Former Cop Wants Special Prosecutor to Look Into Coed's Death

Tammy Zywicki was returning to college in Iowa from her New Jersey home in August 1992 when her car broke down on Interstate 80 near LaSalle

A retired Illinois State Police master sergeant is adamant the decades-old slaying of a Iowa college student can still be solved, and he wants Gov. Bruce Rauner to help make it happen.

"You never, ever give up on murder," said Martin McCarthy. "Even if you committed one 20 years ago, we will always work at it."

McCarthy was among the first investigators assigned to look into the August 1992 slaying of Tammy Zywicki. The 21-year-old woman was returning to college in Iowa from her New Jersey home when her car broke down on Interstate 80 near LaSalle. Her body was found nine days later near Joplin, Missouri. She was wrapped in a blanket that was sealed in duct tape.

McCarthy and Zywicki's parents believe error after error was made in the days following the coed's disappearance that cost them answers and likely precious physical evidence. The retired officer said he's pressing Rauner to assign a special prosecutor to look into the case.

"I feel so sorry for [JoAnn and Hank Zywicki]. I don't think they've been well-served," said McCarthy.

He said he believes a truck driver, who died 10 years after Zywicki was slain, committed the crime.

"We've come to the point where we have a lot of evidence. We have a suspect. We need a grand jury. We need the power of the grand jury," he explained.

If Rauner takes the lead, McCarthy said he's convinced the mystery will be solved.

"At the very least we could satisfy them that everything was done. They know for sure that everything wasn't done," he said.

There are specific clues McCarthy said he hopes the public will consider: the green Datsun truck that was seen on the side of the road with Zywicki that day, her missing wrist watch that played "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," and a Cannon camera that has never been recovered.

The FBI two years ago offered a $50,000 reward for information that helps them crack the case.

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