Who murdered Veronica Hepworth? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Who murdered Veronica Hepworth?

Veronica Hepworth and unknown boyfriend

February 25, 1982, was a freezing cold morning in Loudoun County, Virginia.

It was the last day in the life of 20-year-old Veronica Hepworth who was known to her friends as “Roni.”

At about 7:00 a.m. a passerby in a vehicle on her way to work noticed the partially clothed body of Roni Hepworth lying on the ground in a driveway just off Route 50 east of Gilberts Corner and notified the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

I was one of the first two officers to arrive that day and the scene has been forever etched into my memory.

It has been almost 35 years since Roni Hepworth’s murder. One thing about a homicide or a suicide scene is that no matter how many you were involved with, you never forget what you witnessed. It stays with you forever.

Roni Hepworth’s murder was never solved. It remains another unsolved murder of a young woman, in law enforcement parlance, a “cold case.”

An age-progression composite sketch of the last-known serious boyfriend of Veronica Hepworth.

An age-progression composite sketch of Veronica Hepworth’s last-known serious boyfriend.

Hepworth was last seen alive at about 1:30 a.m. Feb. 25, 1982, while celebrating a friend’s birthday at the Fancy Dancer Bar on Route 1 in Fairfax County, Virginia.

It is still unknown to this day whether Roni Hepworth left the Fancy Dancer Bar alone and may have hitchhiked, or left with another person.

She was found dead about five and a half hours later in rural Loudoun County.

A red pickup truck, possibly a late 1960’s or 1970’s model, was spotted near the farm where her body was found.

Last year the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police released a photograph of Veronica Hepworth along with an age-progression composite sketch of her last-known serious boyfriend.

The boyfriend (as seen in the above 1982 photograph), was white with dark hair. He would be in his mid-fifties to early sixties today.

Hepworth’s family and investigators have not been able to identify him. He is considered a person of interest in the murder.

If you have any information about Veronica Hepworth or the man in the photograph please call investigators who are working this 35-year-old cold case at 703-376-1690 or 703-737-8487.

There is still a murderer out there. Let’s try to get some justice for Ronnie Hepworth and give her family some closure on this terrible crime.

About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 40 years of experience. In 1986 Mr. Poppa was awarded “Criminal Investigator of the Year” by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. He was also re-assigned to the Northern Virginia Regional Narcotics Enforcement Task Force for 18 months. In 1991 and again in 1992 Mr. Poppa’s testimony under oath in court led to the discovery that exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense by the prosecutor and sheriff’s office officials during the 1988 trial of a man accused of attempted murder of his wife that led to his conviction. As a result of his testimony the man was ordered released from prison, given a new trial in 1992 and found not guilty. Mr. Poppa became the subject of local and national news media attention as a result of his testimony which led to the demise of his 12-year police career. After losing his job, at the request of the FBI, Mr. Poppa infiltrated in an undercover capacity a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont Chemical fortune heir and his wife in 1992. His stories have been featured on Inside Edition, A Current Affair, and CBS News’ Street Stories with Ed Bradley. Contact the author.

One Comment

  1. Jenni says:

    Was Gerald Abernathy ever considered a suspect? He murdered 20 year old Wendy Stark two months after Veronica’s death in Kensington Maryland which is only 20 mins away. He had a history or sexual assault and murder.


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