Sunday, May 22, 2011


RONALD Thaisen always had an adventurous spirit.  The 25-year-old marine had decided to embark on more great adventure before he retired from the military in the next couple of months.  In the summer of 1972 he planned an epic cross-country drive – taking in all the sights as he went from the West coast of the United States to the East.  However, Thaisen never made it to the other side.
Instead, Albuquerque detectives discovered Thaisen’s battered body in the back of his old Dodge van.  Thaisen had a reputation as being a trusting, friendly guy.  According to his wife Karen Larson, he’d regularly pick up hitchhikers, and this trip was no different.  He picked up three hitchhikers just short of the Arizona-New Mexico border.  Soon after Thaisen called his brother and told
him about the men – a phone call that immediately aroused his brother’s suspicions.  “The relative who received the phone call knew that something was wrong,” says Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Shultz.  “They believe he was trying to send a message that he needed help.”
Police gathered huge amounts of DNA evidence from Thaisen’s van as well as fingerprints – however none of the evidence is present in any DNA or fingerprint database.  Detectives believe the perpetrators of this sick crime have never been involved in the criminal justice system.
Despite the lack of leads, detectives continue to hunt for Thaisen’s killers to find closure for Thaisen’s family.  Unfortunately, even if detectives were to find the killers, the statute of limitations in 1972 was just ten years – which effectively prohibits any prosecutions.
"Whether something happens with these people, like I say, that's up to God and the universe," says Larson. "I forgave and forgot whoever they were."
If you have any information on this case please call Albuquerque Police Cold Case Detective Rich Lewis at (505) 980-4647.

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