What Happened the Night of March 20, 1995?
On the evening of March 20, 1995, Julie Lynn Ferguson, a 17-year-old high school student, ended her shift as a cashier at Linens N Things at a strip mall in Greenbelt, Maryland. She called her mom to confirm that friends were going to pick her up. She said goodnight to co-workers, went into the liquor store next door to buy a soda and sat on a flower box close to the street and waited for her ride. Witnesses waved to Julie as they ducked into the liquor store. They saw a red/maroon Jetta-like car pull up in front of where Julie was sitting but thought nothing of it, perhaps thinking the car was her ride or friends saying hello. However, when Julie’s actual friends arrived, Julie had vanished. The only trace left of her was a shopping bag and a soda can that was still wet with condensation.
Julie had no known enemies and was generally liked by many different groups of people. Those who knew Julie don’t think she would willingly get into a car with someone she didn’t know. Julie wouldn’t wait outside alone in an area where she thought she wasn’t safe. After all, the strip mall where she worked still had stores open—a liquor store, a Wendy’s, a Safeway. Greenbelt is known for its police presence and it wouldn’t have been unusual to see a patrol car standing or parked somewhere in the strip mall. People were rollerblading in the parking lot, friends and acquaintances of Julie saw or spoke to her up to moments before she vanished. She was there and then she was not.
The next morning, her body was found alongside a road named Daisy Lane, which is located just a few short miles from where she was taken. She had been strangled and her throat cut. There was no sign of sexual assault. No one knows if she knew her attacker(s) or if she was the victim of a random predator looking for an opportunity.
For the most accurate/comprehensive narrative,
please see In the Media for newspaper articles.
Julie’s murderer(s) may still be out there, even decades later. Perhaps this person or persons have more victims under their belt. Perhaps someone who knows something has been carrying the weight of this information for decades.
We urge anyone with information to do the right thing: Come forward and provide Julie’s family and friends with answers.
What has happened cannot be undone. Ever. Forgiveness is also not guaranteed, but it can never occur unless the guilty party comes forward.
We’re hoping that someone remembers something that will help solve this senseless murder. A Look Back: March 1995.
9 thoughts on “Who Murdered Julie Ferguson?”
Will there be a 25th anniversary reunion on March 20, 2020? My daughter was same age and knew her. I had a picture of a group of students, including Julie, at the Chart House in Annapolis. My daughter’s best friend Janine worked at Linens and Things. Such a sad, sad time. I went to her funeral.
Thank you for keeping the Faith to find Justice for Julie. Praying for your efforts.
Mother of Jaclyn Hay, Student at Eleanor Roosevelt HS
Sorry to have missed this. Thank you for commenting! There are no plans for a future anniversary vigil. We’re hoping the reason is that we don’t get to 30 years without this being solved. If anything is planned, we’ll be sure to post it to the Justice for Julie Ferguson Facebook page.
Thank you and God Bless!
I hung out with the same crowd as Julie but didn’t personally know her. This case has always bothered me. She was my age, she was beautiful, she was young and didn’t deserve this. No one deserves to be murdered. This is my opinion. Several witnesses place thisred Volkswagen Jetta where she was last seen. She was talking to them so obviously she wasn’t feeling threatened according to other accounts of her relaxed demeanor. Here’s the part that just puts the “Ah ha” on the whole thing. Is it just a coincidence that this same vehicle was then seen where she was murdered…with no occupants then shortly a time later the car is gone. In a case of murder this is no coincidence. Why can’t the police or why didn’t the police run a check on every Volkswagen from the DMV that fit the year and make and then cross reference to see if anyone stood out as someone who lived close by, who went to her school etc
Instead they focus on a man who’s DNA has been cleared who is in hiding clearly. Perhaps he’s afraid the same harm will come to his own daughter. Maybe it’s not about him. All I know is there DNA of the KILLER….. I PRAY THEY HAVE CONTINUED TO CROSS REFERENCE TO INCLUDE FBI DATABASE. I pray the sick people or person is one day caught and if not I know they will be punished in eternal hell. -CH
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Just watched Julie’s story on ID. I lived in Greenbelt as a child, was gone way before Julie was born. My heart goes out to her friends and family!!!
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Thank you for your comment. It means a lot that others are learning about her life and the continued injustice surrounding her murder.
Good points. DeSilva made comments that made him a suspect in Julie’s case so he brought it on himself. He has done similar in other cases.
The red car is a critical piece. “Victor” mentioned in the Paula Zahn episode drove a red Jetta and had an alibi but not a truly solid one. DeSilva is rumored to have had a red car that he destroyed after Julie’s murder per a PI who worked the case in the 90s. It’s key to interview the witnesses who saw the occupants of the red car but that’s not happening. There are ideas about who it might have been but without anyone interviewing that witness who likely would have known the suspected occupants or at least of known who they are/were, they can’t be ruled out or confirmed.
Since there’s DNA this could possibly be a good case for genetic genealogy, which has solved many old/cold cases when all else failed.
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Forensics has to catch up with the evidence they have from Julie’s case. Hopefully, one day, there will be answers but in older cases where evidence is stored improperly or never collected properly, it’s very challenging. Not hopeless but not a slam dunk either.