Open letter from M. Holmes re Tess Hilt

Tess Hilt dancing and smilingOpen letter from M. Holmes re Tess Hilt. Michall has been very active in trying to get justice for Tess. This letter, printed with his permission, is an update about the case.

Open letter from M. Holmes:

Hi V,

It is almost 11 months ago since we began to defrost Tess’ case. Tess was brutally murdered in the early morning hours of August 4, 1973. Her case has never been solved.

Eleven months ago, an Internet search for “Teresa Sue “Tess” Hilt” yielded almost no information. You counseled that we should create an online tribute page for Tess and invite comments about her life and her murder.

Today, after 11 months online the content has been viewed by 88’858 folks. We also created a private and confidential email address for folks who wanted to send information: [email protected]

As of today, we have received 271 emails, mostly tips and leads. Bottom line, if you do an internet search now it will yield thousands of hits and a lot of information about Tess’ case.

Thank you for your help and counsel!

Around 5 months ago, we added the web page That page pretty much mirrors the Tess FB page and has been viewed by 2063 folks.

So, what have we learned?

Tips and leads that have come in point to a current total of 6 (six) “persons of interest.” They are:

1. The older man

In the last months of her life, Tess spoke to several friends about an older man with whom she was involved. However, she would not name him. Some have indicated that Tess said that she was in love with him. Others have indicated that she may have been afraid of him in some way. We have reason to believe that this man may have been married or, was in the process of getting a divorce.

2. The jealous wife/girlfriend

There may have been a jealous wife or girlfriend involved in Tess’ stated relationship with the older man.

3. A jealous woman

Several leads have pointed to a possible classmate or student who was obsessed with a young man. That young man may have been attracted to Tess.

4. Drug connections

There were reports that Tess was working on a study or a paper about the drug culture in NW Missouri at the time of the murder. The theory is that she may have found out more than she should have. There is not a lot to go on here.

5. The cad

She said “NO”. He wouldn’t accept that. The “Put out or get out” type times a thousand. So much rage in this crime.

6. The ‘Drifters’

We have received a report that three young drifters, two men and one woman, may have met Tess in the weeks before her murder. Tess may have fed them and offered them a place to stay for a while. We are working on finding corroboration for this story. So far, no one has come forward to say that they remember these folks.

We’ve come a long way in these past 11 months, but there is still a long way to go. We knew going into this would be a long and difficult process. I’m not planning on going anywhere. We’ll keep working and trying to solve this case. I often think “what if those responsible for Tess’ murder look at these pages?” I sincerely hope they do.

Someone out there knows who killed this fine girl nearly 40 years ago. One of these days, the right person will find us. Or, perhaps we will find them.

Thanks for everything!

M. Holmes

Thank you, Michall.


  1. […] many concerns in her case which are explained here. After renewing media attention for her case, various scenarios remained open to investigate. The authorities are still looking into these. All the posts that I […]

  2. […] that have come out of the site? Alice: Yes, many. We have renewed media interest in the cases of Teresa Sue Hilt and (the Eastern Iowa case of) Michelle […]