Police need help to solve 42-year-old murder mystery

Posted November 11, 2013
Updated November 13, 2013

It’s not often law enforcement approaches the media with a story they want to tell. That was the case with this one and, after working on it, I see why. This story struck me so deeply that it literally kept me up to 3 a.m. one morning, as I tried to sort out the details in my mind. It’s tragic, mysterious and, at times, maddening.

The murders of Jesse McBane and Patricia Mann were dubbed the Valentine’s Day Killings back in 1971. They were a young couple in love whose lives were cut short when someone kidnapped and sadistically killed them in Orange County after a Valentine’s Day dance. The story was big. It got tons of local and national coverage.

The rumors swirled, even back then, that the killer was a prestigious man in the community. Someone connected to the hospital where Patricia was a nursing student. To this day, no one has ever been arrested. Investigators believe the killer is still alive.

This case has gone cold and been reopened several times in the past 42 years. Now, investigators are sharing new details, including a shocking break in the case. They hope our story will bring more information from the community that may help catch a killer. Join me Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on WRAL-TV for the rest of the story.

Police need help to solve 42-year-old murder mystery Police need help to solve 42-year-old murder mystery


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  • SmileAndNod Nov 13, 2013

    JAT: So if they had a pic of a white reporter there, would it be okay? Stick to the issue at hand...WRAL, please post the pic of the actual victims.

  • JAT Nov 12, 2013

    the 2 victims were white - it would be helpful to take the photo of the black reporter down as it's a bit confusing.

  • JAT Nov 12, 2013

    found the original article from the Robesonian. FindaGrave.com mentions a possible suspect. Wonder if it's the same as the one as the TV show is going to state. Said they left Watts Hospital and the car was found near a golf course. I'd investigate the members of the golf course/country club. I suppose fingerprints weren't identifiable back then.

  • JAT Nov 12, 2013

    so what was done about the suspect? was he followed? very odd for a "sadistic" murderer to say clean for 42 years. I know you want us to watch the show but details would be interesting!