On Friday, December 9, 1955, Carolyn Marie Nevins waited for her father to pick her up on the University of Nebraska at Omaha Campus at 10:00 pm. The temperature was 19 degrees. She walked to the Administration Building to wait for her father inside where it was warm. Jodie Miller, a night school student, reported seeing Nevins waiting. When Miller’s cab arrived, she asked Nevins if she wanted a ride. She declined because her dad was picking her up. Ten minutes later, the janitor locked the east doors of the Administration Building sending her outside in the cold to wait. Her dad and brother never showed up. She got two dimes out of her purse and headed for the bus stop on 60th and Dodge Street, three hundred feet from the building. She never made it home.
Around 11:20 pm, the bus arrived eastbound to the university bus stop and saw no one. From 11:00 pm to 11:15 pm, four people saw Nevins at the bus stop and a man nearby. At 4:10 am, a bakery truck driver discovered her body next to a university snow-covered road. No signs of struggle or sexual assaulted existed. Someone shot Nevins four times with a .32-30 caliber weapon. A bullet passed through her upper left arm; another struck her left arm and entered her lung. A third struck her breastbone; the final one struck her left shoulder. After being shot, she crawled more than 100 feet. Her purse was still on her arm and its contents untouched. Police never solved Nevins’ murder.
Nevins last day consisted of classes, studying, debate, and work. In the morning, she attended a class in Play Production. She then took attendance for a history instructor, and worked at the library until lunch. In the afternoon, she participated in a debate contest against local colleges arguing the merits of a guaranteed annual wage. She had soup, salad, and coffee for dinner and met with her debate coach to talk about strategy for the next day’s debate. Between 8:30 pm and 9:50 pm, she returned to the library to continue filing government reports. Putting on her, “cloth coat with the fur collar,” she headed to the Administration Building to wait for her dad to pick her up.
Within days, the police questioned two men and canvassed 85 homes near the college. Many reported hearing gunshots between 11:00 pm and 12:00 am. A cab driver said in a bar that he “killed that broad.” The police gave him a lie detector test and checked to see if any evidence showed that he was the killer. Police cleared him of the murder. The next person questioned was a man who kept providing bogus tips to the police on the Nevins murder. Police found no evidence tying him to the murder. The case of Carolyn Nevins is one of Omaha’s unsolved mysteries and the police are still uncertain of who killed this UNO student that fateful night.
[i] [i] “Girl Tells of Seeing Slain Coed in Hall” (14 December 1955). The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, IA), pg. 1.
[ii] Facts and Theory Used in Tracing Last Hours of Carolyn Nevins on Night Her Slayer Struck” (22 January 1956), Omaha World-Herald, pg. 66.
[iii] “After 4 Years, Nevins Slaying Still Unsolved” (10 December 1959), Omaha World-Herald, pg. 29.
[iv] “Coed Slain on Campus Believed Victim of Sadist” (11 December 1955), Evansville Courier and Press (Evansville, Indiana), pg. 1.
[vi] “Intensive Search Being Made for Coed’s Slayer” (13 December 1955), Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA), pg. 3.