Elizabethan girl’s murder still unsolved after nearly 50 years

On March 8th, 1966, seven-year-old Elizabeth resident Wendy Wolin was murdered in front of Pierce Manor. It is a case that as of today still has yet to be solved.

Wendy Sue Wolin
Elizabethan girl’s murder still unsolved after nearly 50 years

Wolin and her mother, Shirley Fleischner, were leaving their apartment on that March afternoon around four ‘o clock. Fleischner was to meet up with her daughter at Irvington Avenue and Prince Street from a parking lot. As Wolin was walking along Irvington Avenue, she was apparently approached by a man that had been walking in the opposite direction. The man stabbed her, striking both her ribs and her stomach, where his knife lacerated her liver. It is believed that a hunting knife was what caused the fatal injuries. The knife was located the next day, but no fingerprints were found on it.

Locals on the street called the city’s fire department, although Wolin told them that the man had only punched her, despite that she was bleeding. After being transported to Elizabeth General Hospital, Wolin died an hour later. The case sent shockwaves through Elizabeth and New Jersey, as no situations of this caliber had occurred before or since.

It has been 45 years since that fateful day, and yet Wolin’s murderer was never found. At the time, Elizabeth police began a full force manhunt, pounding down doors and asking any residents available about a man matching the murderer’s supposed description, which was a white male somewhere in his 40s, with white hair, who weighed about 220 pounds and stood at about six feet, wearing a fedora hat, an olive coat, dark trousers, and a suit and tie. Over the course of the investigation, thousands of men were questioned, according to police reports, 1,500 of them to be exact. The search for Wolin’s killer stretched beyond Elizabeth and even New Jersey to 13 other states, where prisons and mental institutions were thoroughly investigated.

It wasn’t until 1995 that a viable suspect was pinned down, and that suspect was based on tips from an anonymous Elizabeth woman who claimed to have been on the scene at the time of Wolin’s murder. The suspect was brought in for questioning but wasn’t charged. Since then, there’s still been no resolution, although plenty of groups exist trying to discover just who it was that murdered Wendy Wolin, such as this Facebook group, Various members from the group recount the day that Wolin disappeared, and some even knew her.

One of the members of that Facebook group, Dan Reilly, believes that knows the identity of the man who murdered Wolin on that fateful day back in 1966.

“…I believe that three days after her murder we saw him [the alleged murderer] on the corner of Bayway Avenue and Clarkson.” Reilly then goes on to give out a slew of initials of a possible murderer to help further the investigation.

Another member, Mia Certic, goes into long and drawn out details about each potential suspect and other possible killers, from the mob to the son of a funeral director that supposedly had a history of violent behavior. A YouTube radio special about Wolin’s death, viewable here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_etxvlerFc&feature=youtu.be, spoke with Captain JT Mooney of the Elizabeth Police Department back in August of this year. Mooney has reopened the Wolin case. 

“I was always interested in the case,” Mooney said. “I had to walk past her murder scene when I walked to my grandparent’s house.”

Mooney claimed that the incident was a “watershed” mark that ended the innocence of children around Elizabeth. Mooney was Wolin’s age and didn’t live too far from her when the incident happened. Over the years, the event has remained in Elizabethans’ consciousness, especially as a suspect is still trying to be pinned down.

According to Mooney, the stabbing was hardly random, as the man who stabbed Wolin had been in contact with other young women before he stabbed Wolin. People sensed that he wasn’t an Elizabeth resident and may have just been passing through that day. A bus driver had even sworn at the time that the man came from New York City on a bus that day.

Mooney claimed that his interest in the case was reignited when he bumped into Judy Wolin, Wendy’s sister, on Facebook in an Elizabeth group. Mia Certic and Mooney connected through Facebook to create the “who killed Wendy Wolin?” page linked above.

“This shocking crime never, never went away,” Mooney said.

Mooney said that at the time this was a very rare case, and that no other similar incident had been reported throughout the entire rest of the United States and even Canada. Mooney said that with today’s modern technology, like the internet and Facebook for example, that the case should be reopened because this technology might be able to aid the police force in finding a solution to this case. Mooney mentioned that a DNA test could be done on the located hunting knife, but there’d be nothing to match it to.

Unfortunately, Wolin’s mother Shirley Fleischer is deceased, and her father is suffering from Alzheimer’s and unable to contribute to the case. The supposed suspect would be aged at about 90 or 100 years of age at this point, so it may be very difficult to ever find who killed Wendy Wolin, although certainly not impossible given today’s technology. If anybody has any information regarding Wolin and the case, post to the Facebook group above or email Captain Mooney at jtmooney@comcast.net.