Kathy Perry was 20 year old aspiring hairdresser. Described by friends as quiet and fun, she worked at night at the Ultrafinishers Bookbinding company and studied at the Newport school of Hairdressing during the day.
At 2:15 am on September 15th, 1986, Kathy left work and headed to a gas station on Bald Hill Rd. The clerk was someone that Kathy knew from West Warwick high school making the last confirmed sighting of her alive. She left the gas station around 2:30 am. There is mention in some reports of her being seen pulled over with her flashers on talking to someone on the side of the road between 2:30-2:45 am.
Kathy’s 1979 Mercury Capri was found running with all of her belongings inside at 4 am on Rt 2 in Warwick. Her purse contained over $100 so police do not believe robbery was a motive. The car was running and the heat was on.
Around 8 am, Kathy’s naked and badly beaten body was found 1.5 miles from her car off Telmore Rd behind Arlington Trailer Sales around 8 am by a truck driver. She had been sexually assaulted and bludgeoned to death with a rock.
A 2011 tip that came from a facebook page on the case led to an informant. As a result a person of interest was developed. Despite the police believing they have the perpetrator, the case stalled in the grand jury phase. No arrests have been made. The suspect is currently serving time on another charge but could be released in the next 5-10 years. Hopefully more information can be developed before then that will lead to the successful prosecution and keep this monster off the streets.
If you have information on this case, you should call 401-468-4261 or email email@example.com
Kathy is laid to rest at St Joseph’s Cemetery in West Greenwich, RI.
Diane Ruth Drake was born on May 3, 1960 to a large family that eventually had 9 children. She lived with a roommate, Elaine Gallo, in a small cottage apartment in Easton’s Terrace. She had known Elaine since high school and they were great friends. Diane was in her second year studying criminal justice at Roger Williams College. She worked at the Photo Patio store in the Middletown Shopping Center.
Diane had given up on her car and junked it. Her brother had offered her another car but they hadn’t connected yet so she was without transportation on this rainy, stormy day. She made calls to get a ride from friends without success. Work was a 20 minute walk but this was the first time she’d be walking, so she dressed for the weather in a men’s 3/4 tan raincoat, a shirt, jeans and hiking boots and carrying a shoulder bag and set off on her 20 minute walk about 2:14 – after her last attempt to find a ride. Her sister had disputed this in some reports, thinking she secured a ride with the wrong person. Both could be right, I personally believe she started walking and was picked up by someone she knew. There seems to be several witnesses to indicate she had started the walk, and one witness reported seeing Diane get into a car with someone she appeared to know but she never made it to work.
At 10:25 am the next morning, 2 Highway workers found her nude, severely beated and discolored body along the waterline at Easton’s beach. Medical Examiner’s report indicated that she was beaten, strangled and suffered blunt force trauma. There were horizontal marks on her wrists, biceps and ankles that led the investigators to believe that she had been tied up with soft material such as a scarf. There was no water in her lungs indicating she was likely dead before she entered the water if she was ever submerged at all, but there was sand in her lungs. Her Larynx was crushed. Investigators believe that the wound pattern indicates either a left handed killer or the fact she was in the vehicle when the attack began. Hair found in her hand was tested and found to be her own. Toxicology reports indicate there was no presence of alcohol, drugs or caffeine in her system. The medical examiner reported her time of death was likely between 10:00 pm and 12:00 pm the night before she was found..
Over the years the Newport Police have developed 3 suspects. Her roommate, Elaine Gallo has given an interview that indicate she has a suspect of her own that she believes committed the crime that the police ruled out too quickly. Shortly after this crime there have been at least 2 cases that have similar aspects, leading to the potential the crimes are connected. So far they all remain unsolved.
The police reportedly used over 27 pyschics and at least 1 hypnotist in their attempts to solve this case.
Anyone with information should contact the Rhode Island Cold Case Task Force at 1-877-RI-SOLVE. This family deserves answers after waiting over 42 years.
A couple of weeks ago my daughter’s car was leaking gas. We told her to go into work and we would take care of it. Due to short staffing, it took the tow truck 6 hours to get to us. We needed a tow that was .09 miles and we were not in a rural area. Immediately , I was relieved my daughter wasn’t waiting with this car because in the back of my mind, I remembered this case. This is the story of the murder of Melissa Stacey Gosule.
Melissa Gosule was born on March 1st, 1972 and was from Boston, and living in Jamaica Plain. She worked as a substitute teacher and rape crisis counselor and she hoped to be a journalist one day. Melissa came from a loving family.
Taking advantage of a summer day off on 07/11/1999, Melissa took her bike to the Cape Cod to ride along the canal, from the Sagamore recreational area -a popular seasonal destination. When she returned to the parking lot around 5:30 pm, her 1986 Pontiac would not start.
Melissa called AAA, and a tow driver eventually came to see her but told her it would be hours before he could tow her car back to Jamaica Plain. He did not make any attempt at this time to start the car or provide any other assistance. Melissa met a man in the parking lot named Michael Gentile, a newspaper delivery man from East Falmouth. He talked to her and gained her trust, and let her call her parents from his cell phone a few times. Eventually, Melissa agreed to let Michal drive her to meet her parents at Carlton House in Brockton, MA. She hoped to be there before 9 pm. She joked that she hoped Michael, “wasn’t a mass murderer” to her mom on the phone. The last time her parents heard from her was around 8:22 pm. She never arrived. Her parents reported her missing my midnight, and gave the number of the phone that she had called from to police.
Police were quickly able to track the cell phone back to a man named Robert Shaw, who was the employer of Michael Gentile. Shaw indicated that Gentile had called out of work at 9 pm, stating that his van would not start. Shaw provided the police with information for Michael Gentile.
Gentile turned himself in at the Bourne State Police Barracks at 7 am on 07/12/1999. He tried to speak to officers in the lobby – giving various stories of places that he dropped Melissa off. One story was the Dunkin Donuts in Kingston, however employees disputed this story as it had been a very slow night. Gentile also claimed that he slept in the parking lot of the bus depot however that area was patrolled looking for him and he was not there.
Gentile was a 27 time convicted criminal with a history of stalking and making obscene phone calls. Prior convictions included armed robbery, larceny, receiving stolen property, disorderly conduct – among others. Despite this, he had served less than 2 years in jail.
The police immediately found his behavior suspicious and while they told Gentile he could leave, his truck was seized. He was given a new set of clothes and his clothes were preserved as evidence. Police noted a gouge and scratch on his right bicep. Police strongly believed that Melissa had met with foul play.
Melissa’s bike, bathing suit and jeans were found Wednesday the 14th. The bathing suit was found to contain a mixture of blood and semen. There were similar findings noted in the cab of the truck seized.
Melissa’s body was found 8 days later by 2 cranberry growers near Chaffin Reservoir in Pembroke, MA. She was partially buried and suffered brutal injuries. Court records indicate the police believe she was raped, her arms had horizontal contusions consistent with being tied to a tree and her throat was slashed four times, severing her carotid artery. There was also a slash mark across her check.
Gentile was convicted as there was an abundance of evidence. He also reportedly admitted his guilt to friends who called police. He is currently serving a sentence of life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Melissa’s family was devastated by her loss and fought for years to pass Melissa’s Law, a law removing the possibility of parole for some repeat offenders that was signed into law by Duval Patrick in 2012.
They also sued AAA in the first lawsuit of it’s kind and eventually settled out of court for undisclosed terms.
Virginia “Ginny” Hannon was a 59 year old retired lunch lady for Bryantville Elementary School. She had been widowed for 7 years, and lived alone at 59 West Street in Pembroke, MA. She and her husband Joe never had children. Virginia enjoyed baking, and bingo and animals. She continued to help her father in law taking him lunch or to run errands daily. He lived in the same neighborhood just two doors down. After he murder, he was said to be devastated and could not stay in the neighborhood.
After not hearing from her on February 13, 1984, he sent his visiting nurse to check on her. She was found dead in her bed and it was assumed that she had passed away in her sleep, though based on the injuries she had sustained I am not sure how. Once she arrived at the funeral home the police were called due to the severity of her injuries.
Virginia was beaten, stabbed in the eye, more than 6 times in the abdomen and 20 times total, kicked so hard that she had a shoe print on her body and strangled with nylon stockings. She was tucked back into her bed with a cover over her.
Police were aware that Viriginia had recently inherited $380,000 and assumed that was the motive. However, that money was in the bank and accounted for. The crime scene showed a broken window, pry marks on the door, blood stains on paper towels, and other items.
The trail quickly went cold, there were a few suspects that the police followed up on over the many years this case was open but no evidence for the case to go anywhere until 37 years later. In 2019, a man confessed to a friend and the day after he died, that friend called the police.
The killer’s name was Jesse Aaron Moses Aylward and he was 58 years old at the time of his death 2/3/2020. He was born 3/9/1961, and was 22 at the time of the crime. He never disclosed the motive for the crime but he could have just been surprised during a break in. His friend’s timing was perfect because they were able to collect samples from Aylward’s body at Brockton Hospital and match the DNA to 3 separate items from the crime scene – the broken glass from the door, nylon stockings and bloody paper towels allowing the police to close this case. Aylward was not a suspect prior to this tip but he did live close by.