47 years later, girl’s death near Woodbine skating rink remains mystery

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s a murder that’s gone unsolved for nearly 47 years.

Kathy Jones was 12 years old when she was walking to a roller skating rink in South Nashville, but she never made it.

Her body was found less than two days later not far from the rink.

Investigators say they’re still getting calls about the case and actively looking for Kathy’s killer.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

It happened on a fall night in 1969 when she walked out of her home on Lutie Street in the Woodbine neighborhood.

She was going to meet some friends at a nearby roller rink. With a dollar in hand, she told her mom she’d stop by Krispy Kreme on the way.

But somewhere in between her home and the rink, Kathy disappeared.

Her body was found more than a day later in a vacant lot behind the donut shop.

“She had a real tough childhood. She probably never had a chance, to be honest with you, from the very beginning. She had a tough way to go,” said former Det. Sgt. Pat Postiglione.

Postiglione worked Kathy’s case nearly 20 years later when he was on the Metro police “murder squad” in 1988. The team’s sole purpose was to solve cold cases like Kathy’s.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

He told News 2 he got to know her very well back then.

“The family had no money, she had to wear old clothes, she was picked on by other kids, she had something wrong with her eye that made her very self-conscious,” Postiglione said.

But Kathy did have some friends she was meeting at the Thompson Lane Roller Drome.

It’s now the costumer store Performance Studios, and inside, they still have the original hardwood floors that show scuffs and scrapes from the skates.

The lot nearby where Kathy was found used to have really tall grass. It took two searches for someone to finally find her body.

The original theory was that Kathy was later placed at the empty lot nearby, but Postiglione doesn’t buy it.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

“She wasn’t placed there three or four days later. She was there the whole time. She was in real high weeds; it’s possible civil defense just missed her,” he told News 2.

Dozens of suspects were interviewed, but none were brought to justice.

Still, the retired detective believes Kathy’s case can be solved. Postiglione hopes new DNA technology will help.

“That’s how you solve a case–when the technology catches up with the crime and you’re able to solve these cases,” he said. “And you hope that the person who did it is continually looking over their shoulder, especially when you have a cold case unit breathing down their neck.”

The case remains active and ongoing. Anyone who knows anything is urged to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.