Detectives from the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office have made an arrest in the April 2, 1975 murder of Kathy N. Dean Taylor.
Kathy-23 formerly of Vincennes was married to Earl L. Taylor- then 22 of Terre Haute and formerly of Sullivan County.
On the evening of April 2, 1975 Earl Taylor said that he came home to find Kathy dead in the bathtub of their residence at 1 Canterbury Drive (now 7750 N. 37th Street) Terre Haute, IN.
Sheriff’s Detectives learned that after Earl removed Kathy’s lifeless body from the tub he did not immediately contact authorities, but summoned a family member who later reported the death to the Sheriff’s Office.
Earl later told Deputies that Kathy had been home alone taking a bath when an electronic clock radio apparently fell into the tub.
During the investigation Detectives noticed that the power cord on the clock radio appeared to have been changed to extend the length. The investigation revealed the factory cord length would not have allowed the radio to fall into the bathtub.
Retired Detective Tom Roberts said that during conversations with Earl Taylor, he offered a methodical minute by minute alibi of his whereabouts on April 2, 1975. An alibi that detectives later learned was not completely forthcoming.
Detectives learned weeks prior to her death, Kathy Taylor told family and friends that Earl was having an affair and that she was planning on filing for divorce.
Also just prior to Kathy’s death, Earl had been terminated from his employment from a local insurance company. Shortly after his termination it was discovered that Earl had taken out five separate life insurance policies on Kathy. Policies that Kathy Taylor told insurance representatives were purchased without her knowledge or consent.
When told of the insurance policies, Kathy reportedly told the insurance representative that she feared her husband was going to kill her.
Several years after Kathy’s death the same insurance representative learned that Earl Taylor was soon to be married to a woman named Mindy Svadeba of Terre Haute. The insurance representative contacted Mindy and shared the circumstances of Kathy’s death, warning her that she too could be in danger.
On October 4, 1987, Mindy Svadeba Taylor's lifeless body was recovered from the driver's side of her Pontiac Fiero which was found submerged in a lake near Deming Park in Terre Haute.
Earl Taylor told Sheriff’s Detectives that he and Mindy had difficulty sleeping that night, and at her suggestion, they had gone for a drive at about 3:00 a.m.
Earl stated that Mindy swerved the car to avoid hitting a raccoon which was crossing the road in front of them. He said the car left Poplar St. and began to submerge in a lake.
Earl stated that Mindy was unconscious, and he was unable to rouse her. He said after the car filled with water, he opened the passenger door and escaped but was unable to get Mindy out of the car.
An investigation revealed that the seat on the driver's side was too far back for Mindy to have driven the car. Mindy’s arms were under the seat belt, and her seat belt was fastened in the passenger receptacle.
An autopsy revealed that Mindy had died of drowning, and although she had no injuries, there were no signs she attempted to escape the car.
At the time of her death Mindy left behind three children ages 3, 5 and 7.
The investigation revealed that Earl had taken out $600,000. worth of life insurance on Mindy, and also on another woman that he was having an affair with at that time.
Earl Taylor was arrested for the murder of his second wife and subsequently tried and convicted. In 1988 he received a sentence of 60 years in prison, but was released early in January 2014.
As part of an ongoing review of cold cases, Vigo County Sheriff’s officials recently re-opened the Kathy Taylor death investigation.
Detectives worked for months examining evidence, in addition to tracking down and re-interviewing witnesses from nearly forty years ago.
Retired detectives, as well as the first deputy on the scene in 1975 recently shared first-hand knowledge with Captain John Moats and Detective Derek Fell.
Dr. Roland Kohr also aided in reviewing the case, before it was presented to Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt for an arrest warrant for murder.
Sheriff Greg Ewing also called again on the expertise of TNT’s- Cold Justice to assist detectives in taking a closer look at the murder.
This past winter investigators from Cold Justice aided the Sheriff’s Office with the 1998 murder of Erika Case. Evidence was closely re-examined and submitted for retesting using the latest criminal evidence analysis techniques. In addition detectives traveled to several states re-interviewing over 30 persons, including the suspect himself.
In January of 2014, Clinton Mackey - who had been a person of interest for many years was arrested after giving Detectives a detailed confession to the murder.
Earl Taylor was taken into custody on July 1, 2014 by Vigo County Sheriff’s investigators. He was secured in the Vigo County Jail charged with the murder of Kathy Taylor.