Crime News

Who was Ruth Marie Terry? Bio, Wiki, Age, Murder, Police Report

Ruth Marie Terry Bio – Ruth Marie Terry Wiki

Ruth Marie Terry, also known as Lady of the Dunes, was a formerly unidentified decedent found on July 26, 1974, in the Race Point Dunes in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her body was exhumed in 1980, 2000, and 2013 to identify her killer. On October 31, 2022, the FBI field office in Boston announced that the victim had been identified as Ruth Marie Terry.


Ruth Marie Terry was 37 years old at the time of death.


Nearly 50 years after her body was found on the shores of Provincetown, Massachusetts, the “Lady of the Dunes” murder victim has been identified.

In a press conference on Monday, FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Joseph Bonavolonta announced the name of the murder victim: Ruth Marie Terry from Tennessee. She was 37 years old at the time of her death, according to Agent Bonavolonta.

Terry was found dead in the dunes about a mile east of the Race Point Ranger station inside the Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on July 26, 1974, according to the FBI.

When found, her body was missing hands — the authorities hypothesized this was done so fingerprints couldn’t be used to identify the body – and her head was “nearly severed from her body,” Agent Bonavolonta revealed on Monday.

The FBI said the cause of death was determined to be a blow to the head that happened several weeks before her body was discovered.

The “Lady of the Dunes” was identified using investigative genealogy. According to the FBI, “this is a unique method that can generate new leads for unsolved homicides, as well as help identify unknown victims.”

In the 48 years since her body was discovered, “many investigative and scientific techniques have either improved or been created through new advances in technology,” Agent Bonavolonta explained.

“One of these methods is Investigative Genealogy and combines the use of DNA analysis with traditional genealogy research, and historical records, to generate investigative leads for unsolved violent crimes,” the FBI agent continued.

He added, “Just last week, the FBI received positive confirmation of Ruth’s identity through the genealogical examination of this infamous cold case.”

The FBI shared some information they’ve learned about Terry: she was born in Tennessee in 1936. She was a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, and mother. The agent said they also found that Terry had ties to California, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

Now that the authorities have identified the body of the “Lady in the Dunes,” they will focus on solving her murder. “Investigators and analysts will turn their attention to conducting logical investigative steps that include learning more about her, as well as working to identify who is responsible for her murder,” Agent Bonavolonta promised.

The FBI is asking the public to review Ruth’s Seeking Information Poster. Please get in touch with the Massachusetts State Police or the FBI if anyone has any information concerning the case.