Barbara Glueckert

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Above Images: Barbara, circa 1976

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 21, 1976 from Huntley, Illinois
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: September 7, 1961
  • Age: 14 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'4, 120 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Dark brown hair, brown eyes.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A green t-shirt, blue corduroy jeans, tan earth shoes, a leather beaded necklace and a rope belt with a large metal buckle.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Barbara was walking to mass at St. Raymond Catholic Church in Mount Prospect, Illinois at 5:00 p.m. on August 21, 1976. A man identifying himself as "Tom Edwards" stopped her and asked if she wanted to go to a party. She went to church instead, but gave Edwards her phone number, and afterwards she and a girlfriend met him at a pizza parlor and caught a ride with him in his brown Buick Electra 225. They went to a rock concert at a farm in Huntley, Illinois. They originally planned to go to a party in Des Plaines, Illinois, but Edwards suggested the concert instead. Approximately 500 people attended the event, which was scheduled to end at 12:30 a.m. but actually lasted much longer. Barbara and her friend became separated between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. When the event broke up, Barbara's friend went home with another individual and it is believed Barbara left with Edwards. She never arrived home and has never been heard from again.

    "Edwards" turned out to be Thomas G. Urlacher, who was then in his mid-twenties. He moved to San Francisco, California just days after Barbara's disappearance and lived there under another alias until the police found him. A photograph of Urlacher is posted below this case summary. He had a long criminal record for arson, rape, and other crimes, and a history of violence against women. He is the prime suspect in Barbara's disappearance; investigators believe he murdered her the night she went missing and buried her body near the concert site in Huntley. In December 1976, Urlacher wrote a letter to a friend saying he had "put a girl in the ground" because he had raped her and was afraid she would tell the police.

    Urlacher was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after Barbara's disappearance. The charge was based on statements from witnesses who saw him give marijuana and alcohol to Barbara and other underage youths the night she disappeared. A grand jury convened to investigate Barbara's disappearance in 1977. Prosecutors hoped to indict Urlacher for her murder, but they were unsuccessful; no indictments have been issued against anyone in connection with her disappearance. Urlacher subsequently sued Barbara's family for defaming his character, but the lawsuit was dismissed.

    Investigators never found enough evidence against Urlacher to charge him in Barbara's presumed murder, but he was found liable for her wrongful death in a civil suit in 1978 and was ordered to pay $5.15 million in damages to her parents. He was shot to death during a drug deal in Pueblo, Colorado in 2004. Urlacher had always maintained his innocence in Barbara's disappearance; he said he left the concert alone at 11:00 p.m. He admitted writing the incriminating letter to his friend but said he had been under the influence of drugs at the time and what he wrote was not true.

    Barbara was declared legally dead in 1984, eight years after her disappearance. She is a graduate of St. Raymond Catholic Grade School and resided with her parents in the 600 block of Russell Street in Mount Prospect when she vanished; that city's police are investigating her case. Her disappearance remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.

    Urlacher
    Above: Ulracher, circa 1976

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Mount Prospect Police Department
    847-818-5221

    OR
    847-870-5654

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    Source Information
    WBBM-TV
    NewspaperArchive
    The Courier News
    The Northwest Herald
    The Pueblo Chieftain

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 6, 2005.

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