Patricia Gonyea was 17 years-old when she
was killed on October 22, 1984 in
(Source: Worcester Police Investigative Division)
In 1984, Patricia Gonyea was a responsible and hard-working 17 year-old teenager. She held 3 jobs and helped care for her younger siblings. Her mother once said, "I couldn't have asked for a better daughter."
Gonyea attended South High Community School in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her goals included going to college and having her own family. All these dreams came to an abrupt end on the night of October 22, 1984.
Gonyea spent part of the night at her boyfriend's house playing Trivial Pursuit. At around 9:30 p.m., she called her mother at home and asked for permission to take the later bus. Her mother agreed.
According to police, at 11:15 p.m., Gonyea got off the bus at Main Street, near Clark University and across from Gates Street. It is believed that she tried to take a shortcut by crossing the railroad tracks near the former Crompton & Knowles factory building on Grand Street.
The railroad tracks near the former Crompton & Knowles
factory building where Patricia Gonyea was killed.
(Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette)
It was a rainy night and she was only a few blocks from her home when someone chased her down the railroad tracks, sexually assaulted and bludgeoned her to death.
Gonyea's nude body was found the following day in a deep window well. Police recovered her clothing in an alley nearby.
Over the years, police followed up on tips and repeatedly submitted evidence for forensic testing. The results have not matched anyone in the system, nor have they been enough to close the case.
An investigator stated that, "the man-hours in this case dwarf any other investigation in this city’s history." And still, the efforts continue.
The crime also shattered her family, who later moved out of the area.
Sadly, Gonyea's mother died without knowing who killed her daughter. She told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in 2006:
"I still have to believe that somebody saw something that night, or the murderer has told somebody something, and that person or persons aren’t talking. Maybe someday someone will come forward, and that will be the break in this case that we’ve been waiting for...”
Perhaps Gonyea's mother was right, maybe all this case needs is the right tip.
If you have ANY information on this case, please contact:
Worcester Police Detective Bureau:
Call: (508) 799-8651
Send an anonymous text tip to 274637 TIPWPD
Submit a tip anonymously online:
For additional details on the crime, including interviews with detectives, please read this 2009 article:
Sources of Information:
Worcester Police Investigative Division's crime profile for Patricia Gonyea:
CNN, Nancy Grace Show, "Is a Serial Killer on the Loose in Massachusetts?" transcript, February 3, 2006:
Worcester Telegram & Gazette article, "Parents turn grief into social action," by Bradford L. Miner, August 13, 2006:
Worcester Telegram & Gazette article, "Worcester police tracking new evidence in 1984 slaying" by Scott J. Croteau, May 6, 2009:
MassLive article, "Unresolved murder of Worcester teen haunts friends 30 years later," by Lindsay Corcoran, October 24, 2014: