By Emily Loughridge
The anniversary of Judy Weichert’s death will come and go without any resolution to who killed the Surrey Hills jogger 39 years ago Friday.
MSgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department said Wednesday that Weichert’s homicide is officially listed as a cold case.
In an email to the Yukon Progress, Knight on Wednesday noted that the original case file pre-dated his department’s current electronic filing system. Knight later forwarded fragments of a crime incident report.
“This is not the original report, as that is no longer in our records system,” he said via email, “but will be at some point as they continue scanning old reports into the new system.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
On July 28, 1984, Weichert was jogging on a quiet backroad, close to Sundance Air Park. A dedicated runner, Weichert was training for a marathon and planned to run 16 miles that morning. She left her house at around 7:30 a.m., as her husband, Steve decided to sleep in rather than join her on the run.
At roughly 9:45 a.m., a man and woman found Weichert left to die in a field on the side of Sara Road just north of NW 122 St., according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).
She had been raped and stabbed repeatedly. Following the attack, Weichert managed to crawl several feet closer to the side of the road, but numerous cars passed by unaware of her peril.
When rescuers found Weichert, they called for help, and she was rushed to Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City.
As the emergency services sped to her, Weichert used some of her last remaining breaths to describe her attacker and his vehicle to the woman who found her.
For hours, surgeons struggled to stabilize Weichert, but later in the afternoon on July 28, she succombed to her wounds.
Her funeral was held at Resurrection Cemetery Chapel in Oklahoma City a few days later, and she was placed to rest in a quiet area of the cemetery – similar to the roads she liked to run. Steve had a marble headstone placed nearby that read “My Golden Runner.” The headstone also depicts a female runner and an armadillo.
While Weichert was being laid to rest, an investigation began to search for her killer. The Oklahoma City Police Department took the lead and formed a task force to oversee the case.
The police’s first move was to issue a region wide caution for jogging alone, specifically tailored to women. A reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction, which was set to expire in October of the same year. It was expected that the case would be quickly solved, but it was not.
One of the first suspects was Weichert’s husband, Steve, as he was the last person to see her alive. He was quickly dismissed as Weichert’s description of her attacker was of a complete stranger. The couple had recently married in September 1983. Weichert worked as a lease-record analyst at Eason Oil Company; While Steve pursued a career in music and owned a stake in a restaurant he helped manage, where the pair met.
After dismissing Steve, investigators turned to their next suspect. Over the first year, the task forced received regular phone call leads from the public, but as the case stretched into its second year, only two investigators continue working the case.
The task force used Weichert’s description to extensively canvas the area, and after a year-long search, the OKCPD found a handful of individuals who fit the suspect’s criteria and warranted further scrutiny. It was also believed that the suspect drove a blue Volkswagen Beetle.
Even with hundreds of potential leads called in, no suspect was even taken into custody or convicted for Weichert’s rape and murder. The case was moved to OKCPD’s cold case division, where it currently sits unresolved.
In recent years, Weichert’s loved ones have begun to pass away. Her mother, Margaret died in 2015 and was followed by her father, Joseph in 2018. Steve later remarried in 2001 and rekindled his passion for music after Weichert’s passing. He later died in 2013 due to complications from cancer.
Weichert is still remembered in a Facebook group titled “Her Last Run: The Judy Weichert Murder,” which was last updated on the 36th anniversary of her death in 2020.
The OSBI inducted Weichert onto their cold case playing cards, which feature unsolved and unidentified homicides or missing persons cases. Weichert is on the four of clubs.