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Unveiling Shadows: The Enigma of Pauline Storment's 1971 Cold Case

Picture it: the night of April 12, 1971, a peaceful evening in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A young woman named Pauline Storment was walking south along Duncan Avenue, having just left the University of Arkansas. Little did she know, this seemingly ordinary walk would tragically mark the end of her life. Storment was brutally stabbed seven to eight times, and the echoes of her harrowing murder still reverberate through time. Over fifty years later, her case remains a haunting unsolved puzzle, casting a shadow over the city.

Amidst the backdrop of this chilling crime, another figure emerges: Wallace Peter Kunkel. On that fateful day, April 12th, Kunkel found himself in police custody after a routine vehicle stop on Dickson Street. Mike Boyd, the driver, was at the wheel when the officers intervened. What followed was a sequence of events that would etch itself into the pages of history.

Intriguingly, Kunkel's clothes bore traces of blood, raising eyebrows and suspicions alike. He fit the profile of a potential killer, but a puzzling twist lay in the blood evidence – it wasn't the copious amount one might expect from such a violent crime.

A captivating detail comes to light: the blood found on Kunkel's clothing matched both his own blood type and that of the victim, Pauline Storment. Furthermore, the murder weapon – a Mantover or was it Hantover brand Inc knife with a wooden handle – held the same type A human blood. Regrettably, due to the technology limitations of the time, further tests on the blood's age or origin couldn't be conducted, leaving the case with a frustrating void.

 An intriguing figure emerges from the shadows – Mike Boyd. During questioning, Boyd admitted to being in the vehicle when the Fayetteville PD pulled them over. He placed himself at the Gray House,  an apartment building at the corner of University and Whiteside, until 9:30 PM only to return at five till 10 PM but did not provide any hint of where he went. 

This window of time aligns with the period of Pauline Storment's tragic demise.

52 years later and I have questions based on Boyd's own testimony in a Prosecuting Attorneys Hearing.


Richard Finley's testimony states that Peter Kunkel, Terry Smith, Mike Michaels, and Tim Copeland all had taken speed that night. Yet, he also stated that neither Mike Boyd nor himself had taken speed that night. 


Could Boyd's movements be purely coincidental, or is there a deeper connection? Witness statements from Robert L. Spray and John A. Hall provide a tantalizing insight. They recount seeing an impaired man park a vehicle at 12 South Hill on the night of the murder, hinting at a possible timeline for the crime.

Delving into modern tools, Google Maps reveals the spatial dimension of this decades-old enigma. The distance between 35 Duncan Ave, the site of the murder, and the Gray House, Boyd's claimed location, paints an intriguing picture. It takes about nine minutes to cover this ground on foot, allowing for a plausible sequence of events or fast via a car of which there was no description provided.

Witness reports provide a vivid snapshot of the events:

Mike Adair recounts an intriguing sight - a man with disheveled hair, swept to the side, closely tailing Pauline.

In a moment of clarity, Joe Clifton engaged with Pauline, querying whether the individual trailing her was her assailant. Her affirmative response painted a chilling picture. Joe further detailed the man's appearance: a brown sports coat enveloping his frame, hair that teetered between blonde and sandy hues, and a height ranging from 5'10" to 6', complemented by glasses.

Consider, then, the confluence of these reports with a media-documented witness testimony. The depicted man, matching the potential description of the assailant, sprints eastward on Center Street, sculpting a plausible narrative.

Could it be that someone embarked on a perilous journey? A journey that led them from 12 South Hill - a drive punctuated by drug-induced haze - to the harrowing act of stabbing, followed by a northward dash along Duncan, followed by an eastward sprint on University, perhaps utilizing the path through Evergreen Cemetery to reach the Gray House.

Linda Langenbruch's account introduces an eerie auditory dimension. Secluded in her rear bedroom, she distinctly hears a female voice urgently command "Get Out" twice, the words resonating with clarity. Silence befalls before the abrupt sound of a rapidly receding car, the voice and vehicle originating from the northwest section of her home. The address 27 South Duncan, situated on the western side of the street, suggests that unless the sound ricocheted off nearby vehicles, the speeding car might have raced down Harmon Avenue.

Yet, an enigma lingers: the hastening car on Harmon Avenue. Could it be linked, or might it remain an elusive thread in this intricate tapestry of events? Regrettably, answers might forever remain shrouded in uncertainty.

It's essential to underline that these observations don't assign guilt to Mike Boyd. Rather, they shine a light on the curious coincidences and gaps in the case. As time passes and memories fade, the story of Pauline Storment's tragic death continues to beckon amateur sleuths and seasoned investigators alike. The past may hold the key to unveiling the truth, and it's up to those captivated by this cold case to unravel the threads and bring justice to a long-forgotten victim.


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