Anniversary of Betsy Aardsma’s death drawing notice

October 26, 2009 at 9:50 am 6 comments

With the 40th anniversary of the murder in the stacks at Pattee Library approaching, you can expect to see a lot of stories about the still-unsolved case and the victim, Betsy Aardsma. Journalists often use anniversaries as news pegs for stories; that’s what we did in our September/October issue, in which we published a story about the murder investigation and Sasha Skucek ’99, ’07g, an English lecturer and journalist who has been looking into the case.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette weighed in Sunday with this story, in which investigators talk about the crime and how it still resonates after so much time. Said Centre County district attorney Michael Madeira, “It sounds like an urban legend, except it’s real.”

The anniversary is Nov. 28.

Lori Shontz, senior editor


Entry filed under: Penn State in the News, The Penn Stater Magazine, University Park. Tags: , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. R Thomas Berner  |  October 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Like Kennedy’s assassination, I also remember where I was when I learned about Betsy Aardsma’s death–the newsroom of the Pennsylvania Mirror. Who remembers the Mirror? :-)

  • 2. Steve Williams  |  October 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    When I came to school in summer of 1972 the Aardma case was still being talked about. After all these years I still think about it when I am in the stacks…

    I remember the Pennsylvania Mirror. Weren’t their offices up near Big Lots or something like that?

    And I remember their photographer Greg Guist (??) had the first Leica R cameras I ever saw…

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  • 3. Cathy Waite Hutzell  |  October 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    The building that houses Big Lots and the Cinema was the Pennsylvania Mirror, conveniently located near Nittany Printing. It was nice to have two major news publications in the area. It kept both of them honest in their reporting, because what one would print the other would be quick to refute when finding errors or ‘holes’ in the story. I entered Penn State in the fall of 1970 and even though I am not the type to be spooked by such things as ghosts, etc. I never felt truly comfortable entering the stacks of Patee. I think my fear stemmed more from being female and considering the possibility of a serial killer or copycat around the anniversary time. Let’s just say I stayed clear of the stacks for several weeks around Thanksgiving.

  • 4. R Thomas Berner  |  October 28, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Actually, the Mirror was in the same building as Nittany Printing.

  • 5. R. I. Smith  |  October 29, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I had been in the stacks several times in 1967 and for some reason, no one else was ever there when I was there. So, that oddity coupled with the fact that the stacks were very poorly lit and cramped could easily give one the creeps even without knowing about the murder done there when everyone was home on Thanksgiving 1969 break. And the prior sentence is a long sentence, even for an English major !

  • 6. Five Awards for The Penn Stater «  |  March 12, 2010 at 11:30 am

    […] award in the “Feature Article Writing: University” category. That was a look at a 40-year-old campus mystery and the alumnus, Sascha Scucek ’99, ’07g, who is obsessed with solving […]

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