Two Montana Sweethearts Fatally Shot in 1956 and the Case Just Got Solved

This story presents a vexing question that has been raised many times about whether it is really true that, “What Goes Around Comes Around.” Specifically, what about if the bad person dies before they get caught, or the truth comes out? Good question right? 

In this case, two Montana sweethearts were fatally shot in 1956. The killer was never identified and repeated attempts to reopen the investigation turned cold. That is until the case was recently solved with genetic genealogy, using DNA from a sperm sample found at the crime scene and preserved all these years. The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office said it appeared to be the oldest homicide case in the United States to be solved with genetic genealogy.

So even though killer Kenneth Gould was cremated in 2008, he still could not escape his unmaking these 65 years after the fact, as the murderer and rapist he was.

But does this story either confirm or not, that What Goes Around Comes Around? 

We know from the article  that after the killings he left the area and never returned even to visit family. We know that his own three children participated in the investigation by contributing their DNA to help the families of the victims finally get clarity about what happened. 

But did Gould himself have consequences during the remainder of his life? I’d say yes, that at the very least his life was drastically altered. He was most likely, always looking over his shoulder and wondering when the knock on the door, or battering of the door, or announcement on a loud speaker to come out with his hands up, or arrest walking down the street, would happen! I’d say that most of the time the seeds we plant come up to greet us in our lifetimes, good or bad. But there are cases like this that can cast doubt on whether the concept of “What Goes Around Comes Around” is iron-clad. Perhaps that is what allows us to open the door to behavior we’d be more reluctant to allow from ourselves if we really, really believed it.

But do I know for sure? Perhaps his three children will shed light on that. I am hopeful that more will be revealed about this person as the case is studied. We’ll see.

Two Montana Sweethearts Were Fatally Shot in 1956. The Case Was Just Solved.

The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office said it appeared to be the oldest homicide case in the United States to be solved with genetic genealogy.

Newspaper clippings from the investigative file into the 1956 murders of Duane Bogle, 18, and Patricia Kalitzke, 16, in Great Falls, Mont. 
Credit…Traci Rosenbaum/The Great Falls Tribune, via Associated Press

When Detective Sgt. Jon Kadner of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office in Montana was told in 2012 that he was being put in charge of the investigation into a long-unsolved double homicide, the case was already more than 50 years old.

It was the first time that Sergeant Kadner, who is 40 and grew up in small-town Iowa, had heard of Duane Bogle and Patricia Kalitzke, teenage sweethearts who had been fatally shot in January 1956, more than two decades before he was born, presumably after they drove to an area in Great Falls, Mont., known as a lovers’ lane.

“There was just years and years of documentation and numerous suspects that had been looked into,” the sergeant said. “But I knew the key was going to be DNA.”

On Tuesday, the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office announced that it had cracked the case. The office identified Kenneth Gould, a horse trainer who died in 2007, as the “likely suspect” who had shot and killed Mr. Bogle, 18, and Ms. Kalitzke, 16, more than 65 years ago.

Sergeant Kadner said he believed it was the oldest homicide case in the United States to be solved with genetic genealogy, which uses DNA from crime scenes to identify the relatives of potential suspects and eventually the suspects themselves.

John M. Butler, an expert on forensic genetics at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said while he was not aware of any group that officially tracks cold cases, “Certainly, 1956 is the oldest that I have heard about up to this point.”

The investigation involved painstaking research into a long-ago crime that had once generated national media attention.

Ms. Kalitzke was a junior at Great Falls High School. Mr. Bogle was an airman from Waco, Texas, stationed nearby at Malmstrom Air Force Base. They both loved dancing and music, and he was “instantly smitten with Patty” when they met in December 1955, Sergeant Kadner said.

The teenagers were last seen at Pete’s Drive-In restaurant in Great Falls, just after 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, 1956. When they didn’t come home that night, their families assumed they had eloped, Sergeant Kadner said.

The following day, three boys hiking along the Sun River in Great Falls found Mr. Bogle’s body in an area that was known as a rendezvous spot for teenagers.

He was face down, and had been shot in the back of the head. His hands had been tied behind his back with his own belt. The ignition switch, radio and headlights on his car were on, and the car was in gear. His expensive camera had not been taken.

Investigators initially feared that Ms. Kalitzke had been kidnapped.

But the next day, Jan. 4, 1956, a county road worker found her body off a gravel road about five miles north of Great Falls. She had been shot in the head and had injuries that were consistent with a struggle or a sexual assault, Sergeant Kadner said.

Newspaper headlines described the teenagers as “lovers’ lane slaying victims” and recalled a “wide search” for a “brutal killer.”

Over the next half century, detectives investigated about 35 potential suspects, including James (Whitey) Bulger, the notorious South Boston mobster who was convicted in 2013 of participating in 11 murders. Mr. Bulger, who died in 2018, had lived in Great Falls in the 1950s and had been arrested in a rape there in 1951, Sergeant Kadner said.

But no one was ever charged, and the case went cold.

Investigators turned to genetic genealogy in 2018, after the authorities arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, known as the Golden State Killer, and accused him of committing 13 murders and nearly 50 rapes that terrorized California in the 1970s and ’80s. It was the first high-profile case to be cracked with genetic genealogy.

“That’s when we really started looking at what evidence we had, and if we could potentially do the same thing,” Sergeant Kadner said.

Sergeant Kadner said the crucial piece of evidence was a DNA sample from a sperm cell that had been collected from Ms. Kalitzke’s body during her autopsy. That sample had been preserved in an evidence vault for six decades.

In 2001, it had been sent to the state crime lab for analysis, but did not lead to any matches in a national criminal database.

In 2019, with the help of Bode Technology, a Virginia company that specializes in DNA analysis, another DNA profile was extracted from the sample, which enabled investigators to build a family tree that led them to Mr. Gould, Sergeant Kadner said.

Because Mr. Gould had been cremated, investigators collected DNA from his children, which linked Mr. Gould to the sperm cell that had been found on Ms. Kalitzke’s body, Sergeant Kadner said.

Mr. Gould, who was 29 in 1956, lived just over a mile from Ms. Kalitzke’s house and kept horses about 600 yards from the house where she had grown up, Sergeant Kadner said. He had married another 16-year-old girl in 1952 and eventually had five children.

After the killings, he left the area and was seen living in two other Montana towns before moving to Alton, Mo., in 1967.

He never returned to Montana, even to visit his family, Sergeant Kadner said. Mr. Gould had no known criminal history, and detectives do not know if he had any relationship with Ms. Kalitzke or Mr. Bogle. Mr. Gould died in 2007 at age 79 in Oregon County, Mo.

Two Montana Sweethearts Fatally Shot in 1956 and the Case Just Got Solved

Two Montana Sweethearts Fatally Shot in 1956 and the Case Just Got Solved

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC