The Ricky Beard and Mary Leonard murder case is a real “whodunit.”
And everyone disagrees on the “who.”
The teen sweethearts from Akron disappeared 40 years ago. Their remains were found six years later. Detectives have spent the past four decades trying in vain to solve the case.
Over the years, three main theories emerged for who killed them: a motorcycle gang that some think could have targeted Ricky because of a theft or drugs; an angry homeowner who lived next to where the teens’ remains were found — and may have caught the couple making out on his property; and serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards, who was known to target young couples.
Here’s a look at where family members and the investigators stand on these theories:
Luanne Eddy, Ricky’s sister: Angry homeowner. “I think that’s the most logical. It has a full beginning and end.… Maybe we have to go with that. I don’t know. There are holes in every story.”
Nancy Flach, Mary’s sister: Angry homeowner. “I felt, from what I heard, that it was a good possibility he was the one.”
Tom Leonard, Mary’s brother: Motorcycle gang. “My feeling was: it was her connection to Ricky.”
Retired Detective John Bailey: Motorcycle gang.
Retired officer Janet Mathews: Motorcycle gang.
Late Akron officer Bob Swain: Angry homeowner. “[He] had the means, motive and opportunity to have committed this double homicide,” he said in his investigative report.
Lt. Dave Whiddon: Undecided, but when asked about the angry homeowner theory, he said: “I think it’s very strong. I think most of it now is circumstantial.… I think it’s just as good, if not better, than anything else we looked at.”