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Police looking into alleged confession in 1985 cold-case murder of Barre Mills woman



It has been considered a cold case for decades, but there may be new information involving a 38-year-old murder case in Vernon County.

A patient at the Mendota Mental Health Institute reportedly confessed to the 1985 murder of Terry Dolowy, telling his nurse that he killed her.

The information was passed along to Madison police, which notified investigators from Vernon County.

Dolowy went missing from her Barre Mills home in February of 1985. Her decapitated body was found five days later in Vernon County.

The man who made the confession was reportedly a friend of Dolowy’s fiance.

In a Facebook post, the La Crosse and Vernon County sheriffs both said they are aware of the new development but had no comment.

In 2010, La Crosse Sheriff’s Captain Kurt Papenfuss was quoted by WIZM News as saying that new information in the case could be obtained from a forensic anthropologist in Minnesota, who had been studying Dolowy’s remains. No arrests resulted from that investigation.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anon Illinois

    September 14, 2023 at 11:13 am

    As a childhood classmate of Terry’s, I pray that this gruesome crime is resolved so her loved ones find closure. RIP Terry.

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