Book by former Great Falls detective investigates 1956 cold-case killings
Former detective links deaths to Zodiac Killer
On the night of Jan. 2, 1956, a young couple from Great Falls never came home.
Initially, the parents of 16-year-old Patricia Kalitzke hoped that she had eloped with her boyfriend, Lloyd Bogle, an 18-year-old airman stationed at Malmstrom AFB.
The two young lovers weren’t expected to stay out late, the Tribune reported at the time. Kalitzke had high school classes to attend, and New Year’s celebrations had just come to a close.
They were last seen alive leaving a Great Falls drive-in around 9 p.m., heading west out Central Avenue to a well-known lover’s lane near Wadsworth Park.
Bogle, from Waco, Texas, was found the next morning by three young boys — his hands tied behind his back and two bullets through his skull.
Kalitzke’s body was located the following day, on a steep road embankment seven miles from the park. Fully clothed, she had also been shot execution-style in the head.
While a suspect was identified at the time, he was later cleared, and the case has never been solved.
Now, retired Great Falls police Detective John Cameron — famous for helping bring suspects to trial in several murder cases — claims to have an answer.
The killer, he writes in his new book, “It’s Me: Edward Wayne Edwards, the Serial Killer You Never Heard Of,” was the titular criminal, who died in prison in 2011 at age 77 after claiming responsibility for five homicides in Wisconsin and Ohio.
Those killings included the 1980 deaths of two 19-year-old sweethearts who vanished from a wedding reception hall in Wisconsin where Edwards worked briefly as a handyman, as well as an Ohio couple shot — like Kalitzke and Bogle — in the back of the head in 1977.
Edwards also told investigators that he had killed his foster son to collect on a $250,000 life insurance policy, Cameron writes.
He had been sentenced to death by lethal injection for that death but died of natural causes before his execution date.
Cameron spent 24 years with the Great Falls police force and the last 14 years were as a detective specializing in cold case investigations. He retired in 2005.
His famously obsessive work brought about the convictions of Donald Dubray in 1999 for the 1987 murder of Suzette Pritchard at a Great Falls convenience store and Bill Morrisey in 2005 for shooting 9-year-old Dolana Clark in the head and dumping her body in the Little Belt Mountains in 1988.
An investigation by Cameron also saw charges brought against Nathaniel Bar-Jonah in 2000 for the kidnapping and killing of 10-year-old Zachary Ramsey, last seen as he walked to school in 1996. Those charges against Bar-Jonah, who died in Deer Lodge in 2008 while serving a 130-year sentence for a separate sex crime, were dropped days before trial in 2002 after the the boy’s mother vowed to testify she believed her son was still alive.
Additionally, Cameron’s efforts brought former Great Falls Community Food Bank Director Alan Reavley to trial for the 1964 deaths of grocers Jim and Lois Arrotta after detectives interviewed witnesses who said they’d heard him confess to killing people. Reavley was acquitted in 2004.
Cameron kept up his interest in cold case investigations even after his retirement from police work. He was working for the Montana Probation and Parole Board in 2010 when Edwards confessed to the Wisconsin and Ohio killings, he said, triggering his interest in the possibility that the serial killer was also responsible for the deaths of Kalitzke and Bogle.
As he looked into the case, Cameron discovered that Deer Lodge Prison records indicate Edwards had arrived in Great Falls with his then-wife in January 1956 before being arrested in Billings for a robbery charge the following March.
“You have an admitted serial killer who was in town on the day that we have a double murder of a couple on lover’s lane in 1956,” Cameron said, noting that he was struck by the similarities in the killings. “That’s the evidence I have.”
While DNA evidence collected from a swab of Kalitzke’s body failed to return a match to Edwards, that hasn’t deterred Cameron, who previously told the Tribune he thought it was possible the DNA belonged to a 1950s-era medical examiner who wouldn’t have worn gloves.
Indeed, Cameron has become obsessed with Edwards by his own admission, spending the past four years investigating the man’s life and possible crimes.
“I was able to place him in Great Falls at the time of the murder, and from there it’s spiraled into following his life,” he said.
Cameron ended up quitting his parole board job to pursue the investigation, which has involved traveling across the country to interview several of Edwards’ family members, he said. He and a friend also exchanged several letters with Edwards before the latter’s death.
In his book and associated website, coldcasecameron.com, Cameron says he came to the conclusion that Edwards is responsible for more than 100 deaths.
If the claim is substantiated, it would make Edwards the most prolific American serial killer of the last century.
In addition to the five confessed killings and the Kalitzke-Bogle slaying in Great Falls, Cameron believes that Edwards is the never-apprehended Zodiac Killer, implicated in as many as 37 deaths during the 1960s and 1970s in northern California. Cameron also writes that Edwards is responsible for the killings of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey and union leader Jimmy Hoffa.
“I didn’t allow things to come in unless the evidence really was there,” Cameron said, defending his investigation. “As it played out, it got worse and worse and worse.”
“A lot of people are going to be skeptics, but I can’t really help that,” he added. “This is what he did.”
Cameron plans to hold a news conference to discuss his investigation and book at 11 a.m. April 16 at the Great Falls Historical Society, 422 2nd St. S.
Reach Staff Writer Eric Dietrich at 791-6527 or edie
firstname.lastname@example.org om. He can also be followed on Twitter at @GFTrib_EricD.