Manage episode 291461799 series 2077470
This week Melissa brings forth another unnerving “unsolved” murder – this one from May of 1997 - that really isn’t unsolved at all; a case where the search for justice has been unrelenting for nearly a quarter of a century. And despite the fact that the culprit is alive and in plain sight of God and everybody – no arrests have ever been made. The victim – then 44 year-old Monika Luise Rizzo (nee McKinney) – had by all accounts grown up happy, well-adjusted and well-taken care of by her adoptive parents, dad Bill McKinney and mom (also named) Monika McKinney. Because Bill was a career US Army officer, the family moved around a lot when Monika was young. But no matter where she lived, Monika Luise was always known to be enterprising, hard-working and honest to a fault. And Monika Luise maintained those traits for the remainder of her life, even though that life was never easy after she met Leonard “Lenny” Rizzo on a Honolulu beach in 1970 when she was just 17 and a senior in high school. A beach bum, motorcycle enthusiast and overall ne’er-do-well, Lenny convinced Monika Luise to marry him as soon as she turned 18, which is exactly what happened – over the strong objections of the McKinneys and the strong warnings of others familiar with Lenny and his family. And for 26 years, they stayed married. Had two kids – both boys. All seemed reasonably well…except that Lenny never really could hold down a job, drank, used drugs, belonged to a motorcycle gang and even ended up in jail on a narcotics charge for a couple of years. Through all of it, Monika Luise held down the fort, earned the family income and was always known as the most reliable employee wherever she worked. Throughout the marriage, there were signs that domestic violence may have been occurring – a black eye here, a burn or severe scratch there – but no one ever did anything, and Monika Luise never implicated Lenny in any of her injuries. But by Christmastime 1996 and moving into early 1997, the signs were getting unmistakable. Now living in San Antonio Texas, near her parents’ home where Bill McKinney had retired, Monika Luise had become one of the highest-regarded employees at the Texas Dept. of Human Resources – but trouble was obviously afoot. Between January and May 1997, she began to show signs of distraction and lack of personal care – and she lost so much weight that by some accounts she was down to 85 pounds by May 5…when, in the middle of the work day, Lenny Rizzo made an urgent call to Monika Luise at the office. And after she took that call, her coworkers saw her get up from her desk and – leaving all of her personal belongings behind – walk out of the room, never to be seen by them again. To this day no one knows what that conversation was about. But what is known is that completely shredded bone shards and skin and human body fluids found in Lenny Rizzo’s back yard were proven by DNA testing to be that of Moniika Luise McKinney Rizzo. And Lenny? Oh, he spent another few years in the joint for attempted murder of his new girlfriend – but he’s out now and the local DA still unbelievably claim that not enough evidence exists to indict him for the killing of Monika Luise. Prepare yourself for a detailed look into the life and death of a remarkable young woman for whom justice seems to have been permanently denied. That is, of course, unless YOU, brave Tip-Ster, know something that might close the door and result in an indictment – and if you do, call the San Antonio Police Department at (210) 207-7273. Also – recommended reading is The Raw Truth! Bill McKinney’s compelling re-telling of his daughter Monika’s story.