Saturday, May 21, 2016

Patricia Gonyea - 1984 Unsolved Homicide, Worcester, MA


UPDATE: On October 18, 2018, WCVB 5 Investigates Case Files featured Gonyea's unsolved homicide.  Authorities ask the public for more information:

Patricia Gonyea was 17 years-old when she 
was killed on October 22, 1984 in
Worcester, Massachusetts.

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 that rainy night, 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.

Over the years, police followed up on tips and submitted evidence for forensic testing. The results have not matched anyone in the system.  

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:

Perhaps Gonyea's mother was right, maybe all this case needs is the right tip.

If you have 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: 

Additional details on the crime, including interviews with detectives, are available in 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: