January 2, 1956
Great Falls, Montana
Patricia Kalitzke (16) and Lloyd Bogle (18) are killed; their murders remain unsolved
Kalitzke and Bogle were last seen leaving a drive-in around 9 p.m. on January 2. When they failed to return home that evening, Kalitzke’s parents assumed the pair had eloped. The next day, however, three young boys found Bogle’s body near a tree in a remote lovers’ lane area. Nearby was his car, with the ignition still switched on and the headlights lit. His hands had been tied behind his back with his own belt and he had been shot in the back of the head execution-style, with the bullet entering above his right ear. Due to the extreme angle of the shot, it was surmised Bogle had been forced to his knees before he was killed.
Kalitzke’s body was found the day after Bogle’s, about 7 miles (11 km) away at the bottom of a 20-foot (6-meter) embankment. She had also been shot while on her knees, the bullet also entering above her right ear. It was estimated Kalitzke was killed an hour after Bogle.
Robbery was not suspected to be a motive behind the killings as Bogle had left money and a camera in his car.
Few clues were left behind and the case soon grew cold, though it was not forgotten with several suspects being suggested and pursued through the years. One such suspect was Wendell Wallace Smith who claimed he had killed a boy and a girl in Montana. He was questioned and ruled out as a suspect in 1964, however. Detective John Cameron, author of It’s Me: Edward Wayne Edwards, the Serial Killer You Never Heard Of, suggested Edwards as a candidate for being Kalitzke and Bogle’s murderer. Cameron was able to trace Edwards to the Great Falls, Montana area in 1956. Additionally, Edwards had a history of killing young couples: he had been convicted of a similar double murder in 1977 in which he shot a young Ohio couple to death, and was later linked via DNA to the double murder of a young couple in Wisconsin who were killed in 1980. He received a death sentence for the murder of a man he considered a son and was sentenced to death, but died in prison of natural causes at the age of 77 before this execution by lethal injection could be carried out. Cameron also attributes many other murders to Edwards as well, including the murders of JonBenet Ramsey and the missing union leader Jimmy Hoffa, and suspects Edwards was the still-unidentified Zodiac Killer.
In 1989, investigators cut down the tree Bogle’s body had been found near with the hopes it contained the missing bullet which had killed him. “The tree … has always been a major interest to law enforcement officers because that’s where [Bogle] was killed – right at the tree,” Cascade County Sheriff Barry Michelotti told reporters. An attempt was made to x-ray the tree, but at 80 feet (24 meters) tall and 4.5 feet (1.3 meters) in diameter, it proved to be too large and dense to effectively scan. Thirty-three growth rings were shaved down and several bullets were removed at varying angles and positions within the tree trunk. To date, the ballistic testing of the bullets has not been linked to another case or gun.
The case remains unsolved.
“Lloyd Duane Bogle and Patti Kalitzke — Great Falls.” Billings Gazette. September 25, 2018. Accessed: January 2, 2021. https://billingsgazette.com/lloyd-duane-bogle-and-patti-kalitzke-great-falls/article_1c549c97-f54d-5e4e-aabe-65b2e65fd2f1.html
“10 serial killer cases with Montana connections.” The Billings Gazette. March 18, 2016. Accessed: January 2, 2021. https://billingsgazette.com/news/crime/10-serial-killer-cases-with-montana-connections/collection_c6b69538-f20d-570a-af13-0a55cf7a9dac.html
“Book probes 1956 killings.” Great Falls Tribune. April 13, 2014. Accessed: January 2, 2021. https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2014/04/14/book-probes-1956-killings/7688701/
Japenga, Ann. “Old Murders That Won’t Die: Crime: Unsolved homicides haunt some investigators decades after the slayings. Occasionally, a new clue surfaces, keeping the obsession alive.” Los Angeles Times. February 6, 1990 (archived: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-02-06-vw-231-story.html)
“Lawmen cut bullets from cottonwood.” The Billings Gazette. December 21, 1989
“Authorities Cutting Tree To Find Bullet in Unsolved 1956 Double Murder.” Associated Press. November 28, 1989 (archived: https://apnews.com/article/4d070bbb1466e434d464d67ae672f884)
“Man Is Cleared Of State Slaying.” The Billings Gazette. December 18, 1964
“Was Suspect In Montana? Sheriff Asks.” Great Falls Tribune. December 17, 1964
“State Crime Laboratory Urged by Reward Group.” Great Falls Tribune. January 19, 1959
“Trail of Mad Killer Cools as Officers Fail to Find Clues.” The Billings Gazette. January 6, 1956
“No Concrete Clue Found in Double Killing.” Great Falls Tribune. January 6, 1956