Real Names: Barbara Jeanne and Patricia Kathleen Grimes
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Brighton Park, Chicago, Illinois
Date: December 28, 1956
Details: Sisters Barbara, fifteen, and Patricia Grimes, thirteen, left their home in Chicago, Illinois, at 7:30PM to go to Brighton Theater to see the Elvis Presley movie "Love Me Tender" on the night of December 28, 1956. They allegedly boarded a bus that night but never returned. Their parents reported them missing the next day, but the police did not investigate for several days, believing that they had run away from home. Their family, however, could not believe that they had run away from home.
A week later, the authorities decided to take the case more seriously; they began investigating the case thoroughly. Thousands of tips and leads came in throughout the central United States. Authorities found friends of the girls who had seen them at Brighton Theater that night. However, they did not know where the sisters went afterward.
The case became nationwide news within weeks. When Elvis Presley heard about the case, he urged the girls to return home to their family. Sadly, on January 22, 1957, a man named Leonard Prescott discovered the girls' nude bodies near Willow Springs, Illinois. They had both died of shock and exposure due to the cold temperatures. Authorities investigated several suspects in the case; however, no arrests were ever made and the case remains unsolved.
Suspects: Authorities later arrested a man named Edward "Bennie" Bedwell after his coworkers reportedly saw him with the girls after they went missing. Bedwell was interrogated by authorities in a motel room for almost three days before he finally confessed to the murders. He wrote and signed a confession, however, many felt it was untrue as he was illiterate and mentally challenged. He was released after the autopsy reports contradicted with his confession. He claimed that he and the girls went to various places for several weeks after their disappearances. However, the autopsy reports showed that they had died within four hours of their disappearances.
After Bedwell was released, the case grew cold. Years later, Ray Johnson decided to research the case and found a new possible suspect: Charles Leroy Melquist. Melquist had murdered a girl named Bonnie Leigh Scott in November 1958. She was found in an area less than a half mile from the area where the girls were found. Also, she had been found nude; the girls had also been found nude.
Johnson learned about a phone call that the girls' mother received a few months after their deaths. The caller told her that he was the one that had killed them and that one had "crossed toes," Barbara did, in fact, have crossed toes; this fact had never been released to the public. Mrs. Grimes claimed that the caller then laughed and hung up. Two years later, when Bonnie's body was found, she claimed that she received a phone call from the same man who said that he had gotten away with the girls' murders and that he would get away with Bonnie's murder as well.
Melquist was later arrested and confessed to Bonnie's murder. He was convicted of murder and was sentenced to ninety-nine years in prison; he has since died. However, Ray Johnson believes that Melquist had accomplices that are still alive. He and the Grimes family are still searching for answers in the case.
Extra Notes: This case was uploaded to the Unsolved Mysteries website on April 15, 2016. The person interviewed in the video is Ray Johnson, a former investigator.
- The Grimes Sisters on Unsolved.com
- The Grimes Sisters on Wikipedia
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- Barbara and Patricia Grimes on Find a Grave