The Grisly Murder of Kelly Dwyer

Liz Jin
5 min readJun 24

Her boyfriend thought he had committed the perfect crime

Kelly Dwyer and Kris Zocco hung out the night before Kelly vanished; image source.

Kelly Dwyer was a twenty-seven-year-old woman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With her bubbly personality, it was no surprise that everyone who interacted with her loved her, from her yoga instructor to her coworkers.

Like most young people, Kelly had an extensive online presence. And so, on October 12, 2013, when Kelly abruptly stopped posting on social media, her friends immediately suspected something was wrong.

Two nights prior, on October 10, Kelly and her long-term boyfriend, Kris Zocco, had gone out to a local bar in Milwaukee. Afterward, the couple went back to Kris’s apartment. That was the last time Kelly was seen alive.

“Friends with benefits”

As Kelly’s boyfriend, Kris was naturally the prime suspect. First, Kris insisted that Kelly had left the next morning after hanging out, despite zero surveillance footage showing Kelly leaving the building.

Next, he tried to downplay their relationship, claiming they weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend but instead just “friends with benefits.” Worse, he tried to shame Kelly as a wild party girl who did hard drugs and slept around with men she met online.

Kris openly admitted that the two of them did lines of cocaine the night of October 10 in his apartment before having sex and passing out on the couch.

Police search Kris’s phone and apartment and make several disturbing discoveries.

Thanks to Kris’s own admission that he had been in possession of illegal drugs, the police obtained a warrant to search his phone and apartment.

On his phone, police found photos of Kris and Kelly in various sex acts taken a few weeks before Kelly’s disappearance. In several of the images, Kelly looked extremely distressed or unconscious.

At this point, investigators believed that Kris killed Kelly during a sex act gone horribly wrong. A cadaver dog supported their theory as it excitedly alerted them to scents throughout the apartment, the dumpster, and Kris’s car.

But with only circumstantial evidence to go on, the police’s hands were tied…

Liz Jin

“I wake up in the morning with a desire to both save the world and savor the world. That makes it hard to plan my day.”