It's been more than three decades since the murder of 77-year-old Ruth Becker, who was found stabbed to death at her home in Logansport on January 13, 1991. Still, the culprit behind the brutal crime has yet to be found.
It was a little before 8 p.m. when a relative of Becker called 911 to report concerns. According to the relative, a friend of Becker informed them about her phone ringing off the hook for hours, and knew she had lived alone and had very few relatives other than cousins.
A well-check by the Logansport Police Department would confirm the worst. After gaining entrance inside the home at 515 Brown St, officers discovered Becker lying in a pool of blood, just 20 feet from the front door. It was quickly determined the death was the result of foul play and an investigation was started immediately.
Becker had been stabbed multiple times, with a fatal blow to the heart. Some unique key pieces to the case were the murder weapon, and how the killer had left the home. Police collected fingerprints, forensic evidence, interviewed Becker's family and friends, and canvassed the neighborhood for answers. They came up with very little substantial information.
The case hit close to home for Cathi Collins, a Logansport police officer who worked the case vigilantly. Collins has since retired from the LPD in 2011. At the time, she lived only three blocks away from the crime scene.
The Logansport Police Department hasn't given up on finding Becker's killer. In 2011, forensic evidence from the scene was submitted to an Indiana State Police lab, with hopes that advances in technology would help turn up some answers. Even after her retirement, Collins put work in on dusting off the cold case over the years.
In 2013, a criminology professor at Ball State University, also worked on a report about the case with Collins and former LPD Chief Mike Clark and Mike Morphet, an assistant chief with the department at the time. Despite the effort, no new leads were found and Becker's murder once again fell cold.
Even the motive remains a mystery. Police concluded that at the time of the murder nothing appeared to be missing from the modestly furnished residence, including a small amount of cash Becker kept in the home that remained untouched.
Friends and family of Becker knew the single, elderly woman had lived a quiet, but frugal life. Becker retired in 1976 from the RBM factory in Logansport, where she worked as an assembler, and spent the last 15 years of her life living off a small retirement fund and monthly social security check.
Aside from the occasional grocery store run, and attending church every Sunday, Becker was a notorious homebody who rarely left her residence. As the years pass, Collins says Becker's case is something she will think about often until justice is served.
Having a passion to serve, her retirement from the LPD wouldn't be the end of Collins law enforcement career. Collins currently works as jail commander for the Fulton County Detention Center in Rochester.
(Photo of Ruth Becker and grave from Mt Hope cemetery in Logansport, found on findagrave.com)