Cold Case squads across the country devote enormous resources to solving historical crimes. These dedicated detectives are only interested in bringing closure to families and justice to the victims. That’s what Vermont police did for the family of a schoolteacher killed more than five decades ago.
On February 21, the Burlington Police Department held a news conference to announce the resolution of a 52-year-old cold case. Police believe William DeRoos, 31, got into a fight with his wife in July 1971. According to ABC News, DeRoos left the apartment the couple shared to go on a walk. Walking, on the other hand, was not on his to-do list.
Instead of going for a walk, DeRoos allegedly went to the apartment of his next-door neighbor, Rita Curran, 24, and murdered her. The young lady worked as an elementary school teacher at a nearby school. According to police, she fought back valiantly, but her assailant eventually strangled her.
Later that night, Curran’s roommate discovered her body. Despite the fact that her parents died without ever discovering who killed her, the victim’s brother and sister were there at the news conference where police disclosed that DNA testing of a cigarette butt at the scene led them to DeRoos. DeRoos fled the nation after the murder and went to Thailand to become a monk. He eventually returned to the United States. In 1986, he died of a heroin overdose.
NBC 5 stated Curran’s sister, Mary Campbell, stated, “We now have two generations in our family who never knew her.”
Jim Robar, a former student of Curran’s, described her as attractive and generous. He recalled taking part in a play the year she was his teacher. He played a dancing clown with a teddy bear. Curran urged him to retain it after the performance. He claimed to still have the bear.