Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Cold Case Archives

July 17, 2011

Ransom murder one of the oldest cold cases currently being investigated by state police

FLAT TOP — It was an hour and a half before sunrise on Monday, Aug. 8, 1983. Linda Lee Ransom was standing in front of the kitchen sink in her mobile home along rural Egeria Road, near the border of Mercer and Raleigh counties.

Across the nation, events of the day would become historic. President Ronald Reagan would give a speech noting that many young people were developing incredible hand, eye and brain coordination by playing video games. “The air force believes these kids will be our outstanding pilots should they fly our jets,” he said.

And in Big Horn Basin, Wyo., the community would soon see a state record breaking temperature of 115 degrees.

Back on Egeria Road, tragedy would strike. Linda Lee Ransom was gunned down inside her home around 5 a.m.

“She was standing in front of the kitchen sink and someone shot from outside through the kitchen window,” First Sgt. J.R. Pauley, with the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police, said. “She was struck by the gunfire and subsequently died as a result of those wounds.”

Ransom, 32, lived in the mobile home with her husband, James “Gene” Ransom.

“Her husband was in the house at the time (of the shooting),” Pauley said. “He was ruled out as a suspect.”

The original case was investigated by state trooper Danny Bowman.

“There were individuals with information about the case at that time,” Pauley said.

“They were interviewed at the time, and those interviews resulted in what appeared to be a strong suspect in the case,” he said.

Although there was a “strong suspect” in 1983, “officials at that time decided not to arrest based on the case at that time,” Pauley said.

Having reopened several cold cases across Mercer and McDowell counties, State Police officials are hoping anyone with information on the Ransom murder will come forward.

The Ransom homicide is one of the oldest cold cases currently being investigated by the State Police, Pauley said.

Anyone with information on the case can contact the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment at 304-425-2102. Tips may be made anonymously.

— Contact Samantha Perry at

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