Episode 58: One Bad Ride: The Murder of Mary Schlais


Mary Schlais was a beautiful young artist with her entire life ahead of her. A veteran hitchhiker, one bad ride in 1974 changed her life forever.





Stromberg, Joseph. The forgotten art of hitchhiking – and why it disappeared. www.vox.com, Jun 10, 2015

Ganzel, Bill. Wessels Living History Farm. www.livinghistoryfarm.org, 2003

Pfleger, Paige.  Thumbs Up, Then and Now: Hitchhiking Stories From the Road. www.npr.org, August 9, 2015

Osberg, Molly. The End of the Open Road: The Inside Story of How Hitchhiking Died. www.talkingpointsmemo.com, May 11, 2015

O’Brian, Christena T. Cold murder case not forgotten. Leader-Telegram, Jun 29, 2003

Rupnow, Chuck. Looking for Leads. Leader-Telegram, Jan 14, 2007

Car used in slaying may have been found. Leader-Telegram, Feb. 19, 1974

1FromTheRock1. Mary K. Schlais – 30 years unsolved – trailer. www.youtube.com

Lewis, Chad. Unexplained Research: Elk Lake Dam. www.unexplainedresearch.com

Larch, Terry. The Ghostly Story of Mary K. Schlais. www.freaklore.com, 12/24/2019

Elk Lake Dam, Wisconsin. Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State, 09/29/2012

4 thoughts on “Episode 58: One Bad Ride: The Murder of Mary Schlais”

  1. Another good read! This jogs a long-forgotten memory!

    I have a believe-it-or-not happy hitchhike story from the early 50s. I was born in northern Minnesota and my oldest sister’s husband was in the Navy. She and their little girl came home to live with us while he was stationed in Norfolk Virginia. He came home on furlough and as he left to go back, Dressed in his navy uniform, proceeded to Highway 53 in International Falls Minnesota, One block away from our home, and hitchhiked. He was picked up there and safely taken all the way to Norfolk Virginia! As you can believe we were all amazed! True story!

  2. My hitchhiking story is a good one too. Some friends and I went to Iowa City to party with friends at Iowa. Our car broke down on the way back (pre cell phones). No one could come get us until later in the day so I decided to hitchhike. Got to the bottom of the ramp and a truck with a horse trailer pulled over…..ran to the truck and a black man and his wife ask where I am heading and I tell them Davenport. Tell me to jump in and after a while the man asks me if I knew why he stopped. I let him know I didn’t….told me he grew up in Peoria and in the early 70s he went to college in Nebraska. He and a buddy decided to hitchhike back to Peoria and he stated two black dudes hitchhiking in Iowa in the early seventies……I assure you we walked across the whole damn state! We all laughed and I got a great story out of it!

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