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Cold Case: Dawn Lee Swan Magyar murder 1/27/1973 Oswosso, MI *Jerald Leroy Wingeart convicted of her murder, sentenced to LWOP*

Dawn Magyar

Find-A-Grave: Dawn Lee Swan Magyar
Police Search for Chesaning woman
Gunshot Wound in Head Killed Dawn Magyar
‘At times, I’d really like to know who killed Dawn’
With DNA evidence, ‘the magic bullet of criminal investigatio,’ there’s hope of catching a killer
State police detective reports ‘positive movement’ in 1973 Dawn Magyar murder case
Dawn Magyar murder suspect was arrested by police March 7
Is Dawn Magyar’s alleged murderer Jerald Wingeart a serial rapist/killer?
Dawn Magyar
Magyar murder case goes to the jury
Wingeart found guilty
Magyar voices relief that his wife’s murderer convicted

Cold Case Files: Snatched
An Ordinary Killer
The Investigators: The Disappearance of Dawn Magyar


MDOC Number: 106413
SID Number: 0494598E
Racial Identification: White
Gender: Male
Hair: Gray
Eyes: Blue
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 230 lbs.
Date of Birth: 01/15/1941 (71)
Image Date: 2/1/2011

Current Status: Prisoner
Earliest Release Date: LIFE
Assigned Location: Thumb Correctional Facility
Maximum Discharge Date: LIFE
Security Level: II

Scar- Abdomen
Scar- Bottom Front Stomach

Sentence 1
Offense: Homicide – Felony Murder
Minimum Sentence: LIFE
MCL#: 750.316B
Maximum Sentence: LIFE
Court File#: 01006417-FC-L
Date of Offense: 01/27/1973
County: Shiawassee
Date of Sentence: 01/18/2002
Conviction Type: Jury

Sentence 1
Offense: Rape
Minimum Sentence: 10 years 0 months 0 days
MCL#: 750.520
Maximum Sentence: 30 years 0 months
Court File#:
Date of Offense: 11/02/1961
Date of Sentence: 11/02/1961
Conviction Type:
Unknown Discharge Date: 12/07/1969
Discharge Reason: Offender Discharge

Sentence 2
Offense: Robbery Armed
Minimum Sentence: 9 years 0 months 0 days
MCL#: 750.529
Maximum Sentence: 30 years 0 months
Court File#:
Date of Offense: 11/02/1961
Date of Sentence: 11/02/1961
Conviction Type:
Unknown Discharge Date: 12/07/1969
Discharge Reason: Offender Discharge


24 Responses

  1. Hey, I just saw this story on “the investigators”. I have seen dozens of true crime shows, but this is the first time I have ever been compelled to look up more information. The crime itself was so disturbing to me, I think, because Dawn seemed to be such a wonderful person. It made me wonder what had ever become of her immediate family. Does anyone know what happened to her husband and son?


  2. Brent,

    Thus far I have not found any news on her husband or son. If I do, I will post it. This story moved me as well. I saw the movie, too.


  3. The family still lives in area.The father remarried years later. The son married and has family of his own.I actually went to school with the son.I live 3 miles from where the body was discovered.


  4. Isn’t DNA a wonderful tool to catch these killers of 20 to 30 years ago? I’m sure Mr. Wingeart was laughing, thinking that he’d gotten away with it.

    Who’s laughing now?


  5. Wingeart had been in prison for a 1961 kidnap and rape of a blind girl. If he thought she could not identify him he was sorely mistaken. What it taught a sociopath like him was next time don’t leave a living witness.

    Cold Case Files has the picture of when he was arrested. The look on his face was priceless.


    • hi there, I thought that the dawn movie was the best I had ever saw, .and I am glad that they got him thru science ,or any other way,
      I know about a murder that is unsolved, But it because the departments just are to darn lazy to do any thing, and they dont want to do any thing except think about thweir next raise ,or free trip, and who they can take with them, I have made about 4 calls on this phone, ,ant tried to tell what I knew about crimes, and got a deal ear.I know of at least 3 sinister case, and noone seems to care,care. littlepumpkinman@aol.comcare.inthecriscene,and they either hang up,and say later, but the cold casedetectives in knoxville tn,just sheriffs dept on lavel 3 in knoxville tn, just turne and opened the door,and welcomed me out , or


  6. living in uk watch cold case files hooked, but how can people be so cruel 😦


  7. In the Crime Stories version of this case, it says he was going to be charged with another murder, of a young girl, but the case was dropped on a technicality regarding the original search warrant. But the show ended by saying that detectives still hope to bring a case against him.

    As this show was filmed in 2002, has he been charged with this crime?


    • No, he still has not been charged with Laura McVeigh’s murder. She was my friend and I certainly hope that some day he will be.


  8. i am watching cold case files right now how can people live with thier selves after they commit the crimes?!


  9. ok this is a hold up *bang! just kidding i cant belive people actually do these kina things! how can they go along with their normal live safter they commit the crimes?! its sick


  10. I remember helping to search for her. Most of Shiawassee County came out to form groups and search partys. This is the first murder I can ever remember. I hope he rots in that cell. She was one a wonderful Mother and freind.


  11. Dont believe in the movie about Dawn Magyar. They did a lousy job in order to make the movie “more interesting”. The actors chosen didnt even closely represent the real people involved. Why do I have the nerve to say this? Because i was there. i was one of the nearly 4,000 people who helped look for Dawn, like Annie. I was part of the group who specialized in the river area search and believe me the last thing you want is to discover a body thats been in water. Thank god she was found on land. Leave her husband and son out of this. Dont search for them. The last thing he needs to do is relive this because someone is curious about him and the “child”. and where does the book, An Ordinary Killer, get this damn serial killer theme from?


    • Because he is a serial killer. He killed a good friend of mine as well. Was arrested for it and then released on a technicality and has never been charged with her murder.


  12. I worked in the Michigan Department of Corrections for many years and unfortunately they live to well and for the most part live with themselves like nothing ever happened. This is one of thousands of heinous crimes commited in this great state, and my heart goes out to her family as well as all the other families who have had to deal with loss and societies monsters. I have since left the Dept due to injuries sustained while in the course of my duties from one of these waste of human DNA, and my life has also been forever changed. Don’t try to understand them you never will. If anyone would like more info on any of these convicts a good place to start would be at this web link:


  13. Just look at the smile on their MDOC ID pictures. 3 hot’s and a cot with free room and board. Quite a difference from when he was first arrested. How about a guy who owned a pizza place and killed his wife and then cut her up and pressure cooked her remains to remove the muscle and tissue from the bones. Fortunately they caught him before he could dispose of the skeletal remains,( Jackson, MI). Last I knew he was comfortably lodged at Macomb Corr Facility. I would seriously advocate the reinstatement of the death penalty in Michigan, sure it’s expensive as far as the appeals are concerned but the ends justify the means. For anybody that wants to apply what about the innocents on death row argument, that was a viable argument before the advances in DNA. Now, not so much…Just to add insult to injury not only did I lose a career and have to relocate my family because of the loss of income but then I find out that after we bought a new house the neighbors across the street from us have records the male for drunk driving causing death and the female for CSC (Criminal Sexual Conduct) both have been to prison. The point here is that no matter where you go you are surrounded by people, whether you know about it or not, that are dangerous and very scary. Just remember to utilize your state’s resource for either Offender Tracking Information or the Sex Offender Registry. An informed citizen is a safer citizen. Not to sound cynical here folks but the whole reformed convict generally only applies to those with minor crimes that can still turn their life around once out. Look at the woman who was busted in the 70’s for heroin in Michigan and then escaped made a new life in California got married had children and was leading a respectable successful life, and we had her extradicted back to Michigan to serve more of her prison sentance. That was a travesty there, but only solidifies my point. She never commited any crimes from the time she ecsaped to when they extradicted her. Murders and Pedophiles can never be reformed they have a high statistical probability of recidivating at some point in their life. Great site by the way. Be safe people…..


  14. Thank God for DNA. This creep never would have been caught if it were not for that. Poor Dawn was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I actually came face to face with this killer on one occasion, but didn’t know at the time that he had done this awful deed. Wingeart worked in the payroll dept. at Daimler-Chrysler and I went to pick up my husband’s check while he was on disability. He brought the check out personally, then stood back in the doorway staring at me. At that time, I was very petite and considered very cute. I never forgot that face because he gave me the creeps and made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Follow your instincts because your gut reaction to someone is usually right. You never know when you could be looking in the eyes of a murderer. While watching The Investigators on Tru TV, I knew right away it was him. Very scary.


  15. I used to work with Wingeart at Chrysler. I have a story to tell about the dude as well. A scary animal that is all I can say. And he used to work as a professional IT person in a suit and all. I am glad he is behind bars.


  16. He is actually my great uncle. my dads uncle. i find this whole murder/crime interesting, but not in a good way. i cant believe i used to sit on his lap and after all this time, he did what he did and no one knew. Of course i was little, so i thought he was a good man. He was to his family. When i was told about this whole thing, i couldnt believe that i was related to someone like that. I only knew of Dawn, but as i got older i became more interested and did research, i found things i never thought id ever read. I was horrified. I just didnt want to believe it. He is in a cell right where he belongs, even though he is my family, i love his as family and i love him as the great uncle i knew before all of this poured out to me. Its a shame things like this happen, its completely upsetting. My deeply aplogizes go out to everyone who Dawn touched. Keep up the work on the site!


  17. I went to school with this clown. He was an uninvited guest in my home right after he was released from prison for raping a blind girl in 1961. He married two of the nicest girls in town. He had everything going for him, believe it or not, he was a handsome young man, smart and athletic, he had it all, including a great support system, even after the first incarceration. Very charismatic. Who knew … all the time, he was evil through and through. The rippling effect of his actions will recreate pain over and over for many people in many families. I just can’t understand why we continue to warehouse people like him. We continue to provide him with food, shelter, medical, and recreation needs. Under God’s laws in the Hebrew scripture, we would have stoned him to death right after his trial. That seems appropriate.


  18. This case is as disturbing and depressing as a murder 12/21 92 in lancaster PA of a wonderful school teacher Christy Mirack. Hopefully her killer, a truly reprehensible monster will finally be solved by forensic matches or an informant! Lets hope!! Jeff miller rehoboth DE


  19. I have personally met this man and after all of this i believe he has other murders of innocent women in other states. I also believe he buried his “treasures” in burgess junction wyoming.


  20. I saw again this today on investigators, he learned from his first rape crime 1961, when he was convicted and jailed , next time he didn’t leave his victim alive…what pisses me off ,this satan all the time was smiling and winking at people in the court.!!..


  21. He has raped and murdered another girl too, but was released because of technicality, so this means he has been a serial rapist murderer,…common sense says he should have done many more rape murders, …they should give him immunity of further prosecution until he confesses to all those crimes…just my opinion…to close a lot of unsolved cases


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