Forty years later, Bonfiglio family still yearns for closure in couple's murder

ELKHART, Ind. --

On the morning of Tuesday, May 21, 1974, neighbors noticed that Paul and Juila Bonfiglio had not opened their confectionary shop, South Side Sweets, 813 S. Main St., at their usual time.

The neighbors contacted the couple’s son, Frank, and he headed over to their home at 107 Hickory St. (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) around 11 a.m. to check on them.

He found his mother, 71-year-old Julia, dead in the hallway near the living room on the first floor of the large, two-story house. She had been stabbed multiple times with a blunt object, possibly a screwdriver, and laid on her back, arms folded over her chest. The killer had straightened her clothes and put her glasses back on her face.

Paul, 78, was lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs wearing his pajamas.

A month later, on June 20, 1974, police told Elkhart Truth reporters they were optimistic and felt they would quickly solve the case.

“There is no doubt in our minds the case will be solved,” Detective Cmdr. Thomas Snyder and Detective Lt. Billie Campbell said at the time. “It’s a question of getting to the right person and we have an idea of the type of person we are looking for.”

The file on the Bonfiglio murders is still open. It remains the oldest unsolved murder in the city of Elkhart.

To read the full in-depth story from The Elkhart Truth, click here.

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