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Strange Case: The Orange Sock Murders


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#1    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 11:35 PM

Note: This case is not related to Henry Lee Lucas.

On January 7, 1982, a woman’s body was found five miles south of Breckenridge, Colorado. She had been shot twice. The only two clues at the scene were a set of house keys and one orange sock. The keys belonged to the dead woman, but the orange sock did not.  

Six months later and 13 miles away, another woman’s body was found. She had also been shot to death. Police were stunned when they discover that she was wearing the match for the orange sock.

The murdered women were both locals: 29-year old Bobbie Oberholtzer and 21-year old Annette Kay Schnee. They both disappeared on the same day and both had been shot with a medium caliber revolver. The crime scenes were miles from one another and the bodies were found six months apart. And yet police believed that both women were murdered on the same night and by the same man. The prime suspect became Bobbie’s husband, Jeff Oberholtzer. Bobbie and Jeff were married on July 1, 1977, four-and-a-half years before Bobbie was murdered. Jeff ran an appliance repair business, and Bobbie worked as a receptionist.  According to Jeff, the day of Bobbie’s death began as usual, she left home at 7:15 A.M. and hitchhiked to work. At 6:20 that evening, Bobbie called to tell Jeff she was having drinks with friends after work. Jeff drove into Breckenridge to look for Bobbie. Her friends told him she had left the bar around 7:30 pm. When Jeff reported to police that Bobbie was missing, they told him it was too early to file a report. Finally, he drove back home to wait for Bobbie.

The next morning, a farmer who lived 30 miles outside Breckenridge found Bobbie’s driver’s license on his property. When Jeff and two friends went to pick it up, they made a disturbing discovery. With the backpack was one of Bobbie’s gloves, spattered with blood, and several bloody tissues. Jeff’s friends helped him organize a search. Two hours later, they found Bobbie’s lifeless body more than fifteen miles from where her backpack was discovered. At the scene, police found three intriguing clues. The only footprints near the body were Bobbie’s. A plastic cord was tied around one of her wrists. And the single orange sock was found nearby.

The same day Bobbie’s body was found, another woman, Annette Schnee, was reported missing. Annette was a cocktail waitress in Frisco, Colorado, and like Bobbie, often hitchhiked to work. From the start, police believed that the two cases were connected. Jeff claimed he had once picked up Annette when she was hitchhiking and he had given her his business card, but had never seen or heard from her since that day. On July 3, 1982, six months after she disappeared, Annette’s body was found. Police were stunned when they discovered she was wearing the other orange sock. Jeff’s business card was found inside her wallet. Among the items found in Annette's backpack was a photograph of a man who has never been identified. Unknown Man

Authorities pieced together a scenario for the two murders. Annette Schnee was last seen in Breckenridge at 4:00 P.M., involved in a serious conversation with a dark-haired woman. Police believe that around 5:00 pm, Annette left to hitchhike home. The killer picked her up and drove 20 miles south of Breckenridge. He took Annette down a short dead-end road and sexually assaulted her. Police believed the killer then drove back to Breckenridge and found his second victim:  Bobbie Oberholtzer. The killer drove Bobbie ten miles south of Breckenridge, to a scenic overlook, where he apparently attempted to rape her.  When Bobbie escaped from the vehicle, the bootie fell out. The killer then chased her down the road and shot her twice as she turned away. According to Jeff Oberholtzer, he believed his wife knew her killer.

Two months after his wife was murdered, Jeff Oberholtzer took a polygraph exam and passed.  From day one, Jeff insisted that he had a rock-solid alibi. He said that at the time the murders were committed, he was at home visiting with a friend. But Jeff was unable to produce the witness for police. Then, finally, in December of 1990, Jeff’s friend surfaced. Jeff's friend became a suspect, but no solid evidences links him to the crimes. A man named Thomas Luther was also a suspect, but was cleared via DNA testing. The Summit County Sheriff’s Department has cleared Jeff Oberholtzer as a suspect in the murder of his wife, Bobbie Jo, and Annette Kay Schnee.  The investigation remains open.

Posted Image
Bobbi Joe (left), Annette (right)

Cold Case: Bobbie Jo Oberholzer
Cold Case: Annette Kay Schnee

This case originally aired on the May 1, 1991 episode of Unsolved Mysteries . Here is the segment:




Edited by JonathanVonErich, 29 October 2011 - 11:44 PM.


#2    glorybebe

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:06 AM

I wonder how they cleared the husband?

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#3    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:36 AM

View Postglorybebe, on 30 October 2011 - 12:06 AM, said:

I wonder how they cleared the husband?
Good question. All we know is that he passed the polygraph exam.

In 2010 new informations came up. The identity of a new suspect was revealed: Tracy Petrocelli. This convicted murderer is suspected of being a serial killer who ended the lives of as many as eight people, including Bobbi Joe and Annette. Two investigators said that they have uncovered strong evidence that connects Petrocelli to the crimes. However it was 1 year ago, and we are still waiting to see these so-called strong evidences linking him to the murders.  :hmm:


#4    glorybebe

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:06 AM

View PostJonathanVonErich, on 30 October 2011 - 12:36 AM, said:

Good question. All we know is that he passed the polygraph exam.

In 2010 new informations came up. The identity of a new suspect was revealed: Tracy Petrocelli. This convicted murderer is suspected of being a serial killer who ended the lives of as many as eight people, including Bobbi Joe and Annette. Two investigators said that they have uncovered strong evidence that connects Petrocelli to the crimes. However it was 1 year ago, and we are still waiting to see these so-called strong evidences linking him to the murders.  :hmm:

Too bad, the poor husband, he has to go and find her after being told that it was too soon to report her missing, and then it was probably this serial killer.

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#5    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:48 AM

View Postglorybebe, on 30 October 2011 - 01:06 AM, said:

Too bad, the poor husband, he has to go and find her after being told that it was too soon to report her missing, and then it was probably this serial killer.
It was probably Tracy Petrocelli, but I have my doubts.

The two investigators still haven't shared the alleged "strong evidences" linking him to the crimes, and from what I have read they don't want to share comments about this case. This is strange. If indeed they had strong evidence they would have closed the case a long time ago. The proof that the case is still unsolved more than a year after they identified Petrocelli as a suspect is, to me, proof that they thought they have nothing solid against him.

If indeed they have strong evidences then they should do something about it. I know it takes time to close a case, but "strong evidences" would have closed this case months ago.


#6    glorybebe

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:57 AM

Doesn't it seem sometimes like the police just name a suspect just to make it seem like they are doing something and the public doesn't complain.

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#7    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 02:02 AM

View Postglorybebe, on 30 October 2011 - 01:57 AM, said:

Doesn't it seem sometimes like the police just name a suspect just to make it seem like they are doing something and the public doesn't complain.
When investigators claims they have "solid" evidences against somebody, then doesn't say a word about the alleged evidences for over a year ?? Yes.  :yes:

I just hope the case will be solved as soon as possible.

I forgot to share the link about Petrocelli:

2010 Article about Petrocelli


#8    glorybebe

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 02:36 AM

View PostJonathanVonErich, on 30 October 2011 - 02:02 AM, said:

When investigators claims they have "solid" evidences against somebody, then doesn't say a word about the alleged evidences for over a year ?? Yes.  :yes:

I just hope the case will be solved as soon as possible.

I forgot to share the link about Petrocelli:

2010 Article about Petrocelli

Thank you for that.  It really makes me wonder what the police are up to....

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#9    libstaK

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 03:00 AM

View PostJonathanVonErich, on 30 October 2011 - 02:02 AM, said:

When investigators claims they have "solid" evidences against somebody, then doesn't say a word about the alleged evidences for over a year ?? Yes.  :yes:

I just hope the case will be solved as soon as possible.

I forgot to share the link about Petrocelli:

2010 Article about Petrocelli

I agree with the cynical sentiment in part.  Also, though, I wonder if the 2 "old fashioned policemen" are playing their cards close to their chest in the hope that any public tips will corroborate the evidence they currently have - it seems they are being circumspect to ensure that the tipsters can prove they are the real deal with details that nobody could have known unless they were involved or it came to them directly by word from the killer.

If that is the case they are sitting on something that they believe somebody who knows the real killer would also reasonably know about - interesting.

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#10    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:17 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 30 October 2011 - 03:00 AM, said:

I agree with the cynical sentiment in part.  Also, though, I wonder if the 2 "old fashioned policemen" are playing their cards close to their chest in the hope that any public tips will corroborate the evidence they currently have - it seems they are being circumspect to ensure that the tipsters can prove they are the real deal with details that nobody could have known unless they were involved or it came to them directly by word from the killer.
I agree with you LibstaK, it's possible that the two investigators are being cautious and that they might have a strategy. I'm sure they worked really hard and I'm sure they do everything they can to solve this case ( I certainly hope so ).

However from what I have read it seems like they already had "strong" evidences against this killer, and that they were ready to close the case and to reveal the details of what they have found. I don't know what happened, but one year later the case is still unsolved and the families are still waiting for the answers.

I'm writing an email to the writer of the article about this Petrocelli, maybe he can share one or two things with me. :)


#11    libstaK

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:17 AM

View PostJonathanVonErich, on 30 October 2011 - 09:17 PM, said:

I agree with you LibstaK, it's possible that the two investigators are being cautious and that they might have a strategy. I'm sure they worked really hard and I'm sure they do everything they can to solve this case ( I certainly hope so ).

However from what I have read it seems like they already had "strong" evidences against this killer, and that they were ready to close the case and to reveal the details of what they have found. I don't know what happened, but one year later the case is still unsolved and the families are still waiting for the answers.

I'm writing an email to the writer of the article about this Petrocelli, maybe he can share one or two things with me. :)

That is such a good idea,  I wish you luck :tu: .

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#12    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 04:31 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 31 October 2011 - 10:17 AM, said:

That is such a good idea,  I wish you luck :tu: .
Thanks. :)

I sent the mail yesterday, hopefully I'll get an answer soon. I'm keeping you posted.


#13    Child of Bast

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 05:26 PM

Okay I got lost as to why they suddenly believed the husband to be a suspect. Just because of his business card in Annette's wallet? I mean at the start of the OP, it is stated that he became a prime suspect, but never mentioned why. Did I miss something?

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#14    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 05:36 PM

View PostOffeiriad, on 31 October 2011 - 05:26 PM, said:

Okay I got lost as to why they suddenly believed the husband to be a suspect. Just because of his business card in Annette's wallet? I mean at the start of the OP, it is stated that he became a prime suspect, but never mentioned why. Did I miss something?
The only reason why he was the prime suspect is because he was associated to or knew both victims. We don't have much details, but from what I have read it's the only reason why he became the prime suspect. Sheriff Robert Harrison said it best:

“The fact that two victims would both be associated or known by one individual, well, it makes the investigation tend to focus on Jeff Oberholtzer as the primary suspect.”

Also his alibi couldn't be proved.

Sorry if it wasn't very clear, we don't have much infos since Oberholtzer was cleared as a suspect years ago.  :hmm:

Edited by JonathanVonErich, 31 October 2011 - 05:37 PM.


#15    iamdee1

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:59 PM

Hey Jon,

This article is really interesting and I don't know if you have seen it or not.  Apparently, 2 psychics, went into this investigation knowing nothing about the two women, they went to the crime scene and told the police things that were never made public.  Once they had his attention, they both gave the police the same name of who the killer was.





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