Marc Hoover:
Ohio’s unsolved homicides

I enjoy watching forensic science programs that demonstrate techniques used by law enforcement to catch killers. Supposedly it’s impossible to commit the perfect crime. I believe this to be true. Just because a case is unsolved doesn’t mean there isn’t a suspect. Often, police departments have suspects, but lack enough physical evidence to prosecute. Law enforcement must be careful when prosecuting killers because they only get one chance. If they don’t convict, they cannot try a person for the same crime again. Otherwise, it’s Double Jeopardy.

Marc Hoover

Most of the time, law enforcement can capture a killer by using DNA or other scientific techniques. It also helps that most homicide victims are killed by an acquaintance. The most difficult cases to solve are committed by serial killers or strangers because the killer or killers are strangers. Ohio has many unsolved murder mysteries. Here are three Ohio homicide cases that remain unsolved:

Amy Diesman: On September 12, 1987, Ms. Diesman was working at a convenience store in Pierce Township, Ohio. While working alone as a third shift clerk, someone killed her in the early morning hours. Her murder remains unsolved. Surviving family member and law enforcement still want her killer brought to justice.

Katelyn Markham: She was last seen alive on August 13, 2011. She disappeared from Fairfield Ohio. After failing to show up for work, authorities found her purse, dog and car at her home. Did someone kidnap her or did she go with someone she trusted? Her skeletal remains were found dumped nearly two years later in a desolate location in Indiana. Authorities continue their efforts to solve this homicide.

The Rhoden family: On April 22, 2016, someone executed eight members of the Rhoden family in Piketon, Ohio. This is one of the most disturbing unsolved homicides in Ohio. I have heard about connections to a Mexican drug cartel and many other unproven theories. But this case has the feel of a personal vendetta. Whoever killed these family members most likely held a grudge or sought revenge. Law enforcement will eventually solve this crime. Authorities, however, will need someone to provide information. I don’t think someone could murder eight people without confiding in a friend, relative or a clergyman.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine provides details about many of Ohio’s unsolved homicides at The site provides information about various homicide victims. I give much credit to law enforcement for solving homicides and other atrocious crimes. Family members want to see those who killed their loved ones pay for their crimes. Families shouldn’t have to wonder what happened to their murdered loved ones.

Granted, forensic science is successful, but it isn’t perfect. Law enforcement officials also need cooperative witnesses to reveal what they know. In the three cases I mentioned, someone has information about these murders. Perhaps they don’t want to get involved or don’t want to report a loved one or family member to authorities.

If you read this and have information about these crimes or any other unsolved homicides, I ask that you contact your local authorities. If you can spare a family member additional grief, why not help? You don’t have to provide your name because authorities accept anonymous tips.

Marc is a grandparent and longtime resident of Clermont County. Visit his author page Life with Grandpa and his blog Wise Grandpa.