Inside the Evidence: 1963 double murder in Pittsford

November 02, 2018 11:24 PM

News10NBC is taking you Inside the Evidence of Monroe County's oldest cold case. 

Fifty-five years ago, two teens were found murdered in Pittsford. 

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It was the summer of 1963. 

The victims: Shari Smoyer,18, of Perinton and Jack King,17, of Geneseo had been out on a date. They were shot and killed near Irondequoit Creek in Pittsford. 

More than half a century later, the killer has never been caught. 

News10NBC obtained exclusive pictures from the crime scene, including key evidence that has never been released to the public. 

Smoyer was a student at Ithaca College who was home on summer break. Jack King had just graduated from Avon High School. He was planning to attend St. John Fisher College. Hours before their deaths, they were out on a date. 

They started the night at Olympic Park, an amusement park on Scottsville Road in Chili. Then, they went to see "Mutiny on the Bounty" at the Starlite Drive-In movie theater in Henrietta. 

It was a late movie that was more than three hours long. 

Monroe County Sheriff's Office Investigator Mike Shannon says the teens were seen leaving the drive-in on West Henrietta Road and Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road before 2 a.m. 

Hours later, their bodies were found in the parking area of an old lover's lane just north of Bushnell's Basin. 

Investigator Shannon took News10NBC to the scene of the double murder off Jefferson Road about a mile and a half from Smoyer's home. 

"They were both shot, and Shari Smoyer was also bludgeoned in the head," said Investigator Shannon. 

Later that morning, their bodies were found by a fisherman lying next to the King family's 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. 

News10NBC's Warren Doremus was there as deputies examined the car back in 1963. We uncovered file footage not seen in decades.

"This morning he was taking pictures of the car in which Shari and John had been riding before they were murdered," reported Doremus. 

"This is bare metal here," said Deputy Ed Blodgett. "We believe the car might have grazed along the side and then forcing the car over." 

Were Shari and John run off the road then forced down that old lover's lane and murdered? 

Then Monroe County Sheriff Albert Skinner said someone saw the car on Route 96 around 2:30 in the morning. 

"He couldn't identify them, but he saw there were three people there," said Sheriff Skinner.

"There were three people? The boy, the girl and who else?" asked Doremus. 

"There were two men and a girl. A woman," responded Sheriff Skinner. 

So, who was the other man? That's a question investigators have never answered. 

To this day, deputies don't even know the motive behind the murders. However, there is evidence that could lead deputies to the killer. 

"We do have bullet casings. We do have some recovered slugs," said Investigator Shannon. 

News10NBC obtained pictures of that key evidence never seen before. Smoyer and King were shot with a .45 caliber handgun. 

Investigators worked relentlessly gathering anything they could find at the crime scene. News10NBC was in the crime lab as tests were done. 

"There's no doubt about it," said a lab technician. "Human blood is present in this sample."

Back at the crime scene, neighbors reported hearing shots around 4:45 in the morning, hours after the victims had left the drive-in. 

"We have about a 2.5 hour gap in time where we don't know where they went or who they were with. We don't know what happened," Investigator Shannon said. 

Over the decades, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office has investigated hundreds of leads, but the case remains cold. 

"Unfortunately, I think we may be running out of time," said Investigator Shannon. "If the suspect was in their teens at the time, it's a race against the clock."

Anyone with information on this double murder in Pittsford from July 13, 1963 is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (585) 423-9300.

Coming up next week on Inside the Evidence, hear from Jack King's brother and his thoughts on who the killer could be. 


Nikki Rudd

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