Mystery in the Mountains: “Why would someone kill two elderly people?”

Mystery in the Mountains

The case of an elderly couple, found slain in their home, is a 32-year-old mystery that haunts Danby, Vermont.

The brutal slaying of Catherine and George Peacock is the kind of crime that leaves investigators shaking their heads.

“Why would someone kill two elderly people?” said Brad Hanson, Vermont State Police Cold Case Specialist.

The Peacocks, both in their 70’s, were stabbed to death, each found in a different room of their home. Catherine was in an unfinished bedroom upstairs, and George was lying on his side at the bottom of the staircase.

They found on Sept. 17, 1989, four days after their deaths. George was last seen mowing his lawn four days earlier, on Sept. 13. The medical examiner was able to determine they were murdered later that afternoon.

“Neighbors became concerned when no one had seen or heard from them,” said Hanson.

Police say both died from multiple stab wounds by a double-edged knife that was less than one inch wide.

“According to the neighbor, they could see George through the front porch window and immediately thought he was injured,” said Vermont State Police Det. Sgt. Sam Truex. “The house was found locked and they utilized the overhead garage door opener from the victim’s car to access the house and it wasn’t until they entered that they discovered both George and Catherine were deceased.”

George never showed up to the local Rutland motel, where he worked three days a week, on Sept. 17

“Which was very out of the ordinary for him,” Hanson said. “He was described as if he was five minutes late he would call ahead.”

The Peacock’s lived just 300 feet east off of VT 7. Their home was a small Cape-style with three bedrooms and a single-car garage in the basement.

“Catherine and George were both retired,” Turex said. “They owned a small gift shop at the end of their driveway. They sold gifts and books as a side business.”

Hanson said the last round of forensic testing was 1999 2000s. But significant amounts of evidence were collected and preserved at the time of the murders. With today’s new forensic technology detectives were able to send off evidence such as DNA to be retested in hopes of new leads.

If you have any information regarding the murders of Catherine and George peacock please Vermont State Police Major Crimes Unit.

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