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The Unsolved Murder of Cathy McCune

The Unsolved Murder of Cathy McCune


Case File Overview


After closing the store and having dinner, the pair returned around 6:30 pm to retrieve some paperwork and to ensure their pipes hadn’t frozen.

Ten minutes later, Cathy was fatally shot in the back of the head, and Richard was shot in the leg.

Richard told the authorities that a masked man entered their business through the unlocked front door. He said he heard two loud popping noises and headed to the office to investigate. Richard explained he found the robber standing near his injured wife. It’s believed that Cathy was shot while unlocking the safe. The perpetrator fired two to three shots at Richard, hitting him in the leg, and then fled with an undisclosed amount of money and the murder weapon.

Richard called 911, and police quickly arrived at the scene. He described the killer as a masked black or hispanic male, at least 6 feet tall (183 centimetres), and over 240 pounds (109 kilograms). Witnesses in the area recalled seeing a person fitting that description in a dark-colored, full-size car, possibly a Dodge Intrepid, with an Ohio license plate.

Cathy’s killer has never been found.


Case File Theories


Cathy was murdered by someone she knew

Was Cathy killed by her husband Richard? We know that when a person is killed more often than not the crime is perpetrated by someone intimately connected to them. And it’s interesting that Cathy was fatally shot in the head, whereas Richard was only shot in the leg. Also, how lucky could the robber have been to find the couple at the shop during their quick stop in? Was the killer Richard himself or someone he hired to carry out the murder, someone he told exactly when and where to strike?

Keep in mind, though, there has been no mention of trouble in Cathy and Richard’s relationship. Even more, the police have never identified Richard as a person of interest. Plus, it’s possible that the killer happened upon the pair by chance at their store or was casing the shop in hopes of an opportunity to rob the place. The “good timing” of the crime doesn’t necessarily indicate Richard’s guilt. Also, if Richard did commit the crime, what did he do with the murder weapon? It was nowhere to be found. Did he have time to stash it somewhere, especially seeing as he had been shot in the leg? I think it’s doubtful. Given all of this, I’m leaning towards the next theory.

Cathy was murdered by a stranger

Was Cathy killed by a stranger during a robbery? This is the likeliest scenario. The police have stated that they think only one person is responsible for the crime, and as they have never cast any suspicion on Richard, we can assume that person is a stranger to the McCunes. Often the simplest answer is the right one, and I think this is a tragic case of a robbery gone wrong. Richard provided the police with a description of the suspect, and other witnesses in the area saw someone matching the person he described. It’s highly probable that this person is guilty of Cathy’s murder.

Cathy McCune

Photo of murder victim Cathy McCune
Image source: Toledo Police

Who do you think murdered Cathy?

Cathy’s father Frank describes his daughter as a good person who “collected cut glass, finished furniture, and liked to make improvements around the house.” One of Cathy’s neighbours told reporters that she was a great neighbour who was friendly and talkative. Cathy’s murder has deeply affected her loved ones, and they deserve answers.

The Toledo Police Department is working hard to find Cathy’s killer. They have utilized social media and the press in hopes to generate tips from the public. Someone out there knows something.

Anyone with information regarding the death of Cathy McCune should call Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111. Those with information may be eligible for a reward.

Related reading

“Police seek clues to solve slaying during A-1 Auto Parts robbery”Toledo Blade article

“TPD to revisit 15-year-old cold case on social media Tuesday”NBC 24 News article

Interested in unsolved murder cases? Check out the unsolved murder of the Nation River Lady and mysterious slaying of realtor Lindsay Buziak.

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Published inTrue CrimeUnsolved Murder Files



  1. Todd Todd

    Wow, what a sad situation… my mind always goes toward the spouse initially when the victim is murdered and the spouse is shot but with a non life threatening injury.. after reading this I lean towards the husband but will do some more research …
    great read! Thanks

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Todd. I know, such a tragic case. Like you, I typically turn towards the spouse in situations such as this, especially given Cathy’s husband had a non-life threatening injury. Oddly, it just doesn’t feel right that her husband was involved. Usually the police give some hint, and what did he do with the murder weapon? Who did the other witnesses see? Maybe he hired someone. And I wouldn’t be shocked if it was him. Let me know if you unearth anything!

  2. Marlene Marlene

    Hi Christine. I think Richard hired someone to murder his wife. I think the chances of the murder showing up at the exact time Cathy opened the safe, although possible, highly unlikely. Seems like a set-up to me.

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Marlene. Thanks for reading. I agree with you that the timing is quite the coincidence. I’m still not sure Richard was involved, but he definitely could’ve been. And as I mentioned, sadly people are often murdered by those closest to them.

  3. Gracie Gracie

    I also think this sounds like a “murder for hire”. People just don’t appear wearing a mask and carrying a gun in hopes someone will show up. Sounds more like a premeditated “hit” to me. Then again, there is so much we are not privy to. Finances, insurance policies, etc. Sometimes relationships look wonderful to the outside world, but are not behind closed doors. Also, it seems strange that Richard heard the two shots aimed at his wife. He said there were 2 or 3 shots fired at him. No one else was in the shop so why would the shooter not want to make sure that Richard was dead also? Maybe he ran out of ammo?

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Gracie. Great point that we are missing so much information about this case that would help us formulate more solid theories. And very true that relationships can look great from the outside but be the opposite (I used to me in one!). I never thought that maybe the shooter ran out of ammo; that’s an interesting and possible suggestion for why Richard was left alive. Like you, however, I wonder if there is more to this case than first meets the eye!

  4. the times paper the times paper

    Nice post.

    • Christine Christine

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Terrence a taylor Terrence a taylor

    I would speculate that maybe there was a drug debt owed.I honestly don’t think the husband was involved directly but perhaps indirectly .I had problems about 15 yrs ago with bad parts from the place .let the cops do there job cause there the ones getting paid to do it .too many self proclaimed detectives and no results ??

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Terrence. Thanks for reading. I haven’t seen any mention at all of drugs in this case. But I guess you never know.

  6. Theresa Theresa

    It was the husband.
    1. whose looking to rob a junk yard in cold ass ohio in January?
    2. just so happens they come back at the opportune time for the robber?
    3. if pipes are being checked why did she go in?
    4. most burglars aren’t killers the person was masked and got what they wanted…why kill her and injure him?
    5. junk yard is not on a residential street who are these bystanders that scene this person leave?
    6. for TPD to not even consider Richard is a problem in itself
    7. He had it done!

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Theresa. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to share your insights. I agree with you that the husband is a possible suspect for many of the reasons you discuss above. Here is hoping that one day soon the police can help Cathy’s loved ones attain at least some sense of justice. Thanks again.

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