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Melissa Chase was 17 years old in December of 1983. Melissa spent her time working or hanging out with her boyfriend Jeff and other friends. She was living with Jeff in Englewood.
Melissa worked at a gas station on South Broadway. Melissa was working on December 7, 1983. It was cold and there was snow on the ground. Jeff was supposed to pick her up from work that evening. Jeff did not arrive to pick Melissa up from work when she got off. After waiting for a short period of time, Melissa was angry and decided that she was going to walk to Jeff’s mother’s house in Littleton. Jeff arrived at the gas station sometime after Melissa left and was angry that she had left before he got there.
Jeff reported her missing to Englewood Police on December 7, 1983. Two days later, on December 9, 1983, the police received a call from Jeff stating that he had found Melissa’s body. She was half naked and had been beaten and left on the embankment under a bridge in the 300 block of West Lehow Avenue in Littleton. Some of her missing clothing was found at the scene. Her purse was missing, but found several days later in the water farther downstream.
Rhonda Holland was 46 years old and a mother of two sons. Rhonda was a friendly person, played softball, and was a good cook. She was survived by her two sons, her parents, one brother and one sister.
In January 2004, Rhonda was working in the Season’s Givings Gift Shoppe at 5757 South Rapp Street, which she and her parents owned. Rhonda was closing the shop by herself. When her parents did not hear from her the following morning, which was unusual, they went to the business and found the lights on inside. One parent walked to the front of the business and found the door closed but unlocked. They entered the business to look for Rhonda and found her stabbed to death on the basement floor. Some of the closing procedures had been completed the previous evening. Rhonda’s car was missing as well as her purse. The money from the previous day’s proceeds were gone as well.
Her car was found a short distance away in the parking lot of a motel. Her purse was never located.
Bobby Zajac was 23 years old and worked for AMF Bowling Alleys. He was an award winning bowler and had several rings that indicated he had bowled a perfect score of 300. There were many people that predicted Bobby would become a professional bowler. He was also planning to earn a college degree in accounting. Bobby was survived by his parents and one brother.
Erin Golla was a 26 year old single mother of two little girls. Erin had graduated from Bear Creek High school. Erin was survived by her father, two daughters, one brother and one sister.
James Springer was a 29 year old father of two. He and his family had just moved from Utah to Colorado at the beginning of December. He was described as a “gentle giant” who always stuck up for the underdog. He worked for the AMF Bowling Alley on South Broadway. Jim was survived by his wife, two children, his parents and a sister.
On the night of January 27, 2002, Erin Golla and Jim Springer were the last two closing employees of AMF Broadway Bowl at 5485 S Broadway in Littleton. Bobby Zajac had been bowling and was going to get a ride home from Jim Springer. After closing the alley, Erin called her ride to come pick her up. After that call, the three victims, Jim, Erin and Bobby, came into contact with an unknown person/s that robbed the business and shot the three victims to death. When Erin did not come out to meet her ride, that person entered the alley, found the victims, and called police.
Abduction, 1986 murder of Darcie Anderson baffles police
Darcie Anderson liked sewing. She enjoyed making things with her hands. Her Dad, Max Heacock, still has some of her embroidery that he treasures. Darcie also loved the outdoors, especially horseback riding. She married Michael Anderson and they lived in Castle Rock. They had a son, Tony, with whom Darcie was very involved. The couple was divorced in 1983. Darcie worked at a bakery so she arose early each morning to go to work. She had dated a man from Wyoming but had broken up with him because he was jealous and exhibited a bad temper. More recently, Darcie dated a state trooper assigned to the Governor’s mansion. She told her dad he also had a temper but she could handle it. Darcie Anderson, 24, was abducted from her home in mid-December 1986. Her six-year-old son was found unharmed at home by a family member who went to investigate when Darcie failed to show up for work. Darcie’s body was found December 22, stuffed in the trunk of her own car which was discovered parked in a muddy alley in the 1900 block of South Bannock Street in Denver. She had been strangled. Bruises on her body indicated she put up a fight. No evidence could be gleaned from the automobile. It had been wiped clean. If you have any information regarding this murder, please call Crime Stoppers, 720-913-STOP (7867).
Jurisdiction: Denver P. D. Cold Case Unit
Detective: Crime Stoppers, 720-913-STOP (7867)
Case Number: 86-4376
Bruce Bennett married Debra, then joined the Navy. He served four years at Pearl Harbor between 1976 and 1980 as a sonar analyst. Bruce and Debra had two children, Melissa and Vanessa. After he got out Bruce moved his small family to Aurora and worked at a family-owned furniture store. “They led a very quiet life,” said his mother, Constance Bennett. “They worked hard and stayed home at night.” Bruce enrolled in college and was trained as an air traffic controller. He was excited about the prospect of getting an assignment at a local airport, his mother said.
On January 15, 1984, several family members got together and had a birthday party for Melissa, who was going to turn 8. Later that night intruder(s) entered the home some time between midnight and 6 a.m . “It was a blitz attack for no reason,” said Marvin Brandt, who investigated the case as a homicide detective between 1984 and when he retired from the Aurora Police Department in 2002. Bruce confronted an intruder on the stairs, investigators said. He had deep gashes on his arms and body. Blood that splattered and smeared up and down the staircase marked the running battle. Debra’s body was found in her bedroom and Melissa and Vanessa were both found in their beds. Bruce Bennett lost the battle with a killer who pummeled and sexually assaulted his 26-year-old wife, Debra, and 7-year-old daughter, Melissa. The attack also shattered the face of their 3-year-old daughter, Vanessa. Though Vanessa’s jaw was crushed, sending jagged bones into her windpipe, she survived after her grandmother, Constance Bennett, checked on the family later that morning when they didn’t show up to work at the furniture store. “It’s just like it was yesterday,” Bennett said. “It’s something I’ll never get over. It’s scary what people can do.” Small Vanessa went to live with Bennett after a lengthy series of operations that left scars on her arms, face and head. An investigation in which more than 500 people were questioned did not uncover any leads to solve the case. If you have information that may relate to this triple homicide, please call the Investigations
Division of the Aurora Police Department, 303-739-6018.
Jurisdiction: Aurora Police Department
Detective: Investigations, 303-739-6018
Case Number: 84-121098