Bernice Stefanie Kuhlman

Bernice Stefanie Kuhlman

Date Found: January 15th, 1977

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Investigating Agency: Tulsa Police Department Cold Case Unit


20-year-old Bernice Stefanie Kuhlman moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Canyon, Texas in mid-1976. She found a job at a travel agency and quickly made friends. The night of January 15th, 1977 she was out with those friends. She was seen at three different places that evening- the Holiday In at 110 N. Garnett, the Sage Door Club located at 31st and Garnett, and Torchee’s Nashville Club. She was last seen in her car going westbound on E. 31st near Mingo. The car was being driven by an unknown white male with dark hair in his 20’s.

Bernice’s body was found later that day at 10300 S. 33rd W. Avenue in Polecat Creek under the bridge. She’d been dead at least 8-12 hours. She was face down in the water. She had been beaten, raped and strangled. There was a stocking found around her neck.

Bernice’s car was found on January 17th in a parking lot at Marina Apartments at 2400 S. 96th St. On January 14th, 1977 a witness stated they heard Bernice arguing with a man in her apartment at midnight. That man has yet to be identified. She also allegedly told a friend that a man attempted rape on her in December of 1976. It’s unknown if this lead was investigated or if the man was identified.

Bernice was murdered two weeks before her 21st birthday. Donations were directed to the Rape Crisis Service Fund in her memory, which Bernice’s mother helped create.

Please call the Tulsa Cold Case Unit at 918.586.1357 with any information on the murder of Bernice Kuhlman.

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