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Chicago Ridge police have received new details about 1978 murder

By Dermot Connolly

Chicago Ridge detectives have received new information that they feel will help finally solve the 1978 murder of Noel Grippo, who was found bludgeoned to death in her home.

Police said the 35-year-old woman’s head and face had been slashed and bludgeoned when her mother-in-law found her lifeless body in her basement at 10636 S. Mason Ave on that Wednesday, May 31. When she missed an appointment to meet her husband Michael for lunch at his office in Bedford Park, where he was a UPS truck driver, he asked his mother Helen Grippo to check on her.

Police believe she was killed between 8 and 11 a.m. that morning, after her 11-year-old son, Michael Jr., left to go to Ridge Central School. She worked in an Oak Lawn doctor’s office and had Wednesdays off.

“The investigation went cold for a very, very long time,” said Deputy Chief Jim Jarolimek on Tuesday, “But in 2016, we talked to some of her family members, and they gave us some new information.”

He said that family members talked about the case and shared more information when they got together for the funeral of Helen Grippo, of Evergreen Park, when she died in November 2016.

Police are reportedly looking at two people of interest, and have interviewed both.

‘We can’t say too much about the details of the new information right now. We’re working with the state’s attorney’s office on it. But we feel that we’re close. We’re hoping in the next couple of months, we will be ready to make an arrest,” said Jarolimek, who grew up in Chicago Ridge and remembers how the grisly murder caused residents to become fearful.

“I didn’t know the family personally, but my older sister was in class with Michael Jr. in Ridge Central School. It was a brutal murder and because my sister knew Michael, she and my mother talked about the case a lot,” said Jarolimek.

The deputy chief said that after investigators followed up with more interviews of family members scattered around the country, he feels that an arrest could be made in the next few months. He noted that Michael Grippo Sr. now lives in Henderson, Nev., while her son, Michael Jr., lives in Missouri.

“There are a few relatives in the area but many have moved away so that makes it kind of hard to set up interviews, because we have to travel,” he said.

According to news reports at the time, there were no signs of a struggle and an autopsy determined that she had not been raped. Nothing was reported stolen from the home either.

The case was investigated by the Chicago Ridge Police Department with the assistance of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department and the agencies are still working together. Numerous leads were investigated at that time. However, nothing led to an arrest.

Detectives are asking the public to contact the Chicago Ridge Police Department with any information they may have regarding the incident. Detectives can be reached at (708) 425-7831.

 

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