Judy Weichert

On the morning of July 28th, 1984, Judy Weichert set off on a jog, unaware that it would be her last. While out on her jog, Judy would be attacked by a vicious stranger. Police would later link her case to another from nearby, but more than 35 years later, Judy's case remains unsolved…

Judy Ellen Lecthenberg was born on September 15th, 1950, in Ponca City, Oklahoma - a town located roughly halfway between Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas.

Judy's father, Joseph, had grown up in Osage County and went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force during World War 2. Following his service, he returned to his wife, Margaret, whom he had married just before deploying. The two permanently settled in Margaret's hometown of Ponca City, where they started a quiet life with Judy and her three siblings: her two brothers, Mike and Mark, as well as her sister, Joy.

This is where Judy would grow up, attending local schools in Ponca City. Cathy Lester, one of Judy's childhood friends, would recall to News 9 reporters years later that Judy didn't have any known enemies or rivals... she was seemingly friendly towards everyone.

"Everybody liked her at school. She was real sweet, caring."

Judy graduated from Ponca City High School in 1969, and not much is known publicly about her life post-graduation - other than the fact that she had become an avid runner, and began competing in marathons around the region. She would also marry a total of three men: two of which were marriages that didn't last long, but were indicative of her giving, loving nature.

Here is Mandi, one of the two people you'll be hearing from today. She began looking into this story while pursuing her Master's Degree in Criminology.

Judy eventually relocated to the Oklahoma City region, where she began working for the Eason Oil Company as a lease-record analyst.

It wasn't until the first half of the 1980's that Judy - now in her early 30's - met a man named Steve Weichert. Steve was a few years older than Judy, and seemed to have it all: he was bright, intelligent, funny, athletic, creative, and hard-working. Steve had been a state champion in wrestling in school, had graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism, and had been pursuing a career in music for the past decade. He also owned a stake in a restaurant he helped manage, which helped him provide a comfortable life for himself. This was actually where the two met, as Judy's second husband was friendly with the owners of the restaurant: Steve included.

It was easy to see why Judy had fallen hard for Steve, and the two married shortly after they started dating. They tied the knot in September of 1983, and she officially took his last name, becoming Judy Weichert.

Marriage seemed to suit Judy and Steve, as the two were incredibly happy together and had built a joyous life together in the northwestern corner of Oklahoma City. By all accounts, the two were happy in that first year of marriage, but in the summer of 1984, things would come to a sudden and tragic end.

July 28th, 1984 started off like any other Saturday. Judy woke up early that morning and prepared to go for a jog. She had recently competed in some marathons in the Dallas region - and had even won one in nearby Edmonds - and was ready to continue her training regiment. Meanwhile, her husband Steve was less-than-enthused that morning, so he decided to stay in bed.

Judy dressed and prepared to step out the door at around 7:30 to begin her 16-mile trek, stopping briefly to say goodbye to Steve. Right before she stepped out, she gave him a kiss, and he planned on seeing her again later that morning.

After leaving their home, Judy set out on a rural path not too far away from the Sundance Airpark that was - at the time - under construction in this northwestern corner of OKC. She enjoyed the atmosphere offered by the quiet roads and fields of rural Oklahoma, and she often tried to avoid the popular running trails in favor of these desolate, scenic locations. Unfortunately, it was this decision that would ultimately put Judy on the path to tragedy.

It was unknown just how long, exactly, Judy had been running when she was attacked by a man believed to be around Judy's age: late 20's to early 30's. That morning, Judy Weichert was viciously raped and stabbed 23 times; with most of the stabs piercing her face, neck, and chest - places where death was almost always assured, as all of the 23 stab wounds were on the front of her body.

Yet, miraculously, Judy clung to life. For a time, at least.

Judy's attacker had left her for dead in a desolate field a short distance away from the Northwest Highway. Gathering her strength, Judy was able to crawl upwards of 50 feet to a nearby road, managing to crawl under a barbed wire fence as she suffered the extent of her wounds.

There, near Sara Road, Judy Weichert would bleed out for at least an hour as numerous cars passed by, unaware that a woman lay naked and bleeding just feet away. It wasn't until roughly 9:30 AM - more than an hour after this violent attack - that Judy's nearly-lifeless body was finally found by a pair that had been driving by.

The woman and daughter that discovered Judy that morning tried to get her help, with one of the two heading off to the nearest phone to call police. But it was sadly much too late... too much time had passed.

As they waited for emergency services to arrive, Judy - barely clinging to life - told the witnesses about the person that had attacked her. She could barely make out the words, but told the witnesses that her attacker had been a white man driving a blue car; indicating that he was a stranger to her, and not anyone she was previously familiar with.

Judy Weichert had clung to life long enough to pass on these details, telling them to the first strangers she had come across - who had done their utmost to get the young woman help.

Judy was rushed to the nearby Mercy Health Canter. Upon her admission, she was noted as barely clinging to life, and surgeons struggled to keep her stabilized. Roughly 4 hours after being discovered - at around 1:40 PM - 33-year-old Judy Weichert would finally succumb to her wounds, becoming the victim of an unknown killer.

Here's Rachael, a family friend of Steve's, who - growing up - witnessed the impact of this story firsthand.

Just a few days after her death, Judy's funeral was held at the Resurrection Cemetery Chapel in Oklahoma City. There, Judy was remembered by her family and other loved ones, before being buried in a quiet area of the cemetery - which wasn't too dissimilar from the silent areas she often liked to run in.

Her headstone was created out of marble, and bore the legend "My Golden Runner." Nearby was a small memorial constructed by her husband, Steve - who had become a widower at an extremely early age.

Steve Weichert was investigated by police as a possible suspect, since that's where any investigation starts (with those closest to the victim). Police often start with the victim's spouse; and in this case, the spouse was one of the last known people to see the victim. Steve was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing, due to there being evidence ruling him out - as well as the statement from his own wife, Judy, who had gave a description of her attacker to an eyewitness (a description that was noticeably different than Steve himself). However, being cleared did little to ease Steve's guilt, and the questions (could I have saved her, should I have gone with her, etc.) would continue to eat away at him.

Steve Weichert struggled significantly in the wake of his young wife's death, whom he had been married to for less than a year. He sold his stake in the restaurant he managed, and even abandoned his career in music for a time. He told reporters with the Oklahoman on the one-year anniversary of the crime:

"I actually quit playing for a while. Music has always been an outlet for what I was feeling, but I guess this has all just been too hard."

"I've been putting my life back together for quite a while. I wouldn't say that all the pieces are back together again yet."

Police in the region would continue to caution the public from jogging alone in isolated areas; making sure that these notices were tailored to women, who were more likely to be victimized by these kind of random attacks. As they began their investigation in-earnest, police offered up a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, which was set to expire in October of that year (1984) - at which point, they expected to have their killer in handcuffs or a prison cell.

However, as police would soon learn, this case would prove much more troublesome than anyone expected.

The investigation into Judy Weichert's rape and murder was headed by the Oklahoma City Police Department, who created a task force to oversee the case - which was unlike other crimes plaguing the area at the time.

Within the first year, investigators were still receiving regular phone calls from the public. These were tips and potential leads, which - according to one police official at the time - numbered in the hundreds. Yet, after a year, there were only two investigators continuing to work on the case - a far cry from the multi-member task force that had been created in the days after Judy's death.

The OKCPD estimated that they had interviewed more than 1000 persons-of-interest, who were either suspected of involvement or were believed to have information that may have been relevant to the case. Of these more than 1000 POI's that were interviewed, more than 350 were interviewed under the assumption of possible involvement. Roughly 400 of those 1000 POI's were people that owned faded blue Volkswagon Beetles - which police believed the killer had been driving.

At the end of this yearlong investigation, police only had a handful of individuals who fit the suspect criteria, and who warranted further scrutiny.

After being raped and stabbed dozens of times, Judy Weichert had been able to survive long enough to pass on a description of her attacker: an attacker that was unknown to her, who was a white man in a blue vehicle. Police would take this information and use it to inform their following actions, including an extensive canvas through the surrounding area. From this canvas, they learned about a suspicious man that had been seen in the area on the day that Judy Weichert was murdered.

This was a white male with a large nose in his late 20's to early 30's, who stood between 5'10" and 6'0", had a slender build with muscular arms, and had long, wavy, dirty blond-hair with a scraggly beard. He was believed to drive a faded blue Volkswagon Bug, and had a circular tattoo on his upper left-shoulder, which Judy couldn't make out. This killer had also been in the northwest corner of Oklahoma City on the day-in-question: July 28th, 1984.

Because this man had raped Judy, he had left behind physical evidence of himself. Testing at the time revealed that this killer had a rare blood type that was found in less than 1% of white males, and it was believed by investigators that this could ultimately be the linchpin for the case... but that day has yet to pass.

Several months after Judy Weicherts murder - in the Spring of 1985 - investigators with the OKCPD reached out to the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit to help draw up a psychological profile of this unknown culprit. This, they believed, would help them narrow in on some specific information that could aid them in their hunt; information such as the killer's approximate age, his social & educational background, his possible mindset, etc. This was the first psychological profile sought out by police in Oklahoma City, serving as a tragic milestone in Oklahoma's criminal justice history.

It was widely-theorized at the time that this might not have been the killer's first crime; possibly not even his most recent. As months began to pass, investigators began to expand their scope into the surrounding area; eventually combing out into other states and time-zones. It was learned that similar crimes had been committed in other areas of the US: namely, in Pomona, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and in Fairfax County, Virginia (on the other side of the country entirely).

In those three incidents, the victims had been female victims that were out jogging in somewhat-isolated terrain, who had been abducted, raped, and stabbed. Two out of the three had died as a result of the injuries sustained in these attacks, but the victim in Fairfax County, Virginia had survived. Evidence found at that crime scene indicated that the attacker had brown hair - not blond hair - which fit in with the surviving victim's description. Small details like that made it hard for police to agree upon whether these crimes could be related or not, and ultimately fed into a lot of conflicting reports.

This series of related crimes was being investigated by the FBI, which ended up delaying the creation of the psychological profile in the Judy Weichert case... which, ultimately, might have put a hamper on the overall investigation.

As the case began to stagnate within its first years, police officials began to siphon off members of the task force to other investigations deemed more pressing, while people with possible information began to lose track of details. Within months, the calls had stopped coming in, and public interest in the case was nearly-depleted.

However... Judy Weichert's case would begin to attract some more attention the following year (1986) when it was tentatively linked to another similar crime, which had unfolded just a short distance away from where her body had been found...

On Wednesday, May 8th, 1985 - less than a year after Judy Weichert's violent death - a woman was returning home from work during her lunch break. As she stepped into her Woodlake Apartment in the northwest corner of Oklahoma City, she seems to have interrupted a burglary-in-progress.

The thief - who had brought a knife with him - quickly overpowered the young woman, stabbing her in the arm with what police later theorized was a meat-fork. He then subjected the woman to a brutal rape, pushing her to the floor and holding a pillow over her face. Throughout the ordeal, he threatened to kill her if she fought back or even looked at him.

Thankfully, this young woman would survive this ordeal, but was horribly shaken afterwards as she reported the incident to police. In the months that followed, she would struggle to return to some kind of normalcy as police investigated the incident - which they believed might be related to other crimes nearby (in particular, the still-unsolved rape and murder of nearby jogger Judy Weichert).

Oklahoma City Police detectives began investigating, and set out to learn more about those that lived or worked in the area. In this search, they came upon a local man named Jeffrey Todd Pierce, who had been working at the surviving victim's apartment complex as part of a landscaping crew.

Jeff Pierce was a 24-year-old that had recently married the mother of his twin sons, who were just infants at the time of this attack. In an ironic twist, the birthday of his wife was May 8th - the same day of this assault.

Despite police liking him as a suspect, he was not originally believed to have committed the crime. He did not really match the physical description given to police by the victim, and later - when he was inserted into a photo lineup - he wasn't identified. Police didn't really have any evidence against him, but for whatever reason, they remained incredibly suspicious and still liked him for this brutal rape - despite him having no criminal record and alibi witnesses verifying his presence on the day of the attack.

Many months later, police would include Jeffrey Pierce's photo in yet another police lineup; this time, though, he was wearing a tan T-shirt, which is what the rapist had been wearing, as described by the victim in her original police report. And this time, the victim picked out Jeff Pierce from the photo lineup, giving police the go-ahead to continue their investigation into him.

They then obtained physical evidence from Pierce himself, which included hair and blood samples. These were samples that Pierce gave willingly, believing that they would clear his name. Yet Pierce later stated that it did the opposite. In an interview with CBS News years later, he recalled:

"I voluntarily gave them hairs and blood. And they said, if this comes back and it doesn't match, you can go home. And I voluntarily gave it to them. And they came back five minutes later and said, 'Oh, it all matches... you're going to prison.'"

According to investigators, the hair follicles provided from Jeffrey Pierce seemed to be consistent with hair left behind by the rapist in the May 1985 attack (although, as we'll get to in a bit, this evidence was... less-than-concrete). Most intriguingly, though, testing of Pierce's blood revealed that he had an incredibly rare blood type; so rare, that it was prevalent in less than 1% of the male population.

Police believed that Jeffrey Pierce could have not only committed the burglary and rape in May of 1985, but might have been behind the rape and murder of Judy Weichert from the year prior. Not only did he have the same blood type as the perpetrator of that attack, but he also seemed to match the physical characteristics that multiple eyewitnesses in the vicinity of the Weichert crime scene had described: he stood approximately 6'2" tall, weighed approximately 170 pounds with a slender build, had a large nose, and - at the time - had long, blond hair.

A search of Jeffrey Pierce's home then yielded a knife that police stated was consistent with the knife used to kill Judy Weichert. It appeared similar in size and shape, and was theorized to have been the murder weapon.

By all indications, Jeffrey Pierce seemed to be the guy that police had been looking for in both cases. On March 1st, 1986 - almost one year after the interrupted burglary/rape and nearly two years after Judy Weichert's murder - Pierce was arrested. However, he was only charged in one of the two cases: the 1985 rape, in which the victim had survived. It was not believed that police had enough evidence to charge him with Judy Weichert's murder, and that wouldn't change anytime soon.

Jeff Pierce would soon stand trial for the rape and burglary of the woman in Oklahoma City. During the trial, police were allowed to speak pretty openly about their ongoing investigation into Judy Weichert's rape and murder, which Pierce was the primary suspect in. But the crux of the state's case relied upon the testimony of forensic expert Joyce Gilchrist.

Gilchrist would become a prominent figure in this story, as she was a forensic chemist working in Oklahoma City at the time, who was often relied upon to provide expert testimony in criminal proceedings. She had even earned herself a nickname in the department - "Black Magic" - for her ability to match DNA evidence to almost anybody charged with a crime. She was even noted by crime journalists for her innate ability to persuade juries, explaining the science in layman's terms that - more often than not - resulted in the charged parties being convicted.

In the trial to determine Jeffrey Pierce's innocence or guilt, Gilchrist testified to the fact that the defendant's hair samples were "microscopically consistent" with hairs found at both crime scenes (the 1985 rape as well as Judy Weichert's rape and murder). These hairs, she contested, shared unique characteristics with Pierce's hair follicles. Despite us knowing now - decades later - that this type of testing is less than 100% accurate, Joyce Gilchrist testified that it assuredly was.

With the testimony of Joyce Gilchrist, prosecutors were able to overcome Jeffrey Pierce's defense, which contested that he had no criminal record and even had an alibi for the day-in-question: May 8th, 1985. That had been his wife's birthday, and during his lunch break - which happened to coincide with the time period that the burglary and rape took place - he had gone out to lunch with two coworkers who testified on his behalf. Additionally, he even testified that he had bought his wife a gift during this time period - diamond earrings - which he gave her later that night.

It wasn't enough, though. In the Fall of 1986, Jeffrey Todd Pierce was convicted in the 1985 rape cases, and in December of that year, was sentenced to 65 years in prison (which was the maximum possible sentenced allowed). To Jeffrey, this was a death sentence in all but name, as it would keep him incarcerated until he was roughly 90 years old. Even if he were to be released early, police seemed poised to charge him in the Judy Weichert case, claiming that now - after his conviction for a similar crime in the same region - they had enough evidence to charge him with Judy's rape and murder.

Yet... they never did. Over the next several years, investigators and prosecutors never pressed the issue. They refused to move forward with any kind of prosecution in the Judy Weichert case, seeming to leave the threat open-ended... just in case Jeffrey Pierce thought about appealing his conviction or applying for early release.

It seems like investigators considered the matter settled, because they stopped actively investigating the Weichert case altogether. According to them, the case was closed, and they unofficially labeled Jeffrey Pierce as Judy's killer, despite never even bringing charges against him.

For more than a decade, our story - Judy's story - entered a black hole of media coverage. There was no one really willing to talk about her case: whether or not police had got the right guy.

It wasn't until 2001 that this story received any kind of update at all.

Joyce Gilchrist worked for the Oklahoma City Police Department for over 20 years, beginning in the early 1980's as a forensic chemist. She entered the department having undergone training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, as well as a highly-esteemed research institute in Emeryville, California.

By the middle of the decade, she had made a name for herself ("Black Magic"), and had become a constant presence in courtrooms. She was relied upon by the OKCPD to convince jurors of defendant's guilt, providing testimony in over 3,000 criminal trials. Here, she identified suspects with hair, blood, and/or carpet fibers taken from crime scenes, and was unusually effective at finding forensic traits that her colleagues missed.

Joyce Gilchrist quickly climbed the ranks of her department, and was instrumental in the prosecution against Jeffrey Pierce. In the early 1990's, she eventually ascended from forensic chemist to department supervisor - an upward move that would begin to unravel secrets about her career in the OKCPD.

You see, this time period was noted for some pretty significant advancements in DNA testing, which provided changes and upheavals to the older system of forensic testing. Those that had been keeping up with the latest scientific methods weren't really affected by the change, but those that hadn't - such as Joyce Gilchrist - were directly impacted.

After learning that her testimony had been less than truthful in at least a handful of court cases, the FBI began reviewing some cases that Gilchrist had contributed to. They would later note that in 5 out of the 8 cases they reviewed, she had (according to the New York Times):

"... misidentified evidence or given improper courtroom testimony..."

The FBI itself would later conclude that Joyce Gilchrist had given testimony:

"... that went beyond the acceptable limits of forensic science."

Basically: she had testified to things she shouldn't have, and had made implications in an untold number of criminal cases that weren't backed up by any actual evidence. And that was just her work as a forensic chemist from over a decade prior; her decade as a supervisor was marred by a number of other issues, such as the failure to maintain certain standards and the wholesale destruction of valuable evidence.

Jeffrey Pierce, who had once been on the receiving end of Joyce Gilchrist's expert testimony, had served nearly a quarter of his 65-year sentence at this point. He had already given up hope of ever being a free man again, and was resigned to spending the rest of his days in an Oklahoma state correctional facility.

Fortunately, Pierce's case was one of the cases reviewed by the FBI. They began looking into the interrupted burglary and rape case that Jeff Pierce had been convicted of, and decided to use modern-day forensic testing to compare his DNA to evidence that had been left behind by the true perpetrator. The FBI found that none of the evidence matched up - not the hair follicles that Joyce Gilchrist had once testified to proving Pierce's guilt, nor blood or semen. In fact, none of the evidence matched Jeffrey Pierce. As far as the Bureau was concerned, Jeffrey Pierce was 100% innocent.

This led to an immediate backlash against Joyce Gilchrist, who - at this time - was still one of the OKCPD's most trusted experts and police officials. She was still being relied upon to provide testimony, and - like I said - had weighed in on over 3,000 criminal cases. This included 23 capital cases, in which 12 inmates were awaiting execution on death row. 11 had already been executed by the state.

Gilchrist was suspended as the state began an immediate review of every case she had been a part of, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation began an investigation of their own (which was working in-tandem with the FBI's own investigation). Eventually, Gilchrist was dismissed from her position and ultimately shunned from the forensic community for what had been years of systematic dysfunction in the lab she supervised, as well as a total disregard for fact or justice spanning her entire professional career. Despite that, though, she would never be charged with obstruction of justice - or any crimes - for all of the cases she bungled with her false testimony. She was allowed to live out the rest of her days in peaceful exile, never confessing to her mistakes which were proven multiple times in wrongful conviction appeals and lawsuits.

Jeffrey Pierce was released from custody in May of 2001, less than a week after reports were published in national publications about the Joyce Gilchrist scandal. He had been 24 years old when he went in - convicted of a burglary and rape he had no part of - and was now nearly 40. Roughly half of his life had gone by, and he had to start over from the ground-floor.

Pierce was able to reunite with his ex-wife, who had divorced him and moved away from Oklahoma after his conviction; a decision she now regretted, believing that she had abandoned her husband in his time-of-need. However, she had done so in an effort to shield their two children: twin sons who were just about a year old at the time of Jeffrey's arrest. They were now 15 years old and had not had any kind of relationship with their father, those years wiped away due to a wrongful conviction.

Pierce would eventually filed a $75 million lawsuit against Oklahoma City, alleging that Joyce Gilchrist and then-District Attorney Bob Macy had conspired to produce false evidence against him. This suit was settled a handful of years later, in 2007, with the city agreeing to pay Pierce $4 million, all of which was taken from public funds to cover up this horrendous injustice. It was believed at the time that Pierce could have pressed for more, but both he and the state were happy to put the matter behind them. After all, this settlement allowed the state to avoid admitting any liability, so it was money well-spent for them.

This resolution was a victory for human rights and the overall criminal justice system, but it still left the open-ended question of: who HAD committed these crimes?

Following the release of Jeffrey Pierce from prison, it became apparent that the real culprits of these two crimes could still be out there, having escaped culpability for the better part of two decades. After all, police had convicted Pierce in the unrelated 1985 rape case, but had never brought charges against him in the rape and murder of Judy Weichert. Now, the reason why had become apparent.

Police set out to determine who had committed these crimes, starting with the 1985 burglary and rape that Pierce had been proven innocent of. Using federal and state DNA databases, they compared DNA left behind by the true culprit to a wealth of potential matches... and eventually found on. It was a man who had previously committed similar attacks in the region, and had been arrested numerous times in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. The police didn't want to publicly name this suspect in the press, but it was believed to be a 41-year-old from Oklahoma City, who was then-serving a 45-year sentence for rape and burglary (having been convicted in 1998).

Unfortunately, due to Oklahoma's statute of limitations, it was impossible for the state to bring charges against this guy. Their laws required rape charges to be brought within seven years of the offense, meaning that the perpetrator would have needed to be charged by May 8th, 1992 - roughly a decade prior to this revelation.

The suspect in that case has since been released, serving only 16 years out of his 45-year sentence. He is now a registered sex offender living in Lansing, Michigan, where he is - for all intents and purposes - a free man. Despite being the likely perpetrator in the 1985 burglary-rape, he can never be charged with the crime because of Oklahoma's horribly outdated sex offense laws.

So... where does that leave us in the Judy Weicher case? Unfortunately, it seems like we are in the same spot investigators were decades ago when the case first started to unfold.

The suspect in the 1985 rape case seems to fit most of the physical descriptions of Judy's killer: he was around 30 at the time of the attack, stood 6'3" with a slender build, and had a tattoo on his upper left arm. He lived in the region and committed a number of similar crimes. Yet, he is not believed to have been involved in Judy's murder... he was serving a prison sentence for another crime at the time, and DNA left behind by the killer doesn't match up with him.

All of those years, police had operated under the assumption that Judy's killer and the perpetrator of the 1985 rape had been one-in-the-same. And all of those years... they had just been wrong. They gave up on Judy's case because of this misguided assumption, choosing not to progress their case against Jeffrey Pierce because they knew they didn't have enough evidence. Yet, they chose not to investigate or probe any further, leaving Judy and her loved ones in a place where answers have faded and justice is uncertain.

Decades have now passed since Jeffrey Pierce's conviction was overturned and he became a free man. Yet, police seem to have made no progress in Judy's case, with it being handed off to Oklahoma City's cold case detectives long ago. However, it is unlikely to see an update of any kind in the near-future, as detectives are not actively investigating the case.

Many years have gone by without any resolution in this case. Many of Judy's loved ones have since passed away, including both of her parents - Joseph and Margaret - who passed away in 2018 and 2015, respectively.

Judy's husband, Steve - who was left widowed and bereaved after her sudden passing - struggled to find his way in life for some time afterwards. He eventually was able to rekindle his passion for music, releasing a couple of albums independently.

Steve Weichert remarried in 2000, being able to spend his last years in peace and happiness. Unfortunately, he too passed away in 2013 due to complications from cancer. You're actually listening to one of the last songs he ever wrote, which friends believe was about Judy and his lifelong struggle to overcome her tragic loss.

Judy's siblings and many of her friends continue to keep her life and legacy alive today, but they too are eagerly awaiting any kind of development in this case.

Information is still being sought by Oklahoma police, who have recently decided to include Judy in their cold case playing cards, which are distributed to inmates throughout Oklahoma in an effort to garner leads.

If you - or anyone you know - may have information about this case, you are encouraged to reach out to the OSBI by calling 800-522-8017, or emailing in to tips@osbi.ok.gov. This information can also be sent in anonymously to Oklahoma City Crime Stoppers at 405-235-7300.

More than 35 years have passed since Judy Weichert was raped and murdered, yet her surviving loved ones remain hopeful that answers can be found. Until such a time, her story remains unresolved.


Episode Information

Episode Information

Written, hosted, and produced by Micheal Whelan

Special thanks to Rachael Smith and Mandi Newland Davis, who have both spent moderating the Facebook page "Her Last Run: The Judy Weichert Murder." Make sure to check it out to stay informed about any developments in Judy's story: https://www.facebook.com/herlastrun

Producers: Maggyjames, Ben Krokum, Roberta Janson, Matthew Brock, Quil Carter, Peggy Belarde, Evan White, Laura Hannan, Astrid Kneier, Katherine Vatalaro, Damion Moore, Amy Hampton Miller, Scott Meesey, Steven Wilson, Scott Patzold, Kathy Marie, Marie Vanglund, Lori Rodriguez, Emily McMehen, Jessica Yount, Brian Rollins, and Allie Ibarra

Published on August 11th, 2019

Music Credits

While - "Dark"

Steve Weichert - "The Bride"

PicturesPlay - "Mysterious dark ambient"

LEXMusic - "Sad Lonely Piano"

A Noon - "Edge of the Abyss"

David Schombert - "Vertigo"

Windpearl - "Forgive Us"

Steve Weichert - "Peace"

Other music created and composed by Ailsa Traves

Sources and further reading

Find A Grave (Memorial) - Judy Ellen Lechtenberg Weichert

OSBI - Unsolved Homicide: Judy Weichert

Wikipedia - Joyce Gilchrist

The National Registry of Exonerations - Jeffrey Todd Pierce

Websleuths - “OK - Judy Weichert, 33, Oklahoma City, 28 July 1984”

The Oklahoman - “Jogger Slaying Points up Perils of Solitary Training”

The Oklahoman - “Police Request Psychological Profile Describing Jogging Enthusiast’s Killer”

The Oklahoman - “Jogger’s Death Unsolved One Year Later”

The Oklahoman - “Police May Have Suspect In 1984 Jogger’s Death”

The Oklahoman - “Rape Case Deliberated”

The Oklahoman - “Sex Assault Draws 65-Year Sentence”

NewsOn6 - “Report: Convicted rapist could be freed this week”

The New York Times - “Inquiry Focuses on Scientist Employed by Prosecutors”

CBS News - “Under The Miscroscope: Forensic Scientist Accused Of Mishandling Cases”

CBS News - “DNA Clears Oklahoma Prisoner: Jeffrey Todd Pierce Served 15 Years”

The Oklahoman - “Pierce’s ex-wife expresses regret for lost family”

The Washington Post - “Man Freed Years After Conviction”

The New York Times - “In Rape Case Gone Awry, New Suspect”

NBC News - “Man gets $4 million over wrong rape conviction”

The Oklahoman - “Few may realize this park bench’s ties to a slain runner”

News9 - “Years Later, OKC Jogger’s Murder Remains A Mystery”