In 2002, the community of Bedford Park, IL., a quiet suburb of Chicago, was shocked by the brutal murder of 27-year-old Jennifer Boyd.
On August 3, Boyd was working as a manager of a storage facility when she was stabbed multiple times in an empty locker and left to die. She had left a sign at her office stating she’d be right back; unfortunately, she didn’t survive the attack.
The alarm was raised after a passerby heard knocking, followed by faint cries for help coming from a locker. When the cops prised open the door, they found a young woman lying face down in a pool of blood. Boyd had been stabbed in the lung and died from her injuries.
Bedford Park hadn’t had a murder in decades
This was a community where officers said they hadn’t had a murder in decades, and they were determined to bring the killer to justice no matter how long it took.
Investigators worked several promising leads for over a year and a half, but unfortunately, the case grew cold and was shelved in 2004. Not even a reward of $25,000 for information could move the case along.
However, the police wouldn’t let it lie, and the case was reopened in 2012.
Investigators conducted a fresh round of interviews, which threw up new leads and led them in the direction of Steven Podkulski.
Podkulski was a career criminal who had a lengthy rap sheet that included convictions for burglary, weapons, and drug charges. He had already spent a large portion of his adult life in prison.
In 2014 Podkulski was just walking out of prison to begin probation for an unrelated crime when he was rearrested and charged with first-degree murder. “We got him as he was walking out,” said Bedford Park police Detective Andrew Smuskiewicz.
More from On the Case with Paula Zahn
Follow the links to read about more horrific murders examined by Paula Zahn.
Donna Walker was only 20 years old when she was stabbed over 50 times in her apartment in Norfolk, Virginia. She was found slumped in a pool of blood by her father. Her killer Daniel Johnston skipped town the next day. It took three decades for law enforcement to pin the murder on him.
Allison Clark was shot dead at point-blank range as she drove with her 3-year-old daughter. She was the victim of a vicious criminal gang led by Ozzie Nelson Ibarra and Sabino Orlando Martinez that had been terrorizing women in Port Arthur, TX., for a decade.
On the Case with Paula Zahn airs Sundays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.