Patricia Denise Palmer

Patricia Denise Palmer

Date Found: November 17th, 1981

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Investigating Agency: Tulsa Police Department Cold Case Unit


Patricia Denise Palmer, 19, advertised in a Tulsa newspaper to sell her wedding dress. She thought she could put the extra money into her and her husband’s house fund. A man called her mom, whose number was listed, on November 15, 1981, about the ad.

On November 17th, 1981, Denise left work alone, despite many of her friends and co-workers offering to accompany her to meet the man at her mother’s home on Sandusky Ave.

At 12:45 pm neighbors found Denise’s body lying in the bathtub, sexually assaulted, strangled and drowned. The theory is that she was raped first and then held under water by her throat. DNA was collected at the scene, including gum found in the tub. Semen was collected but wasn’t stored correctly and is no longer viable. Investigators believe she fought her attacker as blood was found on the walls and edges of the bathtub.

That same day a man was seen on the porch with Denise, holding a wedding dress. He was a white male, 5’10” – 6′ tall, 180-190 lbs. He had a birthmark of some kind on his face. He drove a black over dark blue 1972-74 Chevy Impala , Ok license plate, very clean, chrome dealer decal on the left side of the bottom of the trunk lid. There was possibly a black CB antenna.

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