Last Updated: August 3, 2003  


The Four Scientists Club was formed on July 27, 2003 to investigate the unsolved murder of Judith Mae Andersen. Judy went missing on the night of August 16th, 1957 and her body was found a week later in several metal drums in Montrose Harbor, Chicago, IL

Judith Mae Andersen

At the height of the search, it was the largest ever murder investigation in Chicago's history. Over 1,000 police officers (many new recruits), detectives, doctors, scientists, as well as over 100 divers were searching for clues (spelled "clews" in the Chicago Tribune back in 1957). It made headlines and remained front page news for several weeks before the trail eventually ran cold and there were no solid leads.

Although over 90,000 people were interviewed for information, no one was ever charged in the case. The standard for questioning witnesses at the time was use of the polygraph test (which was then claimed to only fail 1 out of 1,000 times). So on the basis of passing this lie detector test, all suspects were cleared and released (though some who failed it the first time were allowed to retake it).

The Four Scientists Club is: Peter, Alan, Shelly, and Brandon.

The Crime

Judith Mae Andersen, 15, was the only daughter of four children born to Ralph and Ruth Andersen of Chicago, Illinois. In August of 1957, weeks from her sixteenth birthday, she was shortly to begin her junior year at Chicago’s Austin High School (today known as Austin Community Academy).

On August 16th, a Sunday night, Judy phones her mother at 11:00 pm to ask if she may stay later at her friend’s house to finish watching a movie. Her mother says no, and Judy begins the 20-minute walk home alone, three quarters of a mile away.

She never arrives home.

On August 22, an oil drum is discovered in Chicago’s Montrose Harbor. It contains body parts, but police are unable to identify the victim.

On August 24, another drum is found, containing a human head, two hands, and an arm. The body is positively identified as Judith Mae Andersen. She had been shot four times in the head.

No one was ever charged with her death.

For a detailed timeline of events related to the crime, see the Chronology page.

“A Murder that Time Can’t Forget”
Chicago Tribune, August 17th, 1987




8/3/03 - More site updates. Cheryl wrote another installment for the 1957 Time Capsule as well as a summary of the crime (bottom left on this page).

I finally added something to the Judith section.

Peter and Shelly are doing further excavations of their basement today and will report on any new clews that are turned up.


8/2/03 - Even though the site is less than a week old, I have completely redone it to better organize information (thanks Cheryl for the input and design tips).

The Investigation Diary has now been moved to it's own page and can be accessed by clicking on the Our Investigation link above. I also added stills from the documentary I have been filming about our investigation.

Check out Peter's timeline of events in the Chronology section.

The first installment of the 1957 Time Capsule is also now available. More topics to be added soon.

This weekend we plan to meet to visit the house where Judith lived as well as other sites. Check back for updates.

If you have any details, memories or other information about the case, please email


"Some of the more than 100 skin divers who took part in search for clews in Judith Mae Andersen slaying get gear ready for inch-by-inch inspection of Montrose harbor floor. At left, detectives sit on a wall waiting to examine any clews divers may turn up. [TRIBUNE Photo]" - Chicago Tribune, September 2, 1957