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Murders of Phylicia Thomas and Gwendel Greenblatt investigated on Still A Mystery

Pics of Phylicia Thomas and Gwendel Greenblatt
The murders of Pics of Phylicia Thomas and Gwendel Greenblatt have remained unsolved for nearly two decades. Pic credit: The Charley Project and @In Memory of Gwendel Talijan Greenblatt/Facebook

Still A Mystery is investigating two more murders this week; firstly, the disappearance and assumed murder of Phylicia Thomas from Pennsylvania and Gwendel Greenblatt, who was killed in her apartment in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Thomas vanished from her home in the rural Sweet Valley area of Luzerne County in PA in 2004, an area that has been blighted by disappearances and murders. No sign of Thomas has been seen since, but the police treated her case as highly suspicious.

Greenblatt was shot multiple times in her West Palm Beach apartment in 2003, in a case where suspects have emerged, but zero arrests have been made.

The murder of Phylicia Thomas

Phylicia Thomas was just 22-years-old when she vanished without a trace on February 11, 2004, from her home in Lake Township, PA. Her boyfriend, Ed Rudaski, claims that he had fallen asleep on the sofa, and when he awoke, she was gone. The cops looked into Rudaski and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

This case is notable for its coincidences; just three years previously, Thoma’s friend, 18-year-old Jennifer Barziloski, had also vanished from the area under similar circumstances. Both cases were deemed suspicious, but neither has been solved.

Thomas had taken it upon herself to investigate her friend’s disappearance, and her mom, Pauline Bailey, believes her daughter may have discovered the truth about what happened to Barziloski and may have paid for that information with her life.

In April 2010, the authorities found a skull, which they concluded belonged to Barziloski. At the time, they said they were looking into connections between the two cases.

One possible suspect was Steven Martin, a friend of Rudaski’s, who just happened to speak to Thomas shortly before she vanished. He is also thought to have been the last person to have had contact with Barziloski.

Martin ran afoul of the law in 2004 for another crime and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He had been involved in a police car chase, which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander. In 2005, he hanged himself in his jail cell.

The state police have said that the case remains active and that they are looking for a particular suspect from the Sweet Valley area who they believe may have been involved in Thomas’s disappearance. However, as of the time of writing, nobody has been charged.

The murder of Gwendel Greenblatt

On February 5, 2003, Gwendel Greenblatt was walking home from work and was speaking to a friend on a cellphone as she entered her apartment. Disturbingly, the friend heard Greenblatt scream and drop her phone; she immediately called the cops.

When the cops arrived, they found the 35-year-old lying in a bedroom walk-in closet; she had been shot multiple times. There were .380-caliber gunshot casings on the floor.

The investigators also found the front door was unlocked, and her pet dog was in the apartment with its leash on. Perhaps, crucially there was also a cigarette butt.

The police subsequently named Greenblatt’s husband, Matthew Greenblatt, as a potential suspect. And the DNA found on the cigarette butt was a match to an individual called Richard Engel. However, neither suspect has faced any charges.

More from Still A Mystery

Follow the links to read about more murders and disappearances that remain unsolved.

Nancy Moyer vanished from her in Tenino, Washington, in 2009, after her children had gone to visit their father. Chillingly, the cops found two used wine glasses in her living room, but there were no other signs to indicate what had happened to her.

Cole Thomas was driving from Minnesota to Florida for thanksgiving when he jumped out of his car in Benson, North Carolina, and was never seen again. Meanwhile, Yolanda Bindics went to pick up milk on her way home; her decomposed remains were found in a forest two years later.

Still A Mystery airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When not writing for Monsters and Critics he loves watching...read more

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