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The Unsolved Murder of Kathleen Logar

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Case File Overview

When no one could reach 53-year-old Kathleen Logar in April 2004, her daughter, Teri Jo Silbert, contacted the Denver Police Department.

On Friday, April 16th, the police performed a welfare check and found Kathleen’s body in her home located in the 4100 block of Perry Street in Denver, Colorado.

An autopsy later determined that Kathleen had been strangled to death during the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 14th.

Photo of murder victim Kathleen Logar
Source: Find A Grave

Kathleen’s nude body was in the bathtub, and her “beautiful hair had been hacked to a stubble.” Additionally, bruises and small cuts covered her back and arms. Kathleen’s jaw and multiple bones in her neck had been broken during the vicious attack.

Kathleen’s murder remains unsolved.

Case File Theories

Stranger Killing

Was Kathleen murdered by a stranger? Perhaps during a robbery? Maybe. Kathleen’s house had been ransacked, and it was difficult to determine what, if anything, was stolen. However, there has never been any discussion of forced entry, which makes robbery more unlikely.

Plus, Kathleen’s murder seems especially personal and hate-fuelled. Either the intruder accidentally happened upon Kathleen in the bath, or they intentionally killed her and then left her naked body on display. Cutting off Kathleen’s hair strikes me as either the work of a killer with a hair fetish who no doubt would have gone on to kill a string of women in a similar fashion, or someone close to Kathleen who knew the pride she took in her hair and wanted to degrade her.

Although it is impossible to be one hundred percent sure, I doubt Kathleen was killed by stranger.

Bill Polhemus

Was Kathleen murdered by someone from within her inner circle? I think this is a probable theory. Most people, including the Denver police, consider Bill Polhemus the prime suspect.

Kathleen Logar and Bill Polhemus 

Photo of murder victim Kathleen Logar and Bill Polhemus
Source: The Denver Post

Kathleen and Polhemus first met at a party in 1966 when she was just 15 years old. After what has been described by many as an extremely rocky relationship, Kathleen became pregnant with Polhemus’s child in 1970.

Kathleen felt like she had little support and that Polhemus would make a terrible father. She decided to give her daughter, Teri Jo, up for adoption. Kathleen and Polhemus fell out of contact, and did not speak to one another for decades.

Fast forward to 2001, and a pregnant Terri Jo longed to find her birth parents. A month after filing the paperwork, Terri Jo and Kathleen were in contact. Kathleen reached out to Polhemus, and he was eager to meet his daughter and reconnect with Kathleen.

In March 2002, Kathleen, Terri Jo, and Polhemus, Logar had a five-day reunion. Shortly afterwards, the romance between Kathleen and Polhemus was rekindled.

Bill Polhemus, Teri Jo Silbert, and Kathleen Logar reunited in spring 2002

Bill Polhemus, left, Teri Jo Silbert, center, and Kathleen Logar, right, when birth parents and daughter reunited in Spring 2002
Source: The Denver Post

It isn’t known if Kathleen was aware of Polhemus’s repeated run-ins with the law and mental health issues. In 1982, Polhemus was arrested “for kidnapping, assaulting, and raping two women.” In March of 1983, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Polhemus was sent to the Pueblo state mental hospital. After his release, a supposedly “cured” Polhemus was arrested in 1997 for third-degree sexual assault. Polhemus claimed that his accuser was lying, a response that will become his go-to stance over the years to come.

After Kathleen and Polhemus reconnected, there was notable friction. For example, Kathleen disliked Polhemus’s excessive drinking, they fought about money, and Kathleen had yet to concede to moving in with him. Terri-Jo also said that they often argued about how Kathleen wore her hair. Kathleen liked wearing it curled, whereas Polhemus preferred it straight. Terri Jo explained, “It drove him crazy it took so long to curl her hair. He liked her hair a certain way.” In my mind, there is a connection to be made between Polhemus’s disdain for Kathleen’s hairstyling and the fact that her hair was chopped off during her murder.

It was Polhemus who called Terri Jo and told her that Kathleen was missing. He said that he had not been able to get ahold of Kathleen since he had talked to her on the phone late Tuesday, April 13th. According to Terri Jo, during that initial call about Kathleen’s disappearance, Polhemus stated, “I will be a suspect, but they can get my phone records, and they’ll see I called her home at 6:30 on Wednesday morning.” It is unsettling that Polhemus was already thinking about his alibi before anyone even knew that Kathleen was dead.

Equally as suspicious, during another call Polhemus told Terri Jo, “I hope they didn’t use my hedge trimmers to cut her hair.” Polhemus had brought his hedge trimmers to Kathleen’s house to do some yard work for her. With this statement, it appears as though he was trying to explain away how his gardening tools could have been used by the perpetrator. Polhemus’s hedge trimmers have never been found.

The police questioned Polhemus at least six times regarding his involvement in Kathleen’s death, and he failed a lie-detector test. He vehemently denies having any involvement in Kathleen’s murder.

Why has Polhemus not been charged with Kathleen’s murder? That is a good question. Soon after she was killed, Polhemus was inspected for injuries and none were noted. I find this a little strange, as I suspect that some of the wounds on Kathleen’s arms were defensive wounds and that she put up quite a fight. Also, the police have stated that they just do not have any physical evidence directly linking Polhemus to Kathleen’s death. His DNA would be in the house, and on Kathleen, as he often visited. Kathleen was strangled, so there is no real murder weapon that can be located and linked to Polhemus. And as I have already mentioned, his hedge trimmers conveniently vanished after the murder. The police are now counting on the public to come forward with information to help close this case.

You might be happy to learn that at least Polhemus is not a free man. A year after Kathleen was murdered, “Polhemus struck a 30-year-old woman in the head with a mallet when she went to his house to pick up clothing she had left there.” After being repeatedly raped, the naked woman escaped from her bedroom window and called the police. Polhemus claimed that the woman was mentally unbalanced and lying. The law finally caught up to Polhemus, however, and he was convicted of 9 felony counts and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.

Bill Polhemus

Photo of murder suspect Bill Polhemus
Source: The Denver Post

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of this case is that Terri Jo believes that Polhemus killed her mother, and that she is somehow responsible for Kathleen’s death. Terri Jo said, “Part of me is like, God, if I hadn’t met her, she probably wouldn’t have been murdered.”

Who do you think killed Kathleen?

By all accounts, Kathleen was a fun-loving and extraordinarily kind and giving person. She adored Elvis Presley and had a blast singing in karaoke bars. She dreamed of going to Nashville and becoming a country music star. Kathleen was a devout Catholic and would assist troubled people in any way she could, either with prayers or by opening her home to people who needed a meal. Kathleen’s loss was a huge blow to both her loved ones and the Denver community. It is beyond time that this case is resolved so that her loved ones can finally have some semblance of closure.

If you have any information that can help to close this case, please contact the Denver Police Department at 303-739-6000 or Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). Callers may remain anonymous and receive a reward up to $2,000.

Related reading

Kathleen Logar – Colorado Bureau of Investigation case file overview

Kathleen Logar – Denver Police Department case file overview

“Denver woman killed after daughter helped reunite biological parents”The Denver Post article

Kathleen E. “Kathy” Logar – Find A Grave

Interested in unsolved murders? Check out the slaying of the Sun Family and the mysterious murder of Sherry Black.

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Published inUnsolved Murder Files



  1. Michael Schneider Michael Schneider

    no offense to kathleen, but if she knew of his background, she shouldnt have got him involved in the ‘reunion’. she shoudlve told terri jo that he died or that for sure lets not get him involved with this ‘reunion’. kathleen brought him in to the picture. when a person is that sour of a grape, you gotta leave them out. the guy is a perpetual abuser and rapist. he needs to die in jail.

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Michael. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment! It’s unclear whether or not Kathleen knew of Polhemus’s criminal history. But even she did she might have believed that he was rehabilitated. I really don’t want to victim-blame because either way it’s tragic and no one deserves to be murdered. I can’t agree more that I hope he spends the rest of his life in jail. In my opinion, even that is too good of an end for him! Have a great week!

    • Clava Cairn Clava Cairn

      No offense to Kathleen, but I’m going to go ahead and be offensive anyway. Rude. The responsibility for her being murdered IS THE MURDERERS, not Kathleen’s.

      • MTS MTS

        uh, no. you have to protect yourself. you dont drive in certain neighborhoods especially at certain times. dont open door to strangers, etc. yes the murderers are the offensive players here, but a good defense can counter that offense, at least sometimes.

  2. TOdd TOdd

    This is such a no brainer in my opinion. The guy who murderer her is in jail, hopefully he will die in jail… too bad there is no dna to link him to this case.., he probably will never be charged for the offense unless a jail house snitch comes forward

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Todd. I agree. Odds are pretty high Kathleen’s killer is already behind bars. But I still hope somehow her loved ones can one day have some official closure. Thanks for reading!

  3. This case brings up an interesting question for me. After someone attacks and rapes two women, then is incarcerated for it, what makes them cured? What is the criteria for that judgement? I can understand letting Polhemus go after treatment the first time, but maybe it would have been better for everyone if he would have gone back to jail indefinitely after assaulting the third woman. Although there isn’t enough evidence to make a call, it seems that everyone would agree that he killed Kathleen. As much as we need to help and assist the mentally ill, we also have to temper our kindness, and be willing to place these individuals like Polhemus in a secure facility so that they don’t have a chance to act out their impulses on people like Kathleen. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing!

    • Christine Christine

      Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. I couldn’t agree more with your insights! The mentally ill definitely need our kindness and understanding; however, a line must be drawn when they become a danger to society. I checked out your site and love your historical true crime work. If you ever want to write a guest post for my site just reach out. My guest posts typically include an introduction area where the guest writer is introduced and links to their social media accounts and books/previous work are offered. You can check out some of the previous guest posts on my site to see what I mean, if you are interested. All the best! ~ Christine

      • I’d love to do a guest blog on your site! Your format sounds great. Please give me a week or two – because I’m just swamped with life stuff right now – and I’ll be in touch, if that’s okay with you. Thank you so much for the invitation!

        • Christine Christine

          Great! And no rush. I’m on holidays until after Labour Day. Feel free to contact me anytime after that. All the best with your life stuff! ~ Christine

    • Michael Schneider Michael Schneider

      yeah its sad that he was able to get out of jail after the previous rapes, ‘cured’ or not. i guess it doesnt matter, you do the time dictated by law or even get out early and can go do it again. there does need to be longer jail time for other acts than murder, hell some people that commit murder get plea deals that let them out after a short time. we need to get non violent drug offenders out of jail and maybe even drug dealers with no criminal past out of jails and lock those up for longer time that have done acts of rape or molestation.

      • Christine Christine

        Hi Michael. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. I agree that oftentimes the time served for many crimes does not seem to be in line with the heinous nature of the act. It’s a tough one for me, though. I’m for rehabilitation when possible, but I’m always torn when people reoffend and cause more damage. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

  4. Regina Bailey Regina Bailey

    Hello Christine, my name is Regina Bailey. I am Kathleen Logar’s sister. I did not know this website existed until my granddaughter found it and showed it to me today. I am thankful for your kindness and interest in my sister’s case. I also believe Bill either committed this murder, or had someone do it for him. He also called me on the Saturday morning after the fire department broke into the house and found her and told me “Kathy is dead. Poor Kathy, she was always talking about Jesus”. So, yes. I was notified by the killer of her death. I didn’t really suspect him then, but as time went on and he actually told me he flunked the polygraph, I knew he did it. I assure you my sister Kathy did not know he was a Level 3 sex offender. We all found out after this all happened. In fact I had never even met Bill, until 2003 when he and Kathy and Teri Jo came up to see all my family. In fact, I never even knew he was the father of Teri Jo until she and Kathy found each other through this agency in 2001. So as far as I am concerned, the right man is in prison. Maybe not for Kathy’s murder, but for trying to murder someone else. At least he is off the streets. Again, thank you and everyone else for you concern. If you have any questions, you can email me. Sincerely, Regina Bailey

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Regina. First off, I’m so tremendously sorry for your loss. I never had the joy of having a sister, but I do have three brothers and I can’t even fathom how I would cope if they were gone, let alone murdered. Thank you very much for reaching out and sharing these details with me and the readers of the site. How terrible that you learned of Kathleen’s death from Bill! What on earth would her talking about Jesus have to do with her being killed? It appears as though Bill’s crazy was already showing. It’s a relief that Bill is in prison and, as you mentioned, off the streets so he cannot hurt anyone else. However, I still hope one day the police can find enough evidence to charge and convict Bill of Kathleen’s murder (although I think this seems less urgent to them with Bill safely in prison). I think it’s an injustice for Kathleen’s murder to go officially “unsolved.” Thanks again, and all the best to you and yours in 2019, Regina.

      • Mark Sefcovic Mark Sefcovic

        Hi Regina, my husband knew Kathy from Pueblo he is a Sefcovic and is interested in buying a headstone for her grave, can you contact us. He spoke to you about it along time ago and when he went to buy the stone recently they want to talk to a family member . I don’t know if you will see the email address for us maybe Christine can get us connected.

        • Christine Christine

          Thanks, Mark. And Regina just let me know if you’d like me to send your email to Mark.

          • Regina Bailey Regina Bailey

            Wow christine thank you for sending me these emails from Mark
            Yes my sister Kathy did talk about Mark and his brother Mike and their family quite often. I will help them with whatever they need to do this. Seriosly I thought my sister, Chris had taken care of the headstone but she is develpmentally disabled so she has problems of her own. If you could send this comment to Mark i would very much appreciate it
            You have my permission to give him my email address as well. Thank you so much. Regina Bailey

          • Christine Christine

            Hi Regina. I’m happy to help in any way I can! I’ve approved this comment so Mark can see it and I just privately sent your email contact info to him via email so hopefully he reaches out to you. Take care, Christine

        • Christine Christine

          Hi Mark, I just emailed you Regina’s email address so you can reach out to her. She’s very interested in hearing from you. All the best, Christine

  5. Louis Alvarado Louis Alvarado

    I think the murder was done by my neighbors brother, we lived at 3946 Perry and they lived at 3944, the neighbors brother was just to weird and would not say nothing when spoken to. My ex-wife (now) was scared of him and just didn’t feel right about him, one day she was hanging the laundry on the clothes line and he was just standing there looking at her, like he just wanted her, she called me outside and told me and I saw him looking at her, so I told him, Can I help you, do u have a problem? he never said nothing and just walked away slowly and looking back at me. His brother was a bouncer at some Mexican club and yes they were from Mexico and can speak and understand English. Anyway I asked the bouncer what was his brother’s problem by just staring at my ex-wife, he said he didn’t know but would talk to him. Following week, my ex was doing laundry and there he was standing by the fence looking at her, so I threw a big rock at him, aiming for his head, well he ducked and just walked away again and went inside just looking at me and not saying nothing. Again I asked his brother the bouncer, what was his brother’s problem, all he said, I’m sorry, I will talk to him. And then we moved and later here on the news about that lady being murder. And when he would go for a walk he would always go in that direction where that lady lived.

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Louis. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to share your insights. What an amazing story! The neighbour does sound like a suspicious character. And I’m sorry your wife at the time had to experience that. Please be sure to pass the tip on to the police. You just really never know what can help close a cold case. Thanks again.

  6. I’d really love to all neighbours to be questioned about her Kathleen murder. Ofocurse, all the information they can give needs to be given. Terri Jo needs to stop blaming herself, its not her fault. Kathleens murder was predicted to me honestly. Being with someone who had 2+ accusations about raping is a big big red flag, but I still think the first thing police shouldve done is go to neighbours for more clues about her murderer. Maybe one of them saw someone entering house, someone going out of it, maybe a neighbour is a murderer? There’s a lot of questions we still don’t have answer too. This is such a cold case that needs to be solved. Wish all the best to her family, they really need all our prayers.

    • Christine Christine

      Hi! Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. Like you, I sure do hope the neighbours were questioned. They would have been a valuable source of information! I’d be shocked if they weren’t. You’re so right… it’s beyond time for this heartbreaking cold case to be solved! Kathleen’s loved ones deserve some kind of justice for their tragic loss.

  7. Phil Phil

    The first mystery is how did Kathleen know how to get in touch with Polhemus after over 30 years? It sounds like Kathleen got caught up in the emotions of the reunion with her natural daughter and did her best to help Terri Jo find him.
    Polhemus looks very guilty here but I would ask a few questions if I was investigating this. Was Kathleen involved with someone else before Terri Jo and Polhemus entered her life? Sounds like Kathleen was very generous with her time. The article states “she opened up her home to the less fortunate” there could have been a person who took this generosity a step further than what it was to just help someone.
    As for Terri Jo, I’m sure she lives with this every day. What should be a celebratory time turned into such tragedy? We probably will never get the answers to these questions now, but in 2004 there was more than one way to look into this crime. The process would have eliminated many theories and pointed to the real killer who very well could be Polhemus.

    • Christine Christine

      Hi Phil. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to share your thoughts. I agree that Polhemus is the most likely suspect. But I also appreciate the questions you ask to narrow down the potential suspect field. Kathleen’s killer could very well have been a current or recent person she was dating, or even one of the people she was widely known to help. I have a feeling, though, the police had a strong suspect but lacked the evidence to convict. My heart goes out to Terri Jo for this tragic loss and the lack of justice. Take care ~ Christine

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