Victim’s Dog Helps Solve City’s Oldest Cold Case

Liz Jin
5 min readJan 7

In 1974, Patricia “Annie” Ross was brutally murdered while her dog cowered in a dresser drawer

Annie lived with her dog, Jodie, in La Palma, California; image source.

The move was supposed to be a fresh start for Patricia Ann Ross — “Annie” to her friends.

After finalizing a painful divorce, the outgoing 30-year-old moved to La Palma, California, from Tucson, Arizona.

Annie wasted no time creating a new life, and by 1974, she was flourishing. She had a great group of friends and had even started dating again.

Professionally, Annie had a lot going on as well. Having sold her plant business, she was set to move to Los Angeles in the coming days to start a new job.

Sadly, she would never make the move to Los Angeles. Instead, she would be found murdered and sexually assaulted in her bedroom in what would become the oldest cold case in La Palma’s history.

December 11, 1974, should have been a day of fun and celebration.

Annie had a jam-packed day. She had just met with the new owners of her plant store to sign some paperwork. Next, she planned to run errands before getting ready and picking up a pizza on her way to a double date and party.

Around 5 p.m., Annie made it back home to her apartment. Annie and her little dog, Jodie, lived in a one-bedroom apartment on the first floor of the Brookside Apartments complex.

Before getting ready for a night out on the town, Annie first took a relaxing bath. I imagine Annie lying in the bathwater, excitedly daydreaming about her future and how far she had come. Whatever she was thinking about, I hope she was happy and at peace.

She would be dead within the hour.

Annie fails to show up for her double date, prompting her friends to worry.

Annie’s friend, Shari, was sure that something terrible had happened. Shari sent her boyfriend, Rob, with a spare key to Annie’s apartment to investigate.

Annie had a thriving personal and professional life before it was violently cut short; image source.
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.”