Mildred Landesman: Clubbed in Cantwell

September 2, 1982 The body of an Anchorage woman, Mildred Landesman, was found near a roadside gravel pit at Mile 177 of the Parks Highway Aug. 22, near Cantwell. Authorities believe she was killed Saturday night, Aug. 21. A 17-year-old boy and girl were charged with first-degree murder and robbery in connection with the woman’s death. They were held at the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage.

True Crime Series: Sgt. Glenn Flothe Investigates

Cantwell, Alaska
A third suspect, William Plumley, 18, pleaded guilty to joy riding and was serving a 10-day jail sentence on that charge. He was arraigned in Anchorage District Court on a charge of burglary. His bail was set at $150,000 cash, Troopers said. He is charged in connection with the burglary of Landesman’s motor home. Troopers said additional charges may be filed against Plumley pending a presentation to the grand jury.
The three were arrested by Anchorage police officers Sunday morning after they had been stopped for a routine traffic violation. Police discovered the three were in the Landesman vehicle. According to Troopers, Landesman had been selling land in the Cantwell area for a number of years and this summer had been working from a motor home parked in a small roadside gravel pit about 10 miles south of the Igloo Service Station.
Igloo Service Station, Cantwell, Alaska
Anyone who may have stopped to see her about buying land or who may have been camping in the area that weekend was asked to call Investigator Glenn Flothe of the Troopers’ Criminal Investigation Bureau in Anchorage at 269-5511. Troopers had been receiving some calls  about the case, according to a Trooper spokesman. Troopers found the woman’s body several hundred yards from where her motor home had been parked. The motor home itself had been ransacked and abandoned at a roadside park at Mile 170.5 of the Parks Highway.
Cantwell in relation to Anchorage

Ridgely v. State
Court of Appeals of Alaska.
September 6, 1985.
FACTS In mid-August of 1982, Ridgely, Plumley and Bosch hitchhiked out of Anchorage toward Fairbanks. They reached a point near Cantwell (approximately Mile 177 of the Parks Highway) where they planned to stay at a trailer they believed to be owned by a friend’s family. They located the trailer, broke the lock and settled in.
The three were aware of the presence of Mildred Landesman, whose Winnebago motor home was located nearby. Mrs. Landesman was initially contacted by Ridgely in order to borrow cigarettes. The three appellants conceived a plan to steal Mrs. Landesman’s Buick LaSabre which she parked next to her motor home. Apparently, a decision was made to invite Mrs. Landesman to lunch at the trailer and distract her attention while Ridgely clubbed her over the head with a pickax handle. They would then dispose of her body. The three would consequently be free to take her car and whatever else she may have had of value in the motor home.
The plan was carried out on August 21, 1982, when Ridgely escorted Mrs. Landesman to the trailer near Cantwell. After Mrs. Landesman entered the trailer she sat down, was distracted as planned by Plumley and Bosch, and was killed by Ridgely, who clubbed her from behind. After disposing of the body, the three changed, gathered their personal items and left the trailer. Ridgely flung the weapon into the woods. The appellants proceeded to the Landesman motor home where they searched for and obtained food and money. Plumley drove the Buick and Ridgely drove the motor home to Mile 170.5 on the Parks Highway, where the motor home was abandoned. Ridgely then rode in the Buick with the others into Anchorage.

Purchase Butcher, Baker
Order my latest book, “What Happened In Craig,” HERE and HERE, true crime on Epicenter Press about Alaska’s Worst Unsolved Mass Murder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *