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Allegany County
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Odessa Meister, 1917-1952?

Odessa Meister Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Odessa Meister

The unsolved murder of Odessa Meister has remained a topic of local discussion for over fifty years.

On December 20, 1952 Odessa left her Columbia Street home and boarded a Cumberland Transit Lines bus for work. At 35 years of age, slim, dark, and attractive, the bus driver and several passengers remembered her getting off the bus at the Celanese plant on McMullen Highway. They also remembered her approaching a car near the plant gate after the driver honked his horn. After talking to the driver for a few minutes she got in. The car drove away and Odessa was never seen alive again.

Police tried to retrace her final hours and numerous leads and clues were followed. Finally, on January 16, 1953 two Fort Hill High School students, while checking their rabbit traps on McNamee's Hill, discovered Odessa Meister's body amidst a pile of cardboard and old Life magazines. She had not been raped, but had died from a brain hemorrhage resulting from at least eight blows to the skull with a blunt object.

An intensive murder investigation followed, several suspects questioned, and one even taken into custody; but later released. Although the county investigator at the time remains to this day convinced of the identity of the true murderer, no murder weapon was ever found, no motive ever discovered, and no charges ever brought. The murder of Odessa Meister remains a mystery in Allegany County History.

...From the "Looking Back" columns of James Rada appearing in the Cumberland Times-News, September 12 and 13, 2004.


Text - James Rada, Jr., Photograph - Cumberland News

Photograph from the Cumberland News is used with permission


Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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