Nadine Madger murder

Unsolved Murder: The Nadine Madger Case and the Whereabouts of Stephen Simcak

Nadine Madger, a young mother, was brutally killed in her Willoughby, Ohio, flat on a January evening in 1980, shocking both her family and the police. But all they had was an unidentified suspect, and it wasn’t for another 40 years that they were able to catch her killer. Nadine’s terrible murder is explored in “On the Case With Paula Zahn: A Lifetime of Grief,” which also details how the police cracked the case. So, who committed the crime and were they ever prosecuted? Let’s investigate!

How Did Nadine Madger Die?

Nadine Madger, who was born on October 4th, 1954, passed away at the age of 25. She had a cute six-month-old baby son named Daniel and had been happily married to Mark Madger for a year and a half in January 1980. Nadine’s husband still speaks highly of her as a kind and considerate person who never spoke badly of anyone. He remembers how her friendly demeanour made him fall in love with her right away, and how much he loved the warm hugs she provided. Nadine was also generally pleasant with everyone around her and had no major disagreements, so it was all the more unexpected when she suddenly passed away.

Nadine Madger murder

Beginning as a typical day, January 11, 1980 saw the 25-year-old mother stay at home with her little boy while Mark left for work. But he had no idea that it would be the final time he would ever see his beloved wife in person. That afternoon, around 5 o’clock, Mark went back to the couple’s flat in Willoughby, Ohio, only to discover it to be strangely silent. What he discovered inside was a nightmare come true: his wife was dead on the dining room floor, close by in a pool of blood, while his young kid was secure in his playpen in the living room.

Not only that, but Nadine’s body had a butcher’s knife protruding from it, showing that she had been stabbed to death. When Mark dialled 911, the police arrived right away and thoroughly inspected the flat. Additionally, an autopsy revealed that the woman had been stabbed with the same butcher’s knife found on her corpse more than 40 times. The medical examiners came to the conclusion that the murder took place that afternoon between 1:15 and 4:45.

Who Killed Nadine Madger?

Fortunately, Nadine’s infant was unharmed when Mark discovered him, and the authorities were unable to discover any evidence of a forced entrance or sexual assault. The victim was also not known to be at odds with anyone, making it difficult to determine who would have wished to hurt her so ruthlessly. The only item missing from the flat was a kitchen knife, which was later discovered to be the murder weapon. Nothing else was missing from the flat. The investigators had difficulty moving the case forward because neither the house’s search for clues nor any potential suspects turned up anything.

Nadine Madger murder

Nevertheless, a neighbour did mention that, close to the suspected time of Nadine’s death, they had allegedly spotted an unidentified yellow Dodge Dart sports car parked in the apartment complex. But despite two years of diligent labour, the police were unable to make any real headway in their inquiry, and the case ultimately went cold for about sixteen years. When the county crime lab analysed the clothing Nadine was wearing when she died, it made its first breakthrough in 1996. Surprisingly, it also included the blood of an unidentified guy, whose blood the police thought belonged to the murderer, in addition to her own.

The offender had most certainly suffered an injury while assaulting the girl, and his blood had seeped over her clothes, leaving a vital clue. Unfortunately, the outdated DNA analysis equipment at the time prevented further investigation of the blood sample. As a result, until 2014, the inquiry into Nadine’s murder remained dormant for more than 20 years. In the following year, the police collaborated with the Ohio Bureau of Investigation, which confirmed that the murderer was standing over the body of the 25-year-old after reexamining the blood found on her shirt.

The police and the Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs eventually employed cutting-edge technology in 2018 to create the suspected suspect’s family tree from his DNA sample. By phenotyping, the lab first identified some of the subject’s likely physical traits. The authorities were able to identify Stephen Simcak after laboriously examining databases, locating distant cousins, and analysing broad genealogical patterns. He had no prior convictions when he killed Nadine; he was an ex-Marine who resided in Eastlake, Ohio.

However, when the authorities delved deeper, they found startling coincidences. According to sources, Stephen allegedly possessed the same yellow Dodge Dart sports car seen in the victim’s apartment building in the 1980s. In 1980, he worked for Lincoln Electric, and on the day of the murder, he mysteriously skipped work. Stephen reportedly missed work because he called in sick with the flu. In Wickliffe, a town a few miles southwest of where he and Nadine lived, he also worked at a winery and a florist. In 2022, the police were almost certain that Stephen was responsible for the murder based on the information they had gathered.

How Did Stephen Simcak Die?

No matter how far along the inquiry was, the authorities still required hard proof to identify Stephen Simcak as Nadine Madger’s killer. To their shock, they discovered that he had passed away in June 2018 at the age of 79 from an undisclosed cause. Although Stephen’s DNA sample was missing, the authorities were still able to collect his grandson’s DNA from the coroner.

Nadine Madger murder

It established Stephen as Nadine’s killer as expected because it matched the suspect’s profile. However, since Mark was certain that his wife had never met the man personally, the motive for the crime baffled everyone. Unfortunately, the precise motives for the murder and its specifics are still unknown, leaving the police and Nadine’s family with many unanswered concerns.

“I am angry and upset that Stephen passed away as a free and carefree citizen before he could be identified and caught, in turn getting the ability for questions to be asked and justice to be served,” her son Daniel Madger said at the official news conference. Nevertheless, he and Mark are happy that at least the perpetrator was located. As of this writing, the authorities are still looking into Stephen’s crime’s potential causes and have asked the public for clues.

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