Known for it's quaint and picturesque setting, remote and winsome beaches, an all-embracing landscape of vastly expanding sand dunes and a quaint and humble sense of community, Provincetown, Massachusetts is an ideal destination for tourists and others alike.
What few people do not know, however, is that P-Town is also the home of Massachusetts most infamous unsolved cold case to date. The sole victim is known only as the 'Lady of the Dune's and the following is her story:
On July 26, 1974, a woman's nude body was discovered about a mile east of the Race Point Beach ranger station in the Cape Cod National Seashore.
She lay on half a beach blanket, as if sharing it.
A neatly folded pair of blue jeans lay under her nearly decapitated head, which had been severed using an instrument similar to that of a military entrenchment tool. The left side of her skull was crushed. Both of her hands were completely severed from the body and a few of her teeth had been ripped out(this is the killers attempt to make victim identification difficult, if not impossible).
An autopsy later revealed that the unidentified woman had been deceased anywhere from 10 days to up to 3 weeks when discovered. No weapon was discovered at the scene.
"The official cause of death was listed at the time in 1974 as blunt-force trauma to the head with signs of strangulation, sexual assault, and amputation of both hands,'' said Provincetown Police Detective Meredith Lobur.
To this day, the 'Lady of the Dunes' case remains Provincetown's first and only homicide, and it still haunts the small community today.
"We have a victim laying here in a nameless grave,'' said Provincetown Police Chief Jeff Jaran.
There is a stone marked "Unidentified Female Body Found Race Point Dunes" at St. Peters Cemetery with only the July 26, 1974 date on it.