May 12, 1982: Body found along Lake Superior shore

On this day in Duluth in 1982, the body of Debbie Race washed up on the Lake Superior Shore adjacent to London Road one day after her husband Larry had reported her missing. The Race’s had been to Lakeview Castle, just up Highway 61 from Duluth, the previous night to celebrate their fourteenth wedding anniversary. Larry Race was later arrested and charged with his wife’s murder. In his defense, Race claimed that on their way home, the couple’s 22-foot boat Jenny Lee began taking on water through the engine, so, fearing the boat was sinking, he put on a diving suit and helped his wife into a life raft. The State argued that Race then dove under the raft and cut it with a knife, leaving his wife to float away in a life jacket in water just three degrees above freezing. The autopsy revealed that Debbie Race died of immersion hypothermia under stressful circumstances. The trial also revealed that Larry Race had been involved in extramarital affairs. The jury found him guilty of murder, a verdict he would appeal time and again. According to local TV newscaster Dennis Anderson, Race’s family “never doubted Larry’s story that Debbie died in a tragic accident and that his conviction was yet another tragedy. The prosecution, the jury, and investigators all believe that Race is guilty as charged.” Race was paroled from prison in 2005.

Larry and Debbie race, date unknown. (Image: Unsolved Mysteries Wiki)