Are South Jersey Investigators Closing In On The Real A.C.-Prostitute Serial Killer?

Terry Oleson and fiancee Carol-Ann Bondiskey-Seaholtz

Terry Oleson and fiancee Carol-Ann Bondiskey-Seaholtz

First saw a reference to this on a Facebook post from Atlantic City defense attorney Jimmy Leonard. Later, @Domelights in Philly Tweeted a link. So, that combo warranted a post.

Today, Fox News reported that “authorities eye ‘more than one’ person of interest in 2006 unsolved prostitute murders” in Atlantic City.

Police have never named a suspect in the case. But [Atlantic County Prosecutor James P.] McClain said authorities have identified “more than one” person of interest, though he declined to provide names.

Where the bodies were found. (Photo by Michael T. Regan)

Where the bodies were found. (Photo by Michael T. Regan)

I’ve followed this case closely. First came a Philadelphia City Paper cover story within a month of the four victims’ bodies being found behind a motel on the outskirts of A.C.

[G]one were the proactive days when, among other initiatives, undercover female officers would pose as prostitutes and sweep up dozens of johns. These initiatives went beyond traditional crime fighting; they were a makeshift outreach program in which police could warn the women about the dangers of the life path they’d chosen.

“These hookers, you have to work them on a daily basis. You have to catch them right away or else they’re in trouble,” said the officer. “They’re at such risk in the area they’re in. Vulnerable. When they go missing, nobody knows, nobody reports it. If you can get to them early, you have a chance [to help them turn their lives around]. But they’re the lowest; that area has finally hit rock bottom. Within a few years, you’ll see the bulldozers coming through.”

The officer said he’s worried about the investigation, and not only because the department lost 60 high-ranking officers in one mass-retirement swoop late last month. “You’re dealing with people who won’t be good witnesses to begin with,” he says, “and there’s not that much forensic evidence from what I understand, because they were in the water.”

Another officer with homicide-investigation experience had worked up a profile. “You’re looking for someone familiar with that area, maybe a handyman at one of the motels down there. Late 20s, early 30s, and he snapped over something recently,” the officer hypothesized off-the-record. “If you look into his past, you’ll see smaller assaults and other cases, but then he exploded and this happened. They need to start looking in other places, too. I’d bet there are more bodies out there.”

Odds of an arrest? “This guy’s long gone by now.”

Then, a shade under three years later, I wrote a Philadelphia Weekly cover story about Terry Oleson, the man who was treated as a serial-killing suspect even though he wasn’t a killer. This was a story about what can happen to a man who gets branded with an impossible-to-shake label.

Everywhere Terry Oleson goes, he thinks people are staring at him. Whispering, “Oh my God, that’s the serial killer.” Yet he goes on about his day, pretending he doesn’t feel it, trying to mask the effects.

If it’s even possible to put into words what happens when you’re painted as the shady drifter who choked four Atlantic City hookers to death and lined their heads up in a particular order, Oleson is willing to do it.

“I have nothing to hide,” says the never-charged, No. 1 person of interest in the case. “But as far as I can tell, this story doesn’t end well. My life’s done.” …

Investigators have since refused any public admission about Oleson’s guilt or innocence. Why bother? The public-opinion verdict was in. And, the press was forced to follow what few crumbs investigators offered.

I still think about Oleson often. It’s a hard story to shake, that of a man’s life shattered.

While I’ve known most of the details of today’s Fox News story for years now, I hope this could mean Terry Oleson finally gets his life back and the families of Kim Raffo, Molly Jean Dilts, Barbara V. Breidor and Tracy Ann Roberts get some answers as to why their loved ones’ lives ended.

I hope investigators weren’t just paying lip service to a call from a national-cable outlet. This should be demanded of them now, just like it should have been demanded of them in 2006.

2 comments for “Are South Jersey Investigators Closing In On The Real A.C.-Prostitute Serial Killer?

  1. L_oleson
    July 21, 2013 at 20:39

    I want to say first of that Terry is my baby brother, now with that said I want to say the following. AMERICA BEWARE! In this country you are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty! But that is NOT how it is if the DA’S office and the MEDIA says you done something! I read this report that is why I am replying to it here and I really have to laugh. You think that the only thing Terry has to worry about is the “whispers”? Well let me be the first to tell you that is not the case. Let me explain what happened back the end of 1997. Our mother was told she had CANCER and did not have long to live. A few days later our mother offered to give me our home, but I told her NO give it to one of her youngest children, Terry was our mother’s last born child so she left it to him. By the way, my mother’s father built this home as a wedding present for our mother and father. Upon signing the home over to Terry, he had to promise our mother the home would NEVER EVER leave the Oleson family. 8 months later our mother was gone. The media never reported that Terry had tried to get his ex-girlfriend evicted from this home for several years but was unable to do so. The media never reported that our 73-74 year old disabled father took Christmas presents to this home to give to Terry and Terry’s daughter while Terry was out, but was ATTACKED by Terry’s Ex-girlfriend and was NEVER Charged by law enforcement for this attack. The media never reported that this same woman was finally evicted a few days before Terry was accused and that this same woman told EVERYBODY “before she was forced out of her home she would see Terry in prison!” And that is why “SHE” called law enforcement and said TERRY did these murders! It’s sad that so much time was wasted trying to build a case against just anyone. NOBODY should be murdered, but it happens and instead of trying to make a GREAT name for yourself in the media, you should do what your sworn to do.. Find the facts and proof and charge the right person instead of blaming a half a dozen different people with this. Terry was charged in a separate UN-RELATED case and that judge gave Terry a truly HIGH bail for the crime he was charged with. Even the media had said Rapist & Murders don’t have bail set that high. BUT that judge got his 5 minutes of shame with the media and that, now this is what I believe, was all the judge cared about.. Getting his name on TV and in all the Newspapers that was covering this case.

  2. L_oleson
    July 21, 2013 at 20:53

    Terry has to live the rest of his life knowing he had to sell the home and break that promise to his dying mother. BUT what choice did he have, he was being found guilty by the A.C’s DA Office and the media! So James Leonard had to be hired and paid for his services. Which I believe Mr. Leonard found the truth and FORCED the DA’s office to stop the WITCH HUNT that THEY started against my brother. Did Terry murder or have ANYTHING to do with these murders NO let me repeat that NO HE DID NOT! I have read the recent media reports on this case, and I would like to know the answer to this one question.. Why has the Atlantic City’s DA office not brought in this “RIVER MAN” for questioning? They TOTALLY RUINED my brother’s life, I hope everyone involved with that is happy, why are they NOT following up on these “NEW LEADS”? Terry is INNOCENT of these murders and it’s a shame the real killer is still free!

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