Valentine’s Day Killings
Jesse McBane, 19, and his girlfriend of three years, Patricia Mann, 20 were last seen leaving a Valentine’s dance at Watts Hospital in Durham, where Mann was a student, on the night of Feb. 12, 1971. A few weeks later the couple’s bodies were found “tied up, strangled and covered with leaves in the forest, off a one-track dirt road,” in Orange County.
According to authorities, the couple was tortured in a “sadistic prolonged strangling.”
The deaths made national headlines and investigators believe someone abducted the young couple from a secluded lover’s lane area near Medford Road. Their fully clothed bodies were found tied to a tree. The injuries sustained by the two were similar, but Mann suffered another injury. Autopsy reports showed a half-inch tear in her liver, which the medical examiner said could have been caused by a fist blow to the stomach prior to her death.
Rumors have swirled from the time of the murders that the killer was a prestigious man in the Durham community. Someone connected to the hospital where Patricia was a nursing student. To this day, no one has ever been arrested. Investigators believe the killer is still alive today.