Real Name: Barbara Jean Horn
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: July 12, 1988
Details: Four-year-old Barbara Jean Horn was the only child of Sharon and John Fahy. At 3 pm on July 12, 1988, while her mother was at work, she went outside to play in the front yard of her Northeast Philadelphia home when she vanished. Her father discovered that she was missing when she went outside to check on her. He called the police and a search began for Barbara Jean. Two hours later, she was found bludgeoned to death and stuffed into a Hitachi television box; the box was placed next to some trash cans two blocks from her home. The box could be the only clue to arresting the pedophile who abducted and molested her. The box had previously contained a 13" Hitachi color television set.
Suspects: Four eyewitnesses observed a suspicious man carrying a television box that was believed to be the one that Barbara was later found in; this man is believed to be her killer. He was described as a white male, between 25 and 30 years old, 5'8", 180 pounds, with sandy brown hair. He was wearing a white t-shirt and cut-off jeans at the time.
Extra Notes: This segment aired for the first time on November 16, 1988. This was a unique segment where Lt. Arthur Durant who was involved in the case was interviewed directly on camera by Robert Stack. It also featured no re-enactments.
Results: Unresolved. In 1992, authorities re-interviewed people from Barbara's neighborhood; one of the individuals interviewed was her neighbor, Walter Ogrod. When Ogrod began giving conflicting information to the police, they confronted him about it, and he broke down and confessed to killing Barbara. He told investigators that Barbara had come over to play with a young boy who was living with Ogrod's family. Ogrod claimed that he lured Barbara to the basement and tried to sexually assault her. When she tried to fight back, he struck her repeatedly with a metal rod from a weight set until she died. He claimed that he washed her, wrapped her in a towel, placed her in the television box, and then disposed of her and the box several blocks away. When shown a picture of the television box, he identified it as the one he used to place Barbara's body in.
After he signed the confession, Ogrod was arrested and charged with Barbara's murder. He allegedly later confessed the crime again to a jailhouse snitch. Some parts of his confession were able to be confirmed: the medical examiner determined that Barbara's body had been washed and that the injuries inflicted on her were consistent with those coming from a metal rod. Photographs taken in 1986 showed that this weight set with the metal rod was in the basement of Ogrod's home. Also, authorities had determined that the television box came from a family that shared a driveway with Ogrod's family. Ogrod went to trial in 1993 and claimed that he was coerced into confessing the crime by the officers, and that the snitch was lying. He was almost acquitted of the charges until one juror changed his mind at the last second; a mistrial was then granted. In October of 1996, almost ten years after Barbara Jean's senseless murder, Ogrod was re-tried and convicted of the crime. He was sentenced to death.
However, new evidence has come to surface that suggests that Walter Ogrod may be innocent. Ogrod's supporters point to the fact that he was just one vote away from an acquittal and that he looks nothing like the composite of the killer (which is shown above). Also, another man, child killer Raymond Sheehan, was identified by a eyewitness who came in contact with the killer. Finally, no physical evidence has ever connected him to Barbara's murder. However, Ogrod remains in prison. He was supposed to be executed in 2005 but was given a stay of execution. He remains on death row.
- A death row inmate, a murder victim's son, and a 16-year quest for justice
- Walter Ogrod Inmate Profile
- Walter Ogrod at Murderpedia
- Walter Ogrod's Appeal