Carol Rofstad: Murdered in 1975 at Illinois State University

Carol Rofstad was murdered on the Illinois State University campus in Normal, Illinois in 1975. Her case has never been solved.

About the Case

Carol Rofstad21-year-old Elk Grove, Illinois native, Carol Rofstad was attending college at Illinois State University (ISU) in December 1975.

On December 23rd, the college was out for Christmas break, but Carol stayed behind to work at a retail store. Around noon that day, Carol was found beaten and unconscious outside her sorority house at 602 S. Fell Avenue. An 18-inch railroad tie was found nearby. Carol had been laying there for about 12 hours before she was found. Money was discovered in her purse and there was no evidence of sexual assault.

Carol died on Christmas Eve.

Two women in the sorority house said they didn’t see or hear anything.

Between 10:00 and 10:15 on December 22nd, two white males between the ages of 18 and 25 were seen in the area. One of the men was carrying a club.

Carol Rofstad suspect
Sketch of man carrying club

In 2001, Normal police sent clothing and other evidence to FBI analysts in a last-ditch effort to solve the case. FBI found fingerprints on one item of Carol’s.  It had never been analyzed for fingerprints before because police did not consider it a significant piece of evidence (Chicago Tribune).

However, it is unclear if anything came from the fingerprints.

In 2008, investigators at Morton College’s Institute of Cold Case Solution in Cicero began digging into the case. They conducted more than 250 interviews and gave Normal police around 50 pages of documents. However, the case remains unsolved.

True Crime Diva’s Thoughts

This is a tough one because there isn’t a lot of info out there. However, I do believe that whoever killed Carol either knew her personally or was hired by someone to kill her. There was no evidence of sexual assault or robbery, so there goes those motives. It had to be personal. There’s no way this was random.

So, who would want Carol dead? Did someone get upset with her prior to her death? A jealous sorority sister? Did cops extensively interview the two sisters who were in the house? What about friends of Carol’s? Any men in her life? Who would benefit from her death?

It was suggested that the murder weapon was the railroad tie because it was near the victim. Was the railroad tie ever tested? Obviously, if it was the weapon, Carol’s blood would have been on it. I doubt fingerprints would have been found, because it was December and cold. The killer could have been wearing gloves.

Where exactly “outside the sorority house” was she found? Front, side, back? I’m assuming it was the front, but a pic of police at the scene looks like it could be in the back of the house.

Carol Rofstad: police at scene
Image source: The Pantagraph

The sorority house on Fell Avenue was torn down recently and turned into an apartment building. But I managed to find a pic of it from a few years ago when the house was a fraternity house.

Carol Rofstad: Sorority house
Image source: Illinoisstatedeltachi.com

Was Carol in the house and the person lured her out? Or was she coming home from somewhere and the killer was waiting for her? If it was the latter, then the killer KNEW what she was doing that night and when she’d be home.

Now, you would think that part of the incident would have been heard by the two sorority sisters in the house that night. I say this because I’m thinking there might have been a verbal confrontation between Carol and her killer or killers before she was beaten. Unless she was ambushed. Of course, I realize that it was around Midnight so the girls could have been sleeping. I’m just curious what her relationship with them was like.

Someone out there has to know something about this crime, but it’s going to take that person to come forward with information before it can be solved. It’s been almost 41 years since Carol’s murder so there is a very good chance her killer is dead.

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Author: truecrimediva

True crime blogger

  • Eclectic

    I love your blog.

    Reading this is like reading a case on Ted Bundy. It didn’t have to be loud if the assault was fast. The killer could have been waiting for any young woman as a victim. These cases are especially difficult when it is a “deliberate stranger”.

  • Cold cases and unresolved cases always bug me because it doesn’t help the family of the victim(s) or the community around them. It’s so heartbreaking that this happened so long ago or at all.

    • It really is! It’s been too long! Carol and her family deserve justice.