Debbie Key missing 17 years ago today

An anniversary post as a favor for my friend Bill Widman: his friend Deborah Leigh Key vanished from Carrboro, North Carolina on this day in 1997.

Authorities are pretty sure they know what happened to her: years later, Andrew Douglas Dalzell, the last person known to have been with her, confessed to her murder. The confession was tossed out of court and the prosecution wasn’t able to go forward on a murder charge without it. But Dalzell’s not going anywhere. He’s since been locked up for soliciting a “little girl” (actually a cop) online. He got 26 years.

9 thoughts on “Debbie Key missing 17 years ago today

  1. Bill Widman December 1, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    Thank you so much Meaghan! That kind of moral support means a lot to me. Did you see the Christmas poem I wrote in Debbie’s memory? It’s called “Santa Visits Carrboro.”

  2. Kat December 3, 2014 / 9:14 pm

    Do you have a link, because it is not showing up here. I’m sorry for your loss, I know it doesn’t get easier with time. Good on you for keeping her memory alive and working to close her case!

    • Kat December 8, 2014 / 2:34 pm

      What a wonderful poem and a beautiful way to remember your friend. I hope at some point you get some resolution in her case.

      • Bill Widman December 8, 2014 / 2:39 pm

        Thank you, Kat! I appreciate that!

  3. December 4, 2014 / 11:48 pm

    I’m sure you’ve seen this already:

    It’s a blog from the guy who unknowingly bought the Dalzell place. His site also details the case of his sister who was most likely kidnaped and murdered in Quebec in 1978. 2 tragic cases brought together by this one poor guy.

  4. Bill Widman December 6, 2014 / 6:27 pm

    I often say the more you learn about the story of Debbie Key, the more interesting it becomes. Perhaps the best example is in the testimony of John Allore. The above link is to “Beyond This Place,” which is the sequel to “Bad Dream House,” a story that prompted me to seek out John and compare notes with him. The parallels between the cases of Debbie Key and Theresa Allore are so uncanny!

  5. Kat December 8, 2014 / 2:32 pm

    Those are two of the most bizarre articles I’ve ever read. I’m glad I’m not him and his family (apologies for the grammar here). I mean, I grew up in New England, in a very old house, chairs moving and stuff were the norm, and I was used to it, didn’t bother me a bit, but man, I couldn’t handle that.

  6. johnallore December 8, 2014 / 6:18 pm

    I survive. I’ve got a GREAT sense of humour.

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