The Harvard Coed Cold Case Murder That Became An Urban Legend

She was murdered because she would not end the affair she had with the professor who was also her mentor. Or he killed her because she was about to expose the fact that his claims about the importance of an archaeological dig he was working on were false. Or maybe he killed her because he was trying to protect her job posting and she was in his way.

Fifty years after she was found murdered in her apartment in January 1969, the unsolved murder of Harvard graduate student Jane Britton had become something of a ghost story / urban legend. But it was a legend known to very few.

“It was actually scary, hardly anyone outside of the archeology department knew about it, but inside the department almost everyone knew. It was alive, but isolated, ”says Becky Cooper, author of We Keep the Dead Close: A Harvard Murder and Half a Century of Silence, a book about his attempt to solve these colder cases.

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