• Monique Nethington

Appalachian Mysteria: The Story Begins

The first season of the newly rebranded Appalachian Mysteria focuses on the mysterious case of Mared and Karen: The WVU Coed Murders.

January 18th, 1970.

Morgantown, West Virginia.

The once quiet university town had been hit with a crime wave in the preceding months. A crime wave that included the attempted assassination of the local prosecutor, and that would seemingly be miss handled by law enforcement.

Then, on that snowy 18th night of January, two West Virginia University coeds disappeared.

This is when the lives of Mared Malarik and Karen Farrel would end, but the journey to finding their killers would begin.

Guided by West Virginia natives, J. Kendall Perkins, Sarah James McLaughlin, and Geoffery Cameron Fuller the first season of Appalachian Mysteria will dive deep into case of Mared and Karen.

As we enter the story of the Coeds, the scene of 1970s Morgantown is set. As mentioned before the city was in the midst of a crime wave, and violence, gambling and murder became a prevalent thing for residence to live with.

After the scene is set we begin to learn more about the coeds, and the night they disappeared.

It was 11 p.m. on a Sunday and the girls had just finished watching the film Oliver!, at the local theater. Rather than accept the ride from two of their acquaintances, they said their goodbyes and went on their way to hitchhike home.

They skipped a block or two up the road, and almost immediately found a ride.

The two got into the front seat of a white sedan and drove off. That was the last time the girls would be seen alive.

Given that the girls were an uncharacteristic two hours late for curfew, they were reported missing by their dorm mates.

While an the investigation began, it was slow going and it would be weeks before any type of lead would surface. In March 1970, Mared’s purse would be found by a boy walking along the side of the highway. Even then, its discovery did not prompt any movement in the investigation.

It wasn’t until April 9th that a somewhat promising lead would surface. A mysterious letter written to the police from an ominous figure called Triangle.

Ultimately, the lead didn’t amount to anything as state troopers found nothing upon their search. So, instead investigators finally began to canvas the area where the purse was found.

This indeed led to the discovery of more personal effects from the girls, and in the midst of this search police received another letter from the mysterious Triangle figure.

While the letter reiterated what was already written in the first one, it did in fact include one extra detail at the end…

That would be the only detail of the case the letters would get right. Eighty-eight days after Mared and Karen’s disappearance their bodies would be discovered 1o miles outside of town. The two laid 30 feet from a creek fully clothed and headless, covered in a pile of brush and large stones, all of which laid under a fallen tree.

Now, the hunt for their killer(s) was on.

The story continues with your hosts: Kendall, Sarah and Geoff as they take you through the list of suspects, the identity of the illusive Triangle figure, the trial and even their own theories on who may have killed the girls.

With its extensive research, documentation, and in-depth interviews with those in close proximity to the case, Appalachian Mysteria connects you with the story that rocked the once quiet city of Morgantown.

Listen to the full account of Mared and Karen: WVU Coed Murders, from the investigation to the interviews, here.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come from Appalachian Mysteria in January of 2021.

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