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Thread: Holly Branagan's Murder Remains Unsolved

  1. #41
    Junior Member mela's Avatar
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    the story about "B" really is something. do you know if she was related to mr. branagan?


    Please let us know what you find out this weekend.




    Quote Originally Posted by starkrial View Post
    Wow,

    I find it incredible that there is an investigation going on here in Bethlehem that has gotten this close to solving the murder.

    Since 1979, upon first hearing of this murder, I have always had a 'feeling' that a woman did this horrible thing. Call it a hunch or whatever.

    Then I stumbled upon the post referring to "B" almost a year after it sat undiscovered and I was reeling at the thought that this could be the killer.

    I have had discussions with the writer of the post as well as with Jim from this site and we have worked very hard on this whole "B" story. To the point that, considering we are not law enforcement, we have put forth great energy. I can honestly say that the person referred to, as "B" would have been a twenty something-young woman in 1979. From what was posted, she did not appear to be capable of this kind of deed. Still, it is one heck of a story.

    But that's all it is. A story. Written from the heart. Not made up.


    Knowing that there is an association of Pine Top Trail homeowners investigating this murder is very interesting. I have been a native Bethlehemite since the 1950's and I have many friends in the neighborhood of Pine Top, I never knew they had an association or were investigating. I would love to know more. Keep the information coming, please. As a matter of fact I have a close friend on the circle just above Mr. Branagan's and I am seeing her this weekend. I will pick her and her husbands brain during dinner.

    Also, there was yet another meeting with the local DA and LE this past week. Announcing a new cold case unit in our county. Money included. I think it has to be approved still but they named a new detective and will be bringing in some retired investigators as well. This is great news. And combined with the recent posts here. Perhaps it's true, the final hours have come.

    Peace to all......




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  2. #42
    CCF Chief Detective starkrial's Avatar
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    Default The story of "B"

    B was just a secretary at the Sales office that Mr. Branagan worked out of. She was his secretary according to the post. No relation to the Branagan's. The original post was written by a man, that through his now ex-wife, knew and had some social contact with her. His former wife worked in the same office. A small office.
    If you read his posts you can get a feel for his personal feelings about B. He basically liked her. It was the strange situation at the hospital that unnerved him enough to write about it 29 years later. After the 'friends' went to the mental competency hearing they gathered at a local pub near the hospital to discuss the weirdness of it all. They were all confused by what had happened, how her boyfriend found her, and the fact that she had different names with different familial backgrounds.

    Anyone interested in Holly's murder is surely going to be freaked when they read a story like this. The man who wrote it is a thoughtful and intelligent guy. He didn't want to make trouble for her but apparently it bothered him enough to share the story.

    I have his posts and I have read them trying to gain more knowledge of this B person but there really isn't much more. There are no doubt many people who must have this same story inside of them. It would be great if we could get their perspectives of whole situation back then. The original writer mentions that quite a few people were involved. One was a former boyfriend who was a psych professor. Surely he could shed some light.

    Also, he says she was considered MPD which was relatively rare and isn't even called that anymore. If the truth is that she was mentally unstable to that degree then I suppose she could have the ability to snap, pull herself together and snap again.

    She certainly had access to the home, Holly knew her, she would have known the whereabouts of her boss, Holly's Dad and she may have had knowledge of the whereabouts of Sean that day. Still, proof has to be given and the evidence has to match. From what I have learned, there is good evidence from the crime scene. It took very long for the County to step up and start pushing for more testing. Bethlehem is not financially equipped to handle all the costs involved in these cases. That and the fact that crime scenes were treated differently in 1979. AND there were few horrific murders committed in Bathlehem at the time. What has been building regarding the case since January has caused the meetings Jim and I have posted to get that ball rolling. Time is of the essence though.

    As for getting any information about the actual murder from my friends, I doubt that. Just as in 1979-80 when people didn't want to talk about "it" or get involved, people still have that attitude. They basically think I am nuts. But that's OK........


  3. #43
    Junior Member mela's Avatar
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    Default the story of "B"

    thank you so much for posting this info. by chance do you know if the library has the original articles from the newspapers? MCall was called Globe Times in "79" right?

    Quote Originally Posted by starkrial View Post
    B was just a secretary at the Sales office that Mr. Branagan worked out of. She was his secretary according to the post. No relation to the Branagan's. The original post was written by a man, that through his now ex-wife, knew and had some social contact with her. His former wife worked in the same office. A small office.
    If you read his posts you can get a feel for his personal feelings about B. He basically liked her. It was the strange situation at the hospital that unnerved him enough to write about it 29 years later. After the 'friends' went to the mental competency hearing they gathered at a local pub near the hospital to discuss the weirdness of it all. They were all confused by what had happened, how her boyfriend found her, and the fact that she had different names with different familial backgrounds.

    Anyone interested in Holly's murder is surely going to be freaked when they read a story like this. The man who wrote it is a thoughtful and intelligent guy. He didn't want to make trouble for her but apparently it bothered him enough to share the story.

    I have his posts and I have read them trying to gain more knowledge of this B person but there really isn't much more. There are no doubt many people who must have this same story inside of them. It would be great if we could get their perspectives of whole situation back then. The original writer mentions that quite a few people were involved. One was a former boyfriend who was a psych professor. Surely he could shed some light.

    Also, he says she was considered MPD which was relatively rare and isn't even called that anymore. If the truth is that she was mentally unstable to that degree then I suppose she could have the ability to snap, pull herself together and snap again.

    She certainly had access to the home, Holly knew her, she would have known the whereabouts of her boss, Holly's Dad and she may have had knowledge of the whereabouts of Sean that day. Still, proof has to be given and the evidence has to match. From what I have learned, there is good evidence from the crime scene. It took very long for the County to step up and start pushing for more testing. Bethlehem is not financially equipped to handle all the costs involved in these cases. That and the fact that crime scenes were treated differently in 1979. AND there were few horrific murders committed in Bathlehem at the time. What has been building regarding the case since January has caused the meetings Jim and I have posted to get that ball rolling. Time is of the essence though.

    As for getting any information about the actual murder from my friends, I doubt that. Just as in 1979-80 when people didn't want to talk about "it" or get involved, people still have that attitude. They basically think I am nuts. But that's OK........



  4. #44
    Junior Member mela's Avatar
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    Default just a rant

    I really believe a woman did this to Holly. But why????????? Friend, Family Friend, Lover, or Stranger who could have do this? I really hope they crack this case. Poor Holly


  5. #45
    CCF Chief Detective starkrial's Avatar
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    In answer to where is "B" today... Not to worry, I am sure the BPD are working on that. When I asked the original writer of the B story if anyone ever heard from her again, he wrote that as far as he knows she was released from the hospital and went out west. Her friends figured she may have gone to look for boyfriend that went there shortly after the hearing. "Or she could be a bag lady in LA", he said.
    You can imagine how he was feeling after people started asking him questions. He was certain the whole B thing was proof of nothing. He felt kind of bad for her.
    Still to this day, he doesn't know for sure.
    I wish he would join in here but I think he is helping out in his own way elsewhere.


  6. #46
    CCF Chief Detective starkrial's Avatar
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    It is very interesting that so many of us believe it was a woman. I thought that 30 years ago when I got the call about it. Just my gut at the time. Now I have read so many research papers on the subject of rage killings. I am convinced.
    It just seems to make sense that for someone to go completely balistic on another human being they had to have become enraged. I mean we have all had bouts with anger and jealousy, etc., but not many people pick up a huge knife and start killing a fellow human being. I have marveled for years about the state this person had to have been in that afternoon. They murder this poor girl, then what? They just calmly leave the house. Did they drive up to the door? Or walk there. It was pretty much surrounded by woods so I doubt they were on foot. If they are correct about the TOD then they left while it was still pretty light out. Not quite night time. So now they leave and go where? Home? Had to be pretty shaken up. And you know darn well someone saw them within 24 hoours of them committing this murder.....


  7. #47
    Junior Member mela's Avatar
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    I'm new to this case. but when i first read about it in feb i couldn't believe it. our town? beautiful family orriented bethlehem????? WHAT!

    I agree this woman was pissed off and crazy! in broad daylight you knock on the door and brutally stab someone? didn't the neighbors here anything? did the police ever check the driveway for tire tracks or was the driveway paved? i agree i think the person drove there. someone def saw them after this murder.

    when was "B" found in the closet and why on earth would she say the Branagan house was were she lived??????

    Quote Originally Posted by starkrial View Post
    It is very interesting that so many of us believe it was a woman. I thought that 30 years ago when I got the call about it. Just my gut at the time. Now I have read so many research papers on the subject of rage killings. I am convinced.
    It just seems to make sense that for someone to go completely balistic on another human being they had to have become enraged. I mean we have all had bouts with anger and jealousy, etc., but not many people pick up a huge knife and start killing a fellow human being. I have marveled for years about the state this person had to have been in that afternoon. They murder this poor girl, then what? They just calmly leave the house. Did they drive up to the door? Or walk there. It was pretty much surrounded by woods so I doubt they were on foot. If they are correct about the TOD then they left while it was still pretty light out. Not quite night time. So now they leave and go where? Home? Had to be pretty shaken up. And you know darn well someone saw them within 24 hoours of them committing this murder.....



  8. #48
    CCF Chief Detective starkrial's Avatar
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    According to the B story, she was diagnosed as multiple personality disorder at the time.Apparently she was able to keep up a pretty good front with different groups of friends. I believe the original post isi the true B since the writers ex went to both business school with and worked in the same office. I should think that they must have been pretty close. Can't enroll in school under a fake name. Or get paid usually. So her true identity would be known only to those that knew her as "B". Not "X" or "Z".

    And if you feel like not here in our little peaceful place, imagine Bethlehem 30 years and lots less crime ago. There is talk that they all lawyered up but the truth seems to be more leaning toward Bethlehem being small-town like and everyone knew everyone. We went to one of three pediatricians in town, etc.

    So if someone's Dad was aquainted with an attorney, they were told not to talk alone with investigators and the BPD got the cold shoulder from many people. It was hard for them to complete interviews. Then theres the whole "shock" factor. This kind of horror was for moviei screens, it didn't happen in nice quiet homes in Bethlehem PA.

    I just went back and re-read these posts, I am very interested in the family fraud theory. A woman was trying to defraud the family? Is that what this means? Any clue?

    Holly not the true target? It was 4:30 PM on a day that her Dad was away on business. Her brother was a few minutes away working on a car with his friend. If there was another intended target, wouldn't they have just left?


  9. #49
    CCF Chief Detective starkrial's Avatar
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    Oh and about the driveway.....I am sure there was some combing of the area. I mean it goes back to the same problems of what took place, the fact that the original investigators must have really had a hard time adjusting to what they just saw. Most of them family men themselves. Then add the fact that it's not TV or a movie and it's
    1979.
    No shoe covers, no rubber gloves, no kicking people out of the scene til the investigation is over. Not the fault of any one person. Just the way it was.


  10. #50
    Junior Member mela's Avatar
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    Default defraud

    I have been thinking all different things about the defraud theory....I'm really unsure about it????? Maybe if more info was aval it would be easier to come up with a theory. I don't know if i'm buying it just yet. I think this murder had everything to do with holly. this person didn't even wreck the house looking for bank statements, credit cards or money. they simply said goodbye holly and closed the door. it clearly seems like this person was really pissed with holly. that's all that was out of place, her body. the thing that i don't understand is if she hung up with friend at 4:30, why would she call dad at 5:00. was she looking for something or did the murderer making sure that he wasn't going to come home

    something about "B" just doesn't sit right with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by starkrial View Post
    According to the B story, she was diagnosed as multiple personality disorder at the time.Apparently she was able to keep up a pretty good front with different groups of friends. I believe the original post isi the true B since the writers ex went to both business school with and worked in the same office. I should think that they must have been pretty close. Can't enroll in school under a fake name. Or get paid usually. So her true identity would be known only to those that knew her as "B". Not "X" or "Z".

    And if you feel like not here in our little peaceful place, imagine Bethlehem 30 years and lots less crime ago. There is talk that they all lawyered up but the truth seems to be more leaning toward Bethlehem being small-town like and everyone knew everyone. We went to one of three pediatricians in town, etc.

    So if someone's Dad was aquainted with an attorney, they were told not to talk alone with investigators and the BPD got the cold shoulder from many people. It was hard for them to complete interviews. Then theres the whole "shock" factor. This kind of horror was for moviei screens, it didn't happen in nice quiet homes in Bethlehem PA.

    I just went back and re-read these posts, I am very interested in the family fraud theory. A woman was trying to defraud the family? Is that what this means? Any clue?

    Holly not the true target? It was 4:30 PM on a day that her Dad was away on business. Her brother was a few minutes away working on a car with his friend. If there was another intended target, wouldn't they have just left?




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