Carol Ann Dougherty was just a 9-year-old girl who was riding her bike from her home in Landreth Manor in Bristol, Pennsylvania, to the library to return some library books. It was around 4pm on the 22nd of October 1962, and Carol’s mother had told her to go straight to the library and then return home.
By the time 4:30pm had come around, and Carol had not returned home, her parents Dorothy and Frank Dougherty began looking for her. Frank spotted Carol’s bike outside of St. Mark’s Church, so he went inside the church to search for his daughter.
Frank found Carol’s body on a landing that led to the church’s attic. When he discovered her body, Frank did not move or touch her but instead called the police.
Carol had been raped and strangled to death. She was holding a few brown pubic hairs in her hand, which are assumed to have come from the killer.
The first suspect was a local handyman called Frank Zuchero. He had been seen drunkenly walking towards the church on the day Carol was killed. Frank confessed to a borough police officer and was later questioned by the Bucks County District Attorney at the time, Paul Beckert, where he described in detail how he had raped and strangled Carol.
However, Frank seemed confused, and the police were questioning his involvement in Carol’s murder. It would later come to light that the borough police officer coerced the confession out of Frank. After this, Frank was released and not questioned again.
The police were contacted by Alfred and Pauline Kalman, who believed that their son, Wayne Roach who was 19 at the time, was responsible for Carol’s murder. They were convinced Wayne was responsible due to the fact that they found a notebook in his jacket pocket that had “Carol Ann Dougherty” written in it. The town postmaster also came forward and said he remembered seeing Wayne the afternoon of the murder, and that he remembers seeing him because he had scratch marks on his face – as if he had been in a fight.
There was a huge search for Wayne, but he was eventually located in Stafford County, Virginia. He was brought back to Bristol, but when he proved that he was taking his driving test with a time-stamped and dated receipt, he was released.
Chief Faragalli, chief of the Bristol Police at the time, started to focus on Joseph Sabadish. Joseph Sabadish was a priest at St. Mark’s Church, and when he and the other priests were asked for their alibis at the time of Carol’s murder, only Joseph’s didn’t add up.
Joseph had told police that he had been visiting members of the parish at the time of Carol’s murder, but when the members were asked they said that Joseph had not visited them.
Joseph was also seen acting strangely just a few minutes after Carol’s murder on Mill Street, which is Bristol’s shopping district. Several witnesses say that Joseph went into Popkin’s shoe store and asked the clerk for the time, and the clerk found it strange considering Joseph was wearing a wristwatch.
Betty Zabiegalski, who lived in Fairless Hills, told police that she knew Joseph from when he used to work in upstate Pennsylvania and that since they had moved to the area he was trying to rekindle their friendship. However, this quickly turned sour when Jospeh started to repeatedly call her home and kept making sexual advances toward her. Betty’s husband recorded one of the phone calls and handed it to the police.
The Monsignor of the church, Paul Baird, started to become angry with the suggestion that Joseph Sadadish, a priest in his church, was responsible for Carol’s murder. Because of this, Paul Baird refused to allow Chief Faragalli to speak with Joseph anymore. In an angry confrontation on Mill Street, Paul Baird told Chief Faragalli: “Faragalli, you’re a Catholic and you are persecuting Catholics with this investigation!”
Faragalli responded to Paul by saying: “No, father, I’m a cop trying to figure out who killed that little girl in your church.”
Chief Faragalli and another police officer followed Joseph as he went around visiting members of the parish. They snatched Joseph from the streets and took him to the county courthouse to take a polygraph test.
Joseph passed the polygraph test and was released. He was never questioned in connection with Carol’s murder again.
In 1992, the Viocq Society, which is a group of America’s top forensic police investigators, agreed to help Bristol Police investigate Carol’s murder. However, before they started to investigate, Carol’s case went to the grand jury.
Semi-retired Joseph Sabadish and Carol’s father, Frank, were among those who testified to the jury.
So did William Schrader, who was 24 at the time of Carol’s murder. William had been extradited from the South back to Buck’s County, according to authorities. William had been spotted outside of St. Mark’s Church at around 4:30pm on the day of Carol’s murder.
William was living close to St. Mark’s Church, and he was employed at the Century Tool Co. in Croydon.
In January 1963, an eyewitness went to the police and said that he saw William outside of the Church at 4:30pm on the day that Carol was killed. William was questioned by police, and he told them that he didn’t kill Carol and that he was at work on the day of the murder and didn’t leave work until 4:30pm.
However, when investigators checked William’s work time card, they discovered that he had lied. William had actually left work at 1:58pm on October the 19th, four days before Carol’s murder, and didn’t return to work until the 24th which was two days after Carol’s murder.
When William was confronted with this, he changed his story. He told police that he had been putting a new motor in his car at Gross’s Junk Yard on the 22nd of October and finished the job on October 23rd. The police checked with the owner of the junkyard, but he could not remember if William had been at the junkyard that day.
William did take a polygraph test, which he passed.
When William was put before the grand jury in 1994, he invoked the Fifth Amendment right to not answer any questions that may incriminate him, and he refused to speak.
William was released, and since then Carol’s case has gone cold.
The hair samples that were found in Carol’s hands have never been matched with any of the suspects or anyone at all. Some of the original investigators doubt that the hairs may even belong to the killer, as the landing where Carol had been attacked was very dusty, and it is possible that during a struggle Carol picked up hairs from the floor.
All of the suspects in Carol’s case have since passed away, but Wayne Roach’s whereabouts are unknown.
In 2005, Joseph Sabadish’s name was on a list with 63 other priests in Philadelphia who had been accused of molesting and sexually abusing children.
Many of the investigators, including Cheif Faragalli, have also passed away.
Carol’s family no longer live in Bucks County and has not spoken about her case publicly since 1994, saying that they do not want to go through the trauma of reliving it.
The only other suspect in Carol’s case was a man who made strange, tormenting phone calls to Chief Faragalli in the days after Carol’s murder. The man said that more children would die, but he never stayed on the line long enough to be traced. Some cryptic messages about Carol’s murder were also left at the police station, and Chief Faragalli believes that it was from the same caller.
When a series about Carol was published in 1992, J.D. Mullane (the writer of the series), received several messages from a man who claimed that Carol’s case would never be solved. They also received an envelope with a cryptic message in their newsroom, and another one was left under the wiper of their car.
As the 50th anniversary of Carol’s murder approached, J.D. Mullane and several editors who worked with them began receiving strange emails from an unknown writer who said that Carol’s killer would be revealed at last.
That was in 2012, and since then there had been no updates on Carol’s case or from the mysterious writer.
As this year marks 60 years since Carol’s murder, it seems unlikely that we will ever know who was really responsible for her death.
Carol Dougherty, Bristol, Pennslyvania, Murder, Homicide, Unsolved Case, Unsolved Crime, Unsolved Mystery, 1962, 1960s, USA, Unsolved Murder, Unsolved Homicide