John Anthony “Tony” Muncy (15) was last seen on October 15, 1983 in the evening hours at the York Plaza Movie Theatre in Columbus. On October 16, 1983, his dismembered body was found on South Galena Road, Galena, Delaware County, Ohio.
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds in the back. All extremities were either partly or completely severed from his torso. His severed arms seemed cut at the elbows. His legs and his head were partly severed.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Report states that Deputy J. Loudermilk was called to South Galena Road to meet a man who found what appeared to be a body. I have not been able to find out if this man was cleared as a suspect.
The body was between Golf Course Road and Alexander Road east of the bridge. Deputy Loudermilk found Muncy lying beside the road inside four black trash bags. The body was all cut up. The Deputy immediately called for backup while he held the scene.
Note: in some articles I saw Tony’s name spelled as “Muncie” and in others “Muncy.” I have chosen Muncy as that is the way it is spelled on his grave. Tony’s is the Case of the Month for November 2017.
- three plastic trash bags (I found four online)
- his mom told police her son went to a friend’s house but he never arrived there. So did that friend call the Muncy house? What made John possibly go to the movie theater without that friend? How reliable are the witnesses who placed John at the movie theater and possibly in a store about to be robbed?
It adds more questions to the case but I am grateful to have more information. Thank you, TS!
- Who else saw Tony at the movie theatre? This matters as we must explore the possibility that he was followed from there, or that he somehow ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time.
- About the multiple stab wounds: what do we know about their depth? Left or right-handed attacker? Superficial slicing movements with a blunt knife or piercing wounds with a sharp knife? Was the murder weapon found anywhere near him? If so, is it preserved? If so, can we search the handle with the M-Vac to find touch DNA?
- Dismembering: were the extremities severed in clear, smooth movements or not? This can give us an idea about the attacker’s knife skills and possibly whether Tony was or was not his first victim.
- The four black trash bags: I assume those were standard household garbage bags. If not and you have a link to a newspaper article about this (or any of the other questions and details) please contact me so we can update this post. If we still have those bags they too must be search with the M-Vac for touch DNA.
- The bridge: were there any reports about weird sightings on or near that bridge? Were Tony’s remains bagged at the scene or did he die elsewhere? Where the bags deposited from the bridge? Dropped down? Any traces, tire tracks, boot prints, etc.?
- The murder weapon: did Tony’s wounds have any residue such as dirt, rust, etc. to make an estimate whether this was a brand-new knife or not? In the parts below you can read more about knife possibilities.
Two Possible Suspects
1: William Dean Wickline
On this website I found and I quote: “Investigators could not establish any drug involvement on Tony’s part, but they did obtain information that he may have been killed simply because he refused to get away from a drugstore that Wickline intended to rob.” This ties in with my questions about Tony’s last sightings. If it is true that Tony refused to leave the store he was not being stalked but ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time. Did this store have security cameras? Any witnesses who saw a teenager?
If you read up about Wickline it seems the way Tony was murdered fits Wickline’s pattern. Wickline did the same to other victims. He also used trash bags. In that sense, he is a good suspect. He operated in the Ohio area, had knife skills, and dismembered his victims. But there is someone else to consider as well.
2: Timothy Hall
From this website I have the following information: “Timothy Hall, who has a history of severe mental issues, brutally beat and stabbed Hubert Campbell to death. Hall openly confessed to killing Mr. Campbell and told police, “It was a new experience and I loved it.”
On the same site I read this: “According to a detective working on the case today the crime scene photos are horrific. He states, “It looked like he [Muncy] was dismembered with a butter knife.” Hall was never charged with Muncy’s murder. I wonder if either Hall or Wickline ever used a butter knife in their murders.
According to the same website, the authorities have evidence of:
- Witnesses who saw Hall with Tony on the day Tony went missing,
- Apparently a shirt was found near Tony’s remains (I have not found that anywhere else online) that they believe is Hall’s. If this is true we should test it for DNA to try to tie Hall to Tony.
- Apparently when Hall was seen after Tony’s murder he had injuries. The latter could be coincidence so we need to know exactly what type of injuries, where on Hall’s body, and who saw Hall.
- “In addition, a psychiatric report done while Hall was awaiting trial for the murder of Hubert Campbell stated, “Hall has been heard carrying on loud conversations with someone named ‘John’ where there is no observable person anywhere in the area of his cell.” I do not know whether this is true. From what I read our victim’s nickname was Tony. If Tony introduced himself to anyone, did he say “John” or “Tony?”
Can you kill someone with an innocent looking butter knife? Consider this: it is a knife with a point. Muncy had multiple stab wounds in his back. Do they fit a butter knife?
I searched online to see if there are cases where the murder weapon was a butter knife. I found an interesting article. Here are three things movie director Antoine Fuqua had to say when he brainstormed about weapons:
1: “A butter knife is still sharp, so you could still do damage with a butter knife if you cut across somebody’s skin,” he says, brandishing the blade. “We’re fragile, so it’s going to cut you.”
2: “Guys who know how to do this just puncture you to death, you’ll be bleeding on the inside and you don’t even know it.”
3: “Cut off the blade and you’ve still got a weapon. It doesn’t make a difference, if somebody knows how to do it, they know how to do it.”
This still begs the question: IF the murder weapon was a butter knife where was Tony murdered? Was the killer armed with it or did they pick it up from the scene where Tony was first attacked? Was the knife that made the stab wounds in Tony’s back the same that was used to dismember him? So many questions!
I wish we could post more about John Anthony Muncy here such as hobbies, memories, etc. Should you have any pictures of Tony and/or memories that you’d like to share, please contact me. Tony deserves to be remembered for who he was and not only for the manner in which he was killed.
If you have any information about this case please contact the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 833-2810 or submit a tip online. John Anthony Muncy’s case number is 1209.
Rest in peace John Anthony Muncy.
In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis. Often more information is online or in newspaper archives. The goal of these posts is to get the cases back in the spotlights, to get people talking again, and if anything to make sure that we do not forget John Anthony Muncy. Just because his case is cold does not mean that we can forget about him.
If you have any thoughts about the case I encourage you to post them on your social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc.) Every time that we mention John Anthony Muncy online we enhance his digital footprints. We must make sure that he keeps his web presence if we ever wish to find answers in his case. You can help by linking to or sharing this post.
Thank you for remembering John Anthony Muncy with us.
Ohio Attorney General’s Office