Police Reexamining 1978 Cold Case Murder

Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013  |  Updated 4:05 PM EDT
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Police Reexamining 1978 Cold Case Murder

Darien Police

Police are reexamining the 1978 murder case of Greg Sjolander.

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Darien police are reaching out to the public to help solve a 35-year-old cold case murder.

Police are re-examining the murder of Greg Sjolander, a 36-year-old Canadian citizen whose body was found behind an abandoned house at 143 Ledge Road, the present location of BMW of Darien, on the morning of Dec. 4, 1978.

Sjolander, a parolee who had been working as a hairdresser in Montreal, Quebec until April 1978, had been shot two twice at close range, according to police.

On the same morning, three men who were having breakfast at the counter of the nearby Howard Johnson’s Restaurant were overheard discussing a murder, police said.

Two were neat and dressed like workmen, police said. One was tall and thin.

The other was in his late 20s or early 30s and wearing a leather hat.  He was seen skillfully drawing on a paper menu and a napkin with a felt pen.

A witness took the drawings and police have released photos of them in an attempt to identify the men.

Little information is known about Sjolander’s activities in the United States, but police said there are at least three independent reports placing him in the Stamford area. 

Authorities are now releasing photos of two distinctive tattoos on Sjolander’s arms and additional photos believed to be connected to the case.  One reads “Terry my Love.”

“Terry” is believed to be an American-born woman who was living in Montreal during the late 1970s. Police have not identified her.

She has been described as a black or biracial woman with family ties to the New York City area.   

The last confirmed sighting of Sjolander was in November 1978 when he left an apartment on Ursula Place in Stamford, police said.

At the time of his death, Sjolander might have been using the alias “Paul Swanson.”

He might have spent some time in New York City and Darien investigators believe that his death is connected with the unsolved murder in June 1978 of Darien native Ronald Poole, who was found shot to death in Dutchess County, New York.

Police said Poole, who was also known as “Slump,” was a member of the Charter Oaks Motorcycle Club and was known to frequent the Ursula Place apartments in Stamford.  

The FBI forensic lab processed evidence from the Sjolander homicide in early 1979, long before DNA testing, and some of the evidence is being sent to the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia for reanalysis. 

Evidence is also being sent to the State Forensic Lab for DNA testing.  

Anyone with any information about Sjolander or Poole should contact Detective Sergeant Johnson at 203-662-5330 or jjohnson@darienct.gov.

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