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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Playmakers Podcast: Scott Viveros (Episode 5)
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New-Look Ayla’s Makes It a Morning Must (PHOTOS)
Carter Casbarro ’25, Reporter • February 16, 2024
The NHS librarys Sora database was introduced last school year and allows students to access a wide variety of digital materials related to literature.
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T.J. Butkus loads his wood furnace to try to keep warm during the winter. (contributed)
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The junior class cheers after the announcement that they were the winners of Nonnewaug’s winter pep rally Feb. 2.
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Nonnewaug staff members each have their own stories about why their rooms are decorated in unique ways.
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Gianna Lodice '24 and Layla Coppola '24 February 15, 2024

Out of the Cold: Old Newspaper Clipping Sheds Light on 46-Year-Old Unsolved Homicide

The+death+of+Therea+Wilson+has+been+unsolved+for+more+than+40+years.+%28Chief+Advocate+graphic%29
The death of Therea Wilson has been unsolved for more than 40 years. (Chief Advocate graphic)

HARTFORD — Blood was smeared all over the windows of the car, yet no one noticed her for 36 hours. Therea Wilson’s frozen body was found stabbed 40 to 50 times in mid-January of 1977 in the backseat of a ‘76 Cadillac, but the internet won’t tell you that.

Hartford Courant 1977
(Newspapers by Ancestry)

Hidden away from the Hartford Courant’s article back in 1977, the details of Therea Wilson’s murder are scattered along the black and white pages. Not only are there few details about Wilson’s murder online, but there are also no stories, except for the lonely segment of information left by the Connecticut cold case website.

For the first time ever, Therea’s son speaks out about his mother’s homicide publicly. 

At the time of his mother’s murder, Ennis Wilson was only 7 years old. He is now 54 and lives in Texas. A while away from Hartford, Wilson still vividly remembers finding out about his mother’s death.

“I was living with my grandmother when my mother was murdered. When it happened, my mom used to run the streets,” Ennis Wilson recalled. “My family didn’t tell me the truth about what happened to my mom. They told me she died in a car accident on her way to see me in Hartford.” 

Therea’s brother, Kevin Wilson, also remembers exactly what happened on Jan. 14, 1977. 

“When my sister was murdered, I was 19 years of age and I remember that day like it was yesterday. It plays back in my mind constantly,” Kevin Wilson said. “It’s always replaying in my head. I got up that Friday morning, and I went to call Therea because I just wanted to hear her voice. She didn’t pick up her phone. I’m constantly calling her — no answer, no answer, no answer. I heard on the radio that a girl was murdered at the Hilton Hotel in Hartford but we weren’t paying any attention. It wasn’t until my niece came running out of my sister Eileen’s house that she said Therea was dead.”

The state’s cold case website includes a short description of what happened to Therea:

On Friday, January 14, 1977, the body of Therea Wilson, age 26, was found in the garage of the then-Statler Hilton Hotel at 10 Ford Street in Hartford. The victim, also known as Thera Wilson, Theresa Wilson, and Mona Williams, had been stabbed to death. At the time of her death, the victim had been engaged in prostitution.”

Many sex workers were murdered in Connecticut throughout the decades. The Bra murders were a string of murders in the late 1960s in which black sex workers were brutally murdered. Serial killer Matthew Steven Johnson killed three sex workers in the early 2000s. More recently, dating to 1986, the Route 8 murders include women who were believed to be prostitutes.  

In the years since his mother’s murder, Kevin Wilson created the cold case cards in Connecticut

“I created the cold case playing cards along with Mike Sheldon,” Kevin Wilson said. “We worked together with AT&T and got a grant with AT&T, and they were able to make those phone numbers accessible in any prison in Connecticut, and that number connects straight to the cold case division.”

Little information about Therea or her case is found online, but Kevin Wilson shares new information to the public about his sister’s case.

This picture of Therea Wilson from nearly 50 years ago hangs in her son Ennis Wilson’s house in Texas. (Ennis Wilson)

“Therea was found in the Hartford Hilton hotel parking garage near Bushnell Park,” he said. “She was found in the parking lot garage and the car was parked in between two spaces. Secondly, my sister had been dead for 36 hours. That means my sister died on Jan. 12. That was her birthday. She was found in the rear passenger side of the vehicle and she was slumped over. She was stabbed nearly 50 times, and there was blood all over the windows of the car. It took the security people at the Hilton 36 hours to realize something was wrong.”

Ennis Wilson did not find out what really happened to his mother for nearly 20 years following her murder. 

“I found out about my mother’s murder when I was looking through pictures and found an old newspaper clipping. I had to be 27 or 28 years old when I found that,” Wilson said. “ I was pissed off at the whole damn family for never telling me the truth. I was so mad, but I eventually got over it.”

Red flags associated with some cold cases are raised by Therea’s son.

“I always had a feeling that my sister was put on the back burner because my sister was black,” Kevin Wilson said. “Her case wasn’t treated like that of white girls. I always thought they deserved the same amount of coverage.”

Slowly, Therea Wilson’s case has grown colder and colder, but Kevin Wilson will not let his sister’s case freeze.

“I told my sister at her funeral I was going to find out who did this to her,” he said. “I promised her that. For the last 25 years or so, my heart and everything was put back into her case.” 

Therea Wilson’s memory lives on as her family remembers her as a bright and kind soul. Kevin Wilson’s voice lit up when talking about the memory of his sister. 

“She was the life of the party and she had a way of making me smile,” Kevin said. “She had an efficacious smile. She loved kids and she was always babysitting. She and I were so tight growing up. We would go outside and play, she taught me how to make my first snowman and my first snowball. She was just cool and light-hearted. Everybody in the family talks about her till this day and we make sure that all the kids in the family who’ve never met her know her.”

Kevin Wilson’s sentiment echoes other unsolved cases that have been forgotten by some, but not by others.

“This is a real case, with a real person, and a real family,” Kevin Wilson concluded.

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About the Contributor
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-in-Chief
Izzy DiNunzio is the editor-in-chief for the Chief Advocate and a four-year journalism student. Izzy wants to go to Florida State next fall and major in criminology with a potential minor in journalism.
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