{Archived} Part 1: Cold Murder Case of Beverly Jarosz

On December 28th, 1964, sixteen year old high school junior Beverly Jarosz was slain in her home in Garfield Heights, Ohio.  Almost 52 years later we sat down with her family. This is her story.

Beverly's sister Carol, who in 1964 when Beverly was murdered Carol was twelve, Carol's husband Paul, as well as Beverly's mother, who is now in her mid-nineties, all agreed to sit with us to tell Beverly's story.


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Family Background

We were very close to our maternal grandparents, regularly had Sunday dinners with them and often during the week after my mom went back to work. We were also very close to my great grandmother who lived upstairs of my grandmothers house. We would take yearly family vacations in the summertime with them. I can remember going to Niagara Falls, Washington D.C., New York City and Montreal with them. My grandparents were the only ones to have a key to our house. They only lived less then a mile away.
— Carol, Beverly's Sister

Who is Beverly Jarosz?

One of my first memories of Beverly was when we were probably 7 and 11. Beverly would make up stories to tell me before I fell asleep. I often think this was her precursor to her love of writing. She was always known to write her friends witty little poems. She made stories and plays up. Also, when we were little, we made a childish pack. Never to get married, but we were going to buy a trailer and live together because it would be so cozy.

Beverly did go through a gawky pre adolescent phase. She had braces and wore glasses. I’m not sure where the transformation to the beautiful girl she became transpired, but I’m thinking it was close to the end of eighth grade. I think this is when her former elementary school classmates would come to the house to be around her. There was a particular boy from the carwash who started coming to our house and his name was Danny Shoulte. Beverly was not allowed to date, but Danny and the boys certainly did come to the house.

Beverly wasn’t very athletic. She didn’t know how to swim, nor did she go to the neighborhood pool. She was more of a literary type. She read incessantly. She always was writing stories. She loved to listen to the Camelot album starring Robert Goulet, who was on Broadway at the time. Once, she and her best friend Margie went to The Silver Grille at Higbee’s in downtown Cleveland. Robert Goulet was singing there. He came to their table and sang to them.

My dad did buy her golf clubs and did take her golfing a few times because he always wanted to make one of us into a great woman golfer. That never happened.

My grandparents joined a Supper’s Club in downtown Cleveland and would take Beverly to dinner with them.

She and Roger, the boyfriend she really ended up liking when she was sixteen, would go to the music carnival together, and he took her to the art museum.
— Carol, Beverly's Sister

Beverly's Last Day

The Murder Timeline

December 28th, 1964, Garfield Heights, Ohio, that Monday after Christmas Beverly Jarosz, a sixteen year old high school junior, and her sister Carol, who was 12, were off school for Christmas Break.  On this morning, the two had breakfast with their parents, Ted and Eleanor, before seeing them off to work. 

10:00 a.m., Carol and Beverly leave their house and head towards Grandma's.  The route they took is through Tourneytown Shopping Center. They stopped at F.W. Woolworth Co. for a hairnet for Grandma, as well as Hough Bakery for a loaf of bread.

11:00 a.m., they have arrived at grandma's house. Beverly calls Barbara (her good friend) and they discuss their plans for the day. 

11:30 a.m., Beverly calls Margie, her best friend, and explains that her and Barbara would be over between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.

12:15 p.m., The neighbor boy to grandma's house arrives home after an interview he had in town. As he approaches his house his mother asks him to take Beverly home.  

12:30 p.m., Beverly arrives home and receives a call from a jewelry explaining that her great grandma's necklace was not worth fixing.  

1:00 p.m., Beverly calls her mother and relays the message from the Jeweler. 

Soon after Beverly calls Barbara Kralik (a different Barbara) and they talk on the phone until 1:15 p.m..

Around this time Beverly receives an unknown phone call. She took a note saying "Stephen Stackowitz called, Will call back later."  This named turned out to be a fake.

1:20 p.m., Grandma calls Beverly. Beverly explains that Barbara (her close friend) was at the door and she needed to go. 

1:25 p.m., Barbara arrives at Beverly's house. Her mother dropped her off. Barbara proceeded to the side door, rang the doorbell ten times. She noticed the door was open however the storm door was locked.  She then proceeded to the front door, leafed through a magazine for a few minutes. She said she noticed what sounded like furniture being moved from the upstairs bedroom. Thinking she was being stood up or teased Barbara leaves and heads home.  

2:00 p.m. Barbara calls Beverly. . . no answer. . .

2:45 p.m. Margie calls Barbara asking where the two girls were.  

3:45 p.m., Margie calls Grandma asking about Beverly.

4:00 p.m., Carol tries calling home. . . no answer. . . Grandma then calls Mr. Jarosz at work and explains they are unable to get ahold of Beverly.

4:10 p.m., Mr. Jarosz arrives home. As he pulls into the driveway he is able to hear a radio playing very loudly from the inside. 

     he hurries inside. . .

    goes upstairs. . . 

    and into the girls' bedroom.

4:15 p.m., Carol calls the house. Mr. Jarosz answers the phone, screaming, "Murder! Murder! Murder!"

Beverly was strangled with a rope. Stabbed 42 times. Her clothing was yanked away from her torso. Yet, she was not sexually assaulted. Her murder will be ruled a strangulation as her cause of death, but it is said that her knife wounds would have been plenty enough to kill her. 


Thoughts on Life

By: Beverly Jarosz

From out of the depths of my soul

There arises a certain fear

What if I should die within the next year

Life for me has just begun

All my dreams would be unfulfilled

All my work left undone

All my goals unreached

My life would of been in vain


Photography


Poems by Beverly

Visit Poetry Book Site of Beverly's:

Written Below

Written Below

July 17, 1964
What is this thing called time?
Time is measured eternity,
It is that which is counted between
      the meetings of foolish lovers.
Time is a wilted flower
       or a dead bird.
It is a graying half-moon...
        in a midnight sky.
Time is death itself.

(Beverly Jarosz)


Insignificance

I am as a grain of sand
on the hot desert.
I am as a drop of water
in the salty ocean.
I am as an ant
beside an elephant.
I am only one person
in the universe.
Alone, I am insignificant.

(Beverly Jarosz)


Variations of the Sea

When love is gone,
The sea of life is tranquil.
The waves no longer rise
With their vivid crescendo.
The skies are gray
And life is dull;
Darkness flings its loneliness
Upon the cool sands,
While the gulls cast their shadows
On a desolate earth.
Will this dreary existence never subside?
Life without my captain seems interminable
Someday, someday soon,
Another ship shall harbour
And love will come to stay.

(Beverly Jarosz - August 1963)


Ode on a Teenager

The Teenager walks in a crazy style,
The teenager talks in a crazy dial,
The teenager's jive is rarely understood,
And his native English is hardly ever good.
The teenager dresses in a crazy mode,
One that will soon grow old.
The Teenager is first to fall for fads
Whether a girl or one of the lads.
The teenage girl's hair is out of this world;
It looks as though it's never been curled.
The teenagers buy a record a week
And it's seldom knowledge that they seek.
Teenagers live in a world of their own;
Their lives wholly revolve about the phone. 
(In spite of all of this)
The teenager will soon be over this stage
And then awaken to a more mature age.
 

(Beverly Jarosz, 7th Grade)


Social Media

After my interview with Beverly's family - and discussing the hurt they feel with some of the posts on Social Media - I decided to read through some of them for myself. Since the day after Beverly's tragic murder, people grew fascinated by the case. Hearing about the strongly held opinions and theories, and how they were forcibly pushed onto the family and friends of Beverly's - It is clear to me that Beverly has not been the only victim. 

Barb was very good friends with Beverly, I cannot fathom the difficulty she must have faced, knowing she was outside the very house while her friend was being strangled and stabbed 42 times. Had she arrived five minutes earlier, or had one of the doors been unlocked, she undoubtedly would have found a similar fate as Beverly. Yet Barbara was teased, accused, and questioned everyday. After almost 52 years it has not stopped. To this day Barb continually feels the burden these people have placed on her shoulders. 

Margie, Beverly's best friend, wrote to us - here is what she had to say.

Beverly and I first knew each other at St Therese grade school. In fact, our families usually met at the same area at Sunday Mass. We became especially close friends during our Junior year at Marymount High School. We were together often and I spent many an early evening with Beverly and her family. Their home had an atmosphere of love and security which I felt extended to me, as well.
NEVER did I sense anything otherwise. I also knew Mr and Mrs Vanik (Beverly’s Grandmother and Grandfather) and knew them as kind and gentle people.

On December 28, 1964, Beverly and Barb Klonowski were to visit my home early that afternoon. I did not know Barb as well as Beverly, and we agreed that they would meet at Bev’s and then walk together to my house. The plans were set and Bev and I talked about them just a couple hours before they were due to arrive.

Both girls were very responsible and we were definitely planning our annual visit over the Christmas Holiday. Beverly would always call if she were running late. I swear that under NO circumstance would she ever have mislead me.

Barb has suffered enough for the cruel remarks, and losing her good friend I remember her as very gifted and musically talented. The Vile unsubstantiated statements, that have been posted on the Internet are slanderous and libelous.

To this day this experience has deeply affected me and is heartbreaking to and my entire family. My last time with Beverly was on December 24th when she and her family joined ours for a Christmas party at our house. My parents always thought of Beverly as one of “their girls”.
— Margie

Examples of Posts on Social Media


Closing Message

In regards to these groups, and any other groups on social media that is created about Unsolved Cases - I would like to speak directly to you. Although you and I have never met in person, I hope you will read this as someone who genuinely cares and hopes for the best in your life. We may have never sat down to discuss Beverly's case together, yet I hope you will be able to take something away from reading this. As someone who has sat down in the living room of Beverly's sister's home, and sat on a couch next to Beverly's mid-90 year old mother - Speaking for hours about the case. I would like to share with you a thought that I hope you will take to heart.

More than half a century has passed since Beverly was murdered  - yet the pain, heartache, and hurt was still something that could be felt on each person who loved Beverly. The long drive home after our discussion and interview, was one of the longest we have ever had. Because of the pain we felt was something indescribable - in fact it is still lingering with us to this day.

There is a really possibility Beverly's murder may never be solved, or that the murderer will never face justice for their actions. None of us may be able to change that possibility. Yet, we do have the ability to do something arguably greater - we can keep Beverly's memory alive. In another half century, you and I may not be here; yet what we place on social media and forums with Beverly's name will remain. It breaks my heart to imagine anyone's grandson or great grandson would have to read anything negative about someone they love.

So I kindly ask, from one kind loving person to another, please remember that what we write on social media - it is about real people. With real families. And real families. We all would love to see justice for Beverly, but please be mindful about what is said about others. Ask yourself, in 50 years could someone read my post and think it factual? I hope each of you will devote a small time to remember this young lady the world lost, but will not forget. 

Remember: Be Kind. And may Harmony Find You.  


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