On The Case With Paula Zahn is examining the murder of teenager Lori Nesson who was killed by Charles Webber and Robert Meyer in 1974. The murder had remained a mystery for 47 years until the killers were finally identified in 2021.
On September 27, 1974, 15-year-old Lori left a party not far from her home and was never seen alive again. Her naked body was found in a roadside ditch in Reynoldsburg, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. The case was initially hampered by the autopsy report, which put her death down as unexplained asphyxiation; however, the cops soon deemed the case a homicide.
Unfortunately, there was a considerable lack of evidence which caused the case to run cold. Family members would have to wait until March 2021 before the truth finally emerged.
The killers, Webber and Meyer, had first met in the 1960s, and when they were both released in the 1970s, they embarked on a campaign of terror throughout the Columbus suburbs, abducting and raping girls and women. And the pair were eventually pinned to Lori’s murder through advances in DNA forensic science.
Meyer had already spent 25 years in jail for the rape of three women and a further ten years for second-degree murder, and in 2011, the cops connected Meyer to another murder of a teenage girl.
DNA evidence placed Meyer as the killer of 17-year-old Karen Adams on March 9, 1975, in an area not too far from Lori’s murder. The investigators also had the DNA of a second individual, but at this point, they remained unidentified.
In 2012 Meyer pleaded guilty to killing Adams and was sentenced to 15 years to life. He has since died in prison.
DNA evidence finally led to a break in Lori Nesson murder case
A breakthrough in the Lori case came in late 2020 when a member of the public pointed out to investigators the similarity of the two cases. The cops ran some DNA testing, and they finally linked both Meyer and Webber to Lori’s killing. The murder was eventually solved, but there was no court case; both men were dead, Webber had passed away in 1992.
Neither Webber nor Meyer got their day in front of a judge for the killing of Lori Nesson, but at least her family finally got some closure on the case.
More from On The Case With Paula Zahn
Follow the links to read about more historic murders investigated by Paula Zahn.
Darlene Krashoc was a promising young soldier based with the Army at Fort Carson, Colorado, when she was brutally raped and murdered by fellow serving soldier Michael Whyte in 1987.
Julie Ferguson was just 17-years-old when she vanished while waiting for friends to pick her up from the mall. Her murdered body was found a few miles away, and her killer has never been found.
On The Case With Paula Zahn airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.