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Out of the Ordinary

Creepy Unsolved College Mysteries

Mike Gregory

Pattee Library: Place of 1969 Unsolved Betsy Aardsma Murder

        Every year, someone graduates high school and gets their chance to gain independence. College; it is a defining moment, you are your own person, free to come and go as you please, and now your parents are a nervous wreck. You’ll tell them that you are doing fine and all is well. Sometimes things aren’t as simple though, the real world is a scary place, a place where nothing is guaranteed and sometimes bad things happen to good people, people just like you. And remember, every once in a while a parent’s worst fear becomes a reality. Things aren’t always well, and things aren’t always fine.

Here are several unsolved mysteries from around the country that took place on or very near to a college campus. These cases have never been solved, and the events surrounding them are just a little creepy.

1.) Betsy Aardsma: Penn State University

At Penn State University in 1969, a Michigan native, Betsy Aardsma was doing some afternoon English research in the Pattee Library on campus, when someone in the dimly lit library stabbed Betsy in the chest with a hunting knife. She fell to the floor, pulling down books with her, and then her attacker pulled the knife back out of her body and fled. Although nearly 40 Pennsylvania State Troopers worked the murder case, interviewing dozens of students, and following numerous leads, the case went cold .

What makes this so unusual is that there were nearly 9 people within 70 feet of where the attack occurred, and yet no one saw a thing. Although there were several suspects, the case still remains unsolved. Betsy’s ghost is now said to haunt the library.

2.) Arlis Perry: Stanford University

A security guard found the body of Arlis Perry at the back of the Stanford Memorial Church in October of 1974. The 19 year old was the wife of a sophomore attending the Stanford and after an argument with her husband over car troubles, she’d went to the church, alone, to pray. When medical examiners examined her body, they found that she’d been stabbed in the back of the head with an icepick, beaten, raped, and brutally assaulted with a 3 foot candlestick.

There is a possibility and rumors that the murder could have been carried out by a satanic cult. Serial killer David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz is said to have even known of it. In 1979, he sent a book to law authorities in North Dakota (Arlis’ home-state) and in the margin of the book he’d written “Arlis Perry, hunted, stalked, slain, followed to California, Stanford Univ.” Though there was a palm print found on the candle, and DNA found on and around her body, California investigators never found her killer.

3.) Paula Jean Welden: Bennington College

In December of 1946, 18-year-old Paula Jean Walden, a sophomore at Vermont’s Bennington College, had just finished working her shift at the dining hall and had decided to take a hike after returning to her dormitory. She told her roommate that she was going to hike, and even asked other students if they’d like to go with her. None of her offers were accepted, so Paula hitchhiked to a long trail near Glastenbury Mountain, alone. Although several witnesses saw her along the trail, even stopping one to ask him how much longer the trail was, she disappeared without a trace.

After fellow student noticed her absence, she was reported missing and though she was tracked up until asking the witness about the remaining distance of the trail, no trace of Paula Jean was ever found. What is even creepier is that between 1945 and 1950, five people went missing in a similar manner on the exact same trail. It is now dubbed the “Bennington Triangle”.

4.) Sigrid Stevenson: Trenton State College

The people that knew Sigrid would tell you that her only passion in life was the piano. The 25- year-old was known as a free spirit, hitchhiking through much of Canada and the US, she was now studying at Trenton State College, with hopes of earning her Master’s in music. She’d snuck into the college’s basement auditorium the night of September 4th, 1977 to play the piano, and that is where she would be found dead around midnight.

Her body had been concealed by the piano cover, a pool of blood under her body. It was gruesome, blood and gore spattered the piano and sheet music. And although she was found nude, she’d not been raped according to the medical examiner. Her face had been so traumatized that she was only able to be identified by her hair. Like the rest of the stories, the case of Sigrid Stevenson remains unsolved.

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