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Murders of young woman, brother a mystery 60 years later

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 05 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 06 2013 07:00:59 PM CST

The mystery of Black Rock Creek is one those in Nazareth, Northampton Co., know well.

NAZARETH, Pa. -

The mystery of Black Rock Creek is one those in Nazareth, Northampton Co., know well.

Thursday will be the 60th anniversary of the brutal murders of an 18-year-old girl and her special needs brother.

"These are some of the sketches she would do," said Barry Ihle, a relative from Bethlehem. "It's been rough. I've been carrying this around for 60 years."

Ihle's cousins, Gail Schultz, 18, and her 12-year-old special needs brother, Paul, were found dead next to Black Rock Creek in Nazareth, Northampton Co., on Mar. 7, 1953.

"It ripped my mother's side apart for years," Ihle said.

Old newspaper headlines highlight the horror the crime carried in the community.

Gail and Paul, who Ihle called "Butchie," were inseparable and went for a walk near the creek, something Ihle, who was 9-years-old at the time, said the three would often do.

"What Gail liked to do was get quartz stone and go along the creek to see who got the shiniest stone," Ihle said.

Not knowing what happened that day has plagued police, the community and Ihle for six decades.

"Someone didn't like the way Butchie, the way he was acting.  He was probably screaming and moaning. This guy didn't like it, so attacked them," said Ihle, who believes it may have been a homeless man he saw a week before. The papers said a man in tweed would hold the answers.

But in the decades that followed, few clues emerged. State police said the case is still active and the second oldest regional case they have, but they haven't had any leads in years.

 "Sorry to say I didn't know her all that well," classmate Harold Kratzer said of Gail.

But that didn't stop him from serving as one of Gail's pall bearers or from leading the charge in 2011 to dedicate a memorial, which sits behind Nazareth Area High School.

"I'm glad because otherwise there would be nothing for anyone to remember," he said.

As for Ihle, he's still coming to grips with the case not being solved but knows it could have easily been a triple murder mystery.

The landscape around the creek may have changed, but the mystery and heartbreak remain.