Real Name: Susan Taraskiewicz
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Date: September 14, 1992
Details: Twenty-seven-year-old Su Taraskiewicz was a Northwest Airlines ramp supervisor and only the second female ground service employee working for the airline. She was the first woman promoted to her supervisor position. On September 12, 1992, Su left work to go get food for her coworkers and vanished. On September 14, her body was found stuffed in her trunk, parked at a nearby auto body shop. She had been stabbed multiple times and beaten to death. At first, her family assumed that she was the victim of a random act of violence until in late 1993, her mother Marlene found her diary and was shocked at what was written in it. It told of sexual harassment, threatening graffiti in men's room and cargo holds, and other incidents that had occurred to her while working for Northwest Airlines. Marlene was certain that it had something to do with her murder.
In one incident in April of 1989, a coworker named Bobby damaged her radio twice. Su asked her boyfriend to talk to Bobby about getting her a new radio. When she spoke to Bobby again, he threatened to kill her boyfriend. She filed several complaints to the airline and her union, but little was done about it. After she filed the reports, the harassment worsened; she received several anonymous phone calls, with the caller threatening to hurt her. Also, on several occasions, her and her boyfriend's cars were vandalized. Friends and co-workers who supported her also had their cars vandalized.
Su's diary only covered the first eight months of her time at Northwest. However, several co-workers reported that the discrimination and harassment continued. In February of 1992, she was promoted to ramp supervisor. Originally, another co-worker had received the job. However, Su learned that he had illegally bid for the job. She filed a grievance and won; as a result, she received the position. Shortly after her promotion, Su found a graffiti drawing of a coffin with her name on it in her locker. Despite this, she continued to work harder.
She and her co-worker, Deborah Mazeikus, were involved in a meeting with Northwest that did not go well. During the meeting, Su became upset and started to cry. Deborah was concerned about the emotional toll that the harassment was causing in Su's life. She told Deborah that she was scared, but did not elaborate on who she was scared of. Deborah believes that she was afraid for her life. The harassment continued, and then came September 12, when she mysteriously disappeared after leaving work to pick up food for her crew. Surprisingly, her co-workers did not report her missing for a day and a half.
When she was later found dead, police suspected that her death may have been connected to a federal investigation of Northwest Airlines that took place in the summer preceding her murder. Some of the baggage handlers working with her were operating a stolen credit card ring. When shipments of new cards were transported by Northwest jets, they would steal them and use them or sell them. Ten of them were later arrested and convicted, some of which were named by her in her diary.
Su's family later settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with Northwest Airlines. A $250,000 reward is being offered by her family for an arrest in the case, which remains open but unsolved.
Suspects: Su's coworker named Bobby, and the coworkers that were involved in the credit card scam are suspects in her murder. It is believed that she was murdered to keep her from telling the police about the scam.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 9, 1996 episode. A fictionalized version of the case was featured on the show "Law and Order".
Results: Unsolved. Staff at Northwest Airlines refused an interview on the show, leaving a lot of questions of what led directly to Su's death. The case is still open and being investigated by law enforcement. Each year, her family and friends hold a memorial service on the anniversary of her death.
- Su's Case on Unsolved.com
- Authorities seek leads in 20-year-old unsolved slaying of Susan Taraskiewicz
- Mother of Susan Taraskiewicz still seeking justice for slain daughter
- Susan Taraskiewicz murder reviewed on 22nd anniversary
- Taraskiewicz Murder Still Fresh After All These Years
- Su Taraskiewicz at Find a Grave