I don't know but it was something that was obviously discussed in that world.

by Anonymousreply 2103/12/2011

Even if the dogs knew the murderer, r15, they would have reacted to her being killed, whether they were in the room or not.

by Anonymousreply 2203/12/2011

A satanic cult was reponsible

by Anonymousreply 2303/12/2011

O yes, I remember that step-mother. She had a silver voice with a counterfeit ring. Just melt her down and you'll reveal a lump of lead as cold as steel right where a woman's heart should be!

by Anonymousreply 2403/12/2011

Stop! I'LL tell.

by Anonymousreply 2503/12/2011

Do any Chicagoans here know the state of Chuck Percy's current health?

by Anonymousreply 2603/12/2011

Supposedly, Valerie Percy was a sleep-around. She and the stepmother had had words repeatedly about her baviour during Charles Percy's run for the Senate. The story is that, the night before Valerie was killed, she and the stepmother had a huge fight that was witnessed by several people. %0D %0D The Percy family had recently hired a new butler about a month before the killing. The Percys' dog still was barking loudly at the butler every time it saw him. The dog was silent the night Valerie was killed. This lead police to believe the killer was known to the dog.%0D %0D The only person who saw the killer was the stepmother. Investigators wanted to interview the stepmother more thoroughly but the family refused. They did not want to ruin Charles Percy's chance at a Senate seat. %0D %0D This means that the family has always known that the stepmother killed Valerie and the marriage and the family has stayed intact.

by Anonymousreply 2703/12/2011

R27, And what was really weird, when the detective at the time interviewed the family he said the father, and Valerie's family were emotionless about Valerie's murder that occurred just the night before. Valerie's father said, I think we need to get away from all of this on and go on a vacation?!! The detective was just stunned how cold Valerie's father was.

BTW, it has been reported very recently that the twin sister is battling breast cancer.

by Anonymousreply 2803/13/2011

I thought Valerie's twin, Sharon Rockefeller, had colon cancer. %0D %0D I still don't see any motive at all for the stepmother. Valerie was only at home occasionally, as she was a graduate student. %0D %0D The family's serenity after the murder does seem odd, but I assumed that was their religion manifesting itself. I've never heard anything bad about the Percy family.

by Anonymousreply 2903/13/2011

I don't really see anything odd about wanting to take your family out of the house where your daughter was just murdered. Who the hell stays in the murder house that soon after the murder? Sharon's bedroom was just next door. %0D %0D In any event the screen door had been snipped and a glass cutter had been used on the back door and they found finger prints on the glass and her bedroom door and a bloody palm print and a glove. They assumed the killer knew where he/she was going because they went to Valerie's room in a large house and bypassed Sharon's room. She was stabbed about 8 or 10 times in the head area maybe the face and elsewhere and beaten in the head with some type of hammer. That's personal. That person went there to kill her. %0D %0D Valerie was not in grad school at the time. She graduated from Cornell that summer and was due to start at Johns Hopkins soon. She and her sister had been home since graduation helping on the campaign. Valerie, according to her sister, took the el downtown and walked to the office every day. %0D %0D It's nonsense to suggest her step mother killed her just as it would be nonsense to suggest Sharon did it because Valerie was their father's confidante.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 3003/13/2011

I work in a library and looked up the Farber book on several cataloging and review sites and I see no evidence that it was ever published. My guess is that it was announced for publication, but never got released. This happens from time to time, for a variety of reasons (publication could have been blocked by a lawsuit, etc.) and it's always a pain for readers and bibliographers who insist that a certain book was published ("It's listed on Amazon!") when it actually was never released. %0D %0D I'm tempted to track down Ms. Farber's e-mail address at Seton Hall and ask her it this book was ever published.

by Anonymousreply 3103/13/2011

Were they identical or fraternal twins? How did their bio mom die?

by Anonymousreply 3203/13/2011

R32, they were identical twins. Their mother had a son about 2 years after them and then had an operation a year later to correct something - don't recall - she died either during the operation or right after. That was in 1947. %0D %0D R22, the only dog, a lab, was in the garage. Not in the house.%0D %0D R28, the family went into seclusion for 2 weeks and according to friends read religious tracts and walked the beach. There is no evidence whatsoever that Lorraine Percy did not cooperate. In fact she did and then testified at the Coroner's Inquest of which there are pictures of the family's attendance including Sharon. %0D %0D Someone broke into the house and stabbed and beat this girl to death. The girl was covered with blood as was most assuredly her killer. Valerie was still alive when her dad went into her room and the next door doctor was called to immediately come over. Percy also called the police immediately because he feared the attacker was still in the house - he had 2 other children in the house at the time, Sharon and her younger sister.

by Anonymousreply 3303/13/2011

R22, about the dog, really? I'm not denying what you are saying at all, but I have always heard the dog was sleeping in the hallway adjacent to the bedrooms.

by Anonymousreply 3403/13/2011

Sharon named her daughter Valerie, after her murdered twin.%0D %0D I think Charles Percy is still alive.

by Anonymousreply 3503/13/2011

How convenient he was not at the house.....

by Anonymousreply 3603/15/2011

Who, 36?

by Anonymousreply 3703/16/2011

It's all Obama's fault.

by Anonymousreply 3803/16/2011

I thought the jewel thief did it?

by Anonymousreply 3905/11/2011

[quote]Years later, I took a sociology class and the teacher had 2 Chicago homicide detectives come in to talk about murders and murderers. I asked them who killed Valerie Percy and they got strange looks on their faces. They told us that they all knew immediately it was an inside job.

Was there any signs of a break in?

How would the intruder know his way around the house so well?

What kind of a burglar viciously kills someone & then leaves without taking anything?

I know they had a big house (17 rooms) but I've lived in buildings where I heard a screams from other apartments.

by Anonymousreply 4005/11/2011

Honestly, I think someone in the family did it. From the somewhat odd relationship between the sisters to the way the family behaved afterwards. Kind of a united front. Usually one or more people put their grief aside to provide support and carry the family through things, but it's never as coordinated as that. In my family, it was my father, when my grandmother died. His older siblings were going through it and of course the grandkids. Even though their personalities would make you think it would be flipped (related to his siblings, he was the quieter, sensitive one).

I'd be shocked if one of her family members weren't the culprit.

by Anonymousreply 4105/11/2011

How does someone commit such a violent act without it waking others in the house?

Jesus, home invasions scare the living shit out of me.

by Anonymousreply 4205/12/2011

Except no one in that family had any motive. Valerie was a well-liked adult about to attend grad school.

by Anonymousreply 4305/13/2011

John Gacy cruised me once while I was walking on a suburban street. I thought the guy driving by looked a little strange, so I ducked into a doorway - and watched him circle the block again, looking for me.%0D %0D I didn't realize who he was until after he had been caught.

by Anonymousreply 4405/13/2011

What odd relationship between the sisters? I've never heard of any.%0D %0D After the murder the family left for a retreat on the west coast - sort of a religious retreat. The girls were the oldest so all the other kids were teenagers and younger so of course they all went together as a family. There was nothing odd about it at all.%0D %0D The Percys and Sharon attended the inquest. %0D %0D It was a very big house though the noise did wake Mrs. Percy and she went to check it out. That's when she encoutered the murderer who pushed past her. Valerie was actually still alive at that point.

by Anonymousreply 4505/24/2011

Usually when someone breaks into a house to steal, they harm the occupants of the house once, and quickly leave or they just do their thing and leave. However, Valerie's murder was obviously done by someone who was very, very angry. Also, this person seems like he wanted to get some sort of revenge or was just a complete psychopath. Surely a murder like that would get some attention from the others who occupied the house at the beginning of the crime.

by Anonymousreply 4605/24/2011

It's time for another forgotten unsolved murders thread.

by Anonymousreply 4705/24/2011

Who is this bitch, and why should I care?

by Anonymousreply 4805/24/2011

You shouldn't, r48. Go back to your reality TV shows.

by Anonymousreply 4905/24/2011

If they were twins maybe the killer was after the other sister. Did they ever pursue that?

by Anonymousreply 5005/24/2011

By any chance this Michele A Farber wouldn't also teach at Montclair State University and be associated with Pfizer? If so, she is a friend of mine.

by Anonymousreply 5105/24/2011

R51, would you tell her that we all want to read her book ,and you can't get it anywhere. What the hell is going on?!

by Anonymousreply 5205/25/2011

Rumor has it that...she was killed to punish her father for not enthusiastically supporting LBJ's Vietnam adventure.

That's what my 'insider' sources tell me.

by Anonymousreply 5305/25/2011

I was 18 years old when this happened, having moved to the Chicago area at 17. This was a frightening murder...and still is...because it was in the "safety" of a wealthy home and family. I remember being terrified, sleeping in my closet at night with the dresser pushed in front of the bedroom door. Something seems so terribly off in this case. My intuitive sense is that it had something to do with organized crime; however, I am so appalled that Sharon has not turned the earth upside down as her life mission to find the killer. Why is that?

by Anonymousreply 5409/19/2011

Nancy--Why did you wait until Chuck Percy died to cast aspersions on Sharon and also point a finger at organized crime? Indeed, you don't even mention that Percy died this week. My intuition tells me that you are more directly involved with this crime than you would have us believe!

by Anonymousreply 5509/19/2011

Oh, dear, R55. Do we have a murderer in our midst?

Get on that, would you.

by Anonymousreply 5609/19/2011

This was big news in 1966. Sharon Percy Rockfeller and her family probably had nothing to do with this. The murderer may have been after Sharon, and I do remember reading an article stating this at the time. Please remember that I was 13 at the time.

by Anonymousreply 5711/26/2012

Are there any books about this case?

by Anonymousreply 5811/26/2012

Ro-berta Gonzalez did it

by Anonymousreply 5911/26/2012

No, Paul Deanno did it. And did it badly.

by Anonymousreply 6011/26/2012

Was it Rubicoff(?) of CT(?) that had a daughter murdered around the same time?

by Anonymousreply 6111/26/2012


by Anonymousreply 6211/26/2012

Assorted things:

The dog was reportedly in the covered walkway between the house and the garage. It also was said to bark only at people wearing uniforms. There was only one dog. Early reports of there being 2 dogs were wrong.

The method used by the killer to enter the house was not like that used by the mob pro burglars. Hohimer wrote a book about his career as a burglar and described the methods that he and Malchow, Evans and others used. The book was called "The Home Invaders". The mob pros tried to avoid harming the members of the household. They were capable of it, but knew it was wiser not to do it.

I think the family's behavior after the murder was largely orchestrated by the campaign staff rather than the Percys. The senatorial campaign going on at the time rally muddied things for the detectives.

I agree that the killer was someone with a great deal of anger towards Valerie/Sharon or the family in general. I do not believe it was a contract murder. Too much overkill for that. A rejected boyfriend or wannabe boyfriend seems likely to me also. The possibility that the killer's intended victim was Sharon has been brought up before, but nothing certain has emerged about that one way or the other. I've read articles from the time on the case and the investigators looked at other similar attacks in other cities & states.


by Anonymousreply 6312/09/2012

The father, Charles Percy, was a fairly well-known homosexual.

by Anonymousreply 6412/09/2012

I met Ted Kaczynski at a bookstore. He seemed like a crazy man.

by Anonymousreply 6512/11/2012

Murder? I'd call it an intervention!

by Anonymousreply 6612/11/2012

I just bought Sympathy Vote on Amazon. The book is about Chuck Percy and the murder of his daughter, Valerie. It puts out the theory of who really did it. I'm almost done reading it....I think the author has figured who killed her and I believe it. I think the Chicago police dept needs to be informed about this book so they can finally solve this cold case.

by Anonymousreply 6710/15/2013

Wasn't Thoreson a little old for that sort of thing by then?

by Anonymousreply 6810/15/2013

Why does everyone always suspect the brother??

by Anonymousreply 6910/15/2013

Who is the suspect, R67?

by Anonymousreply 7010/15/2013

Thoresen was nuts.

by Anonymousreply 7110/15/2013

The tabloids used to revive this compelling question every time Chuck Percy came up for reelection.

by Anonymousreply 7210/15/2013

Somebody killed Miss Tessmacher?

by Anonymousreply 7310/15/2013

The Thoreson theory is the strongest one I've read.

by Anonymousreply 7411/16/2013

There is a recent book called "Sympathy Vote" by Glenn Wall about the Valerie Percy murder that is for sale on Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 7501/28/2015

Louise Thoreson's book.

She died in 2003.

by Anonymousreply 7601/28/2015

So... whodunit?

by Anonymousreply 7701/28/2015

R77, From an individual review of "Sympathy Vote,"

"Glenn Wall revisits the long cold case. He explores the players, the place, and posits a compelling theory of who did it, a violent, disturbed individual who was raised a two minute walk from Percy's home, and ultimately died at the hands of his own family."

Thoreson was the son of a very wealthy businessman, and a mass hoarder of weapons and ammunition. He spent his life in and out of prison and mental hospitals. His mentally and physically abused wife finally killed him, claiming self defense. She was acquitted after her trial.

by Anonymousreply 7801/28/2015

[quote]I think the Chicago police dept needs to be informed about this book so they can finally solve this cold case.

The Chicago Police can't solve a crime, when it's directly captured on videotape.

by Anonymousreply 7901/29/2015
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