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