Moira “Holly” Branagan (1962 – 1979) was found stabbed 18 times in the back with a 10-inch kitchen knife. The autopsy showed she had 15 serious knife wounds, three less serious wounds, and two defensive wounds on her hands.
The attack was so violent that the kitchen knife broke off in her back. The estimated time of her death was before dusk on March 28, 1979. The police found no evidence of burglary or forced entry. Holly was dead for about 18 hours before she was found. She had not been sexually assaulted.
Detective Galloway said that the murder appeared unplanned but it had a viciousness that points to a crime of high emotion. Police suspect Moira “Holly” Branagan knew her killer. No fingerprints were found on the murder weapon. It was wiped clean.