For many people, February 14 is a joyous date on which to celebrate the romantic union with your significant other. However, this does not mean that dark, mysterious, and tragic things do not happen on St. Valentine’s Day. In fact, one of the most infamous murders of all time even bears its name. In 1929, a group of Chicago mobsters believed to be working for Al Capone gunned down seven rival gang members in cold blood, and the incident forever became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Here are 10 more stories of unsolved mysteries that just happened to take place on Valentine’s Day. Appropriately, it’s likely that some of these cases are the result of love gone bad.
10The Murder Of Jodine Serrin
On Valentine’s Day in 2007, Art and Lois Serrin went to visit their 39-year-old daughter, Jodine, at her condo. Jodine was mentally disabled, and even though she was able to live independently, she still required frequent visits from her parents to check on her. When the Serrins arrived at the condo that night, the lights were on, but they could not unlock the front door because the chain was latched. After receiving no answer when they called out Jodine’s name, Art busted open the door. He walked into her darkened bedroom and was surprised to find his daughter having sex with an unidentified man. Art told the man to get dressed and leave while both he and Loris waited in another room.
After several minutes had passed, Jodine had not come out to meet her parents. The Serrins returned to the bedroom and were treated to a horrifying sight: Jodine’s lifeless nude body was now lying on the bed. She had been beaten and strangled to death. Incredibly, Jodine’s killer had been brazen enough to murder her while her parents were still inside the apartment and somehow managed to sneak out before they discovered what he had done. It’s also possible that the sex between Jodine and her killer was not consensual, and her parents unknowingly walked in on her while she was in the midst of being raped.
DNA evidence was collected from the crime scene, but thus far, Jodine Serrin’s murderer has never been caught or identified.
9The Disappearance Of China Rose Sims
In February 1988, English furniture dealer David Sims took a business trip to the Philippines and got married to a woman named China Rose, who was 20 years younger than him. China accompanied her new husband back to England, and the couple eventually moved into a house in Southend. However, the marriage started to fall apart, and China told her sister that she wanted to leave David because he was becoming violent toward her. She even claimed David had told her he’d hire someone to kill her because it was cheaper than getting a divorce.
On Valentine’s Day in 1993, China attended a family party, and this was the last time anyone could confirm seeing her alive. Even though China had expressed interest in returning to the Philippines to see her ill father, she never contacted her family again.
Not only did China go missing without explanation, but her husband dropped off the map as well. David was last seen at the couple’s home approximately two months after China’s disappearance, but he subsequently vanished without explanation. Even though David had two daughters from a previous marriage, he ceased contact with them.
Years later, police would track down Geoffrey Paston, who previously shared the Southend home with David and China. According to Paston, David had asked him to sell the house and put the proceeds into an account under David’s alias, “Anthony Peter Lewis.” Approximately £40,000 of this money was collected by a man claiming to represent David, and at least £10,000 remains in the account and has never been touched. It’s strongly speculated that China was murdered, but until she or her husband are found, the case will remain unsolved.
8The Murder Of Marilu Geri
On the morning of Valentine’s Day in 1986, Stephen Geri left his Houston home to go to work. According to Stephen, his wife, Marilu, was still in bed at the time. A few hours later, Stephen called Marilu’s mother, Maria Serrato, from his workplace. Stephen claimed that Marilu wasn’t answering the phone and asked Maria to visit their home to help Marilu prepare for a party that day. Maria complied, but when she arrived at the Geri residence, she was shocked to discover that her daughter had been murdered. Marilu was shot four times and her body contained bullets from both a .38 and a .22. There was no sign of a break-in or robbery, and it wasn’t long before suspicion turned toward Stephen.
While Stephen owned several handguns, none of them were used to shoot Marilu, and he seemed to have an alibi. However, some aspects of Stephen’s alibi seemed a little suspicious. That particular morning, Stephen left the house a few hours earlier than usual and ran errands by visiting several different locations, including a 7-11, post office, and doughnut shop. The day after the murder, Stephen raised some eyebrows by returning to all these same locations and specifically reminding the employees that he had been there the previous morning.
A possible motive was a $400,000 insurance policy that Stephen had taken out on his wife. Marilu’s parents actually took Stephen to court to prevent him from collecting the insurance money, accusing him of being responsible for the murder. The two parties eventually reached an out-of-court settlement, but the details about the settlement are sealed. Stephen Geri has always maintained his innocence, so officially, his wife’s murder is still unsolved.
7The Discovery Of ‘Julie Valentine’
On the morning of February 13, 1990, Glenn Hayward was walking through a field located behind a mall in Greenville, South Carolina. He was looking for some wildflowers to give his wife for Valentine’s Day. The site was known for being an illegal dumping ground, and many items were strewn across the field that day. Hayward came across a Sears vacuum cleaner box and noticed a foul odor emitting from it. When Hayward opened the box, he found the decomposing body of a newborn infant girl.
The deceased child was covered with a blanket and some newspaper. Her umbilical cord was still attached, and the placenta was also inside the box. It’s estimated that the infant had been born approximately five days before she was discovered and died about two days after her birth. All indications were that the child was born healthy, and since traces of food were found inside her stomach, she had been cared for at some point. Investigators were unable to determine the cause of death or uncover the child’s identity, so she received the name “Julie Valentine.”
The only major potential lead was a reported sighting of a man inside a red Pontiac Fiero parked at the site three days before the infant was found. However, no one knows if this man has any connection to the case, so until the child’s identity can be established, she will continue to be known as “Julie Valentine.”
6The Murders Of Nicholas Kunselman & Stephanie Hart
On April 20, 1999, one of the most infamous school shootings of all time took place at Columbine High School in Colorado, and 13 innocent victims were murdered. The community was plagued by the senseless shooting deaths of two more teenage students 10 months later.
At the time, 15-year-old Nicholas Kunselman and his 16-year-old girlfriend, Stephanie Hart, were sophomores at Columbine, and Nicholas worked at a Subway sandwich shop near the school. Shortly before 1:00 AM on Valentine’s Day, another Subway employee drove by the shop and noticed the lights were on even though the place was supposed to be closed. When the employee went inside, she discovered that Nicholas and Stephanie had both been shot to death behind the counter.
Nicholas had been working the night shift, and Stephanie stopped by the shop to visit him while he closed up. At some point, they were ambushed by an unknown assailant. In an eerie coincidence, one of the original Columbine victims, Rachel Scott, just happened to have been employed by the same Subway shop at the time of her death.
The only lead was a sighting of an unidentified man in a red jacket walking away from the store shortly before the bodies were discovered. Since nothing appeared to be stolen, robbery did not seem to be the motive. An investigation would reveal that a drug ring was operating in the area at the time, so it’s been theorized the murders might have been drug-related. In fact, Stephanie’s mother even made a failed attempt to sue the shop’s owner, alleging that he allowed illegal drug activity to take place on the property.
After 16 years, authorities have still been unable to determine who murdered Nicholas Kunselman and Stephanie Hart.
5The Disappearance Of Maureen Fields
In 2006, 41-year-old Maureen Fields seemed very perturbed when she showed up for work on Valentine’s Day at the Wells Fargo bank in Pahrump, Nevada. Maureen was in the midst of a troubled marriage to her allegedly domineering husband, Paul Fields, and told her coworkers that “something’s going to happen.” The following day, Maureen went missing.
According to her husband, Maureen left their residence that morning to go to work, but she never arrived. One day later, Maureen’s abandoned vehicle was found stuck in the sand in a remote section of the Mojave Desert near Death Valley. Her purse and several other belongings, including a pair of pantyhose, were left behind, and there was also a blanket on the ground with traces of blood and vomit.
Since an empty Xanax pill bottle was also found, there was initial speculation that she might have wandered into the desert and committed suicide. However, her body never turned up, and since the pill bottle was wiped clean of fingerprints, it seemed like the scene was staged. Male DNA was found on the pantyhose, but it did not match Paul Fields, whom police considered to be the prime suspect.
In 2012, the case took a surprising turn when the DNA was matched to an elderly convicted sex offender named Keith Wayne Holmes. When questioned, Holmes claimed that he had consensual sex with Maureen before leaving her alone in the desert. Holmes also claimed to know Paul, but by this point, he was suffering from dementia and could not provide any concise answers. Holmes died in prison hospice care in April 2014. Paul Fields continues to be the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance, but the actual details of what happened remain unclear.
4The Mysterious Death Of Antonio Saldivar
At approximately 6:00 PM on February 14, 2014, 17-year-old Houston teen Antonio Saldivar borrowed his mother’s car to go visit his girlfriend. He was planning to deliver a teddy bear to her as a Valentine Day’s gift. Antonio wound up missing his curfew that night, which led his mother to repeatedly call and text his cell phone. At 4:00 AM, Antonio finally answered his phone and let his mother know he was on his way home. Within a half hour, Antonio totaled his mother’s vehicle by crashing into a concrete pillar. Antonio was nowhere to be found at the accident scene, but strangely, his shoes were left behind in the car.
Antonio remained a missing person until February 27, when an employee from a Texas Port Recycling scrap metal plant discovered Antonio’s body, which was trapped underwater beneath a dock inside the Houston Ship Channel. He was found approximately 3 kilometers (2 mi) from the accident scene. It’s possible that Antonio became disoriented before wandering away from the scene and drowning, but a lot of strange details didn’t add up. Antonio never actually made it to his girlfriend’s house that night, and the Valentine’s Day teddy bear was found inside his pants between his legs.
One witness told police they saw a dark SUV run Antonio’s car into the pillar. Antonio was also found inside a secure area near the scrap metal plant, which was inaccessible to the search volunteers who had been looking for him. So how did his body end up there? Antonio Saldivar’s family are continuing to search for answers about his death.
3The Murder Of The Rundle Family
In 1985, Cassandra Rundle was a 37-year-old, two-time divorcee living in Colorado Springs with her two children: 12-year-old Detrick and 10-year-old Melanie. On the morning of February 14, Cassandra’s second ex-husband showed up at the home to deliver her a record album as a Valentine’s Day present. To his horror, he discovered that the entire family was brutally murdered. Cassandra’s nude body was found on her bed. She had been tied up, raped, and beaten before she was strangled to death. Melanie’s body was found in her own bedroom, and she was also raped and strangled. She had a fractured skull, and the condition of Melanie’s room indicated a major struggle before her death.
Detrick had been beaten to death inside his own bedroom. Next to him was a bloody hockey stick, which had been used as a weapon on all three family members. It seemed likely that Detrick had gone outside that morning before the killer arrived and returned to the house while the murders were in progress.
In the months before her death, Cassandra had taken out personal ads in a local newspaper. She received more than 80 responses and made contact with several men, but no evidence could be found to link any of them to the murders. Suspicion has also been directed at a former soldier named Philip E. Wilkinson, who is currently sitting on death row in North Carolina for the 1992 triple slaying of a mother and her two children. That crime bore some similarities to the Rundle murders, but Wilkinson has never been connected to the case. As it is, these horrific murders remain unsolved over 30 years later.
2The Disappearance Of Marcy Jo Andrews
In 1984, 24-year-old Marcy Jo Andrews and two of her female friends spent Valentine’s Day attending a party at the Chicago apartment of Casey Nowicki. Nowicki was driving the women home when he crashed into a viaduct, injuring Andrews’s ankle. Nowicki gave his car keys to Andrews’s friends and asked them to call a tow truck while he took her to the hospital in a taxi. Later that night, the women called Nowicki’s apartment and spoke with Andrews, who sounded frightened and claimed Nowicki never took her to the hospital. This would be the last time Andrews’s friends ever heard from her. Over the next few days, they made repeated attempts to visit Nowicki’s apartment, but he claimed Andrews had already left and refused to let them inside. When police were notified, Nowicki told the same story and denied all knowledge of Andrews’s whereabouts.
In 2000, Nowicki was finally charged with Andrews’s murder. The prosecution’s theory was that Nowicki took Andrews back to his apartment and drugged her with THC so he could repeatedly sexually assault her. The prosecution produced numerous witnesses who claimed to have seen Andrews in Nowicki’s apartment in the days following the accident. One witness, Michael John Panisi, testified to seeing a nude Andrews handcuffed to a radiator and later seeing her lying dead on the floor. Panisi claimed that Nowicki gave Andrews a deliberate THC overdose before disposing of her body.
Nowicki’s defense team argued that the prosecution’s witnesses were unreliable since most of them had criminal records and were offered deals in exchange for their testimony. Nevertheless, Nowicki was still convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In spite of this, Marcy Jo Andrews’s body has still never been found.
1The Murder Of Billy Trimbach
On Valentine’s Day in 1992, Billy and Cindy Trimbach were married in Stoneham, Colorado. On the date of their first anniversary, Billy was shot to death and found by the side of a frontage road outside of Wiggins, approximately 80 kilometers (50 mi) away from Stoneham. In an odd twist, the sheriff who investigated the case just happened to drive past the same road shortly before Billy was found. He remembered seeing multiple vehicles at that exact spot and may have unknowingly driven past the killer while they were disposing of Billy’s body.
The investigation eventually turned toward Cindy Trimbach, who’d collected a $500,000 life insurance policy on her husband’s death. Physical evidence was also found inside Cindy’s car to suggest that Billy’s body may have been in there at some point.
The cloud of suspicion compelled Cindy to move to Butte, Montana, with James, her 10-year-old son from a previous marriage, and there would soon be a shocking postscript to this story. In April 1994, a Butte newspaper ran an article about Billy Trimbach’s murder, which mentioned that Cindy was a suspect. James was teased about this on the school playground by an 11-year-old classmate named Jeremy Bullock. James responded by pulling out a gun and shooting Jeremy to death.
James was sent to a juvenile home for the crime, and Cindy died of natural causes in 1996. Over the years, rumors have spread that Cindy hired someone to carry out Billy’s murder, and at least one drug dealer has reportedly bragged about being involved. However, the full truth about Billy Trimbach’s death has never been uncovered.