Real-life scary stories: Five unsolved murders in northern Colorado

The information for this article was collected from The Coloradoan’s archived articles and the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.

Fort Collins, voted one of the best places to live by Forbes magazine, has another side you may have never known about.


The city has a relatively low crime rate, which is why it is considered a very safe and prosperous place to live and work. However, every city has a dark underbelly of unsolved crimes, and Fort Collins is no different. For such a charming city, brutal crimes seem to come as a rather big shock to Fort Collins residents, but never know people are capable of.

Check out these Fort Collins cases that have gone cold:

Old Main Arson, 1970

The Old Main was the first classroom built on campus and was home to many important classes and concerts and was a mainstay to faculty and students for 92 years. But, on May 8, 1970, the building mysteriously went up in flames, leaving nothing but ash and rubble in its wake. Perhaps a Vietnam War protester was responsible. Perhaps it was a prank gone terribly wrong. Maybe it was just faulty wiring. No arrests were ever made, and the arsonist still remains faceless.

Peggy Hettrick, 1987

In 1987, Peggy Hettrick’s body was found dumped in a field in southern Fort Collins. Police questioned 15-year-old Timothy Masters who saw the body earlier that day. Thinking it was just a mannequin left as a prank, Masters went on about his day. After graduating high school and serving eight years in the Navy, Masters was honorably discharged and immediately arrested for the murder of Hettrick. He was sentenced to a life in prison without parole. However, in 2008, DNA showed that Master’s was in fact not the killer. No arrests have ever been made since, and this case remains unsolved.

Anthony Mackey, 1991

This elderly gentlemen was being taken care of by his niece and college-aged son. Months before his death, Mackey suffered a blunt trauma to the central nervous system, rendering him bedridden and completely helpless. He suffered paralysis and aphasia, making him a perfect victim. At the time of his death, an autopsy report revealed he had been strangled. No arrests were made. Makes you question the people who are closest to you, doesn’t it?

“Baby Faith”, 1996

In August of 1996, two boys were playing on the shoreline of Horsetooth Reservoir when they discovered a plastic bag floating under the surface. Inside of it was the body of a newborn baby girl. She was born just days before the finding. This unidentified baby, nicknamed “Faith,” was abandoned by her parents who were never found. There is a gravestone in the corner of a Fort Collins cemetery that reads “Baby Faith-God Loves You.”


William Connole Jr, 2015

This is a fairly new case that happened a little over a year ago. William Connole, 65, was standing on a street corner in Loveland when a vehicle pulled up next to him. The perpetrator shot Connole, killing him instantly. Apparently, the shooting went unwitnessed, leaving the killer free and in the clear. Police have no motive for the shooting. It could be anything. Did Connole have enemies? Perhaps he was mistaken for someone else. The unidentified shooter remains at large, hopefully not looking for another vendetta.