A person of interest has been identified in the homicide of a Jamestown girl in the 1970s.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in gathering more information about the murder of 14-year old Patricia Fairbanks.
On November 28, 1972 the mother of Patricia reported her daughter missing from their family home at 19 West 9th Street in the City of Jamestown. On December 29, 1972, Patricia Fairbanks’ body was found in the backyard of 14 West 9th Street.
While the Jamestown Police Department conducted an extensive investigation for a number of years attempting to identify the person who killed Fairbanks, no suspect was ever arrested and the case has remained unsolved for the past 51 years.
In March 2023, JPD coordinated with the Sheriff’s Office to re-open the investigation, and the case was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Unsolved Cases Team for further investigation.
Investigators reviewed the entire original homicide case file, worked with the Jamestown Police Department’s Evidence Unit to transfer all of the physical evidence collected in the murder to the Sheriff’s Office Evidence Unit, and spent months interviewing numerous witnesses throughout Chautauqua County and Northwest Pennsylvania.
The Sheriff’s Office is now announcing the identification of a person of interest in the murder of Patricia Fairbanks as William A. Swartzman.
Swartzman was 44 years old and living in Jamestown at the time of the murder. In addition to living in Jamestown, he had previously lived in South Ripley, the borough of North East Pennsylvania, Erie, Pennsylvania; and Warren, Pennsylvania. Swartzman died of natural causes at his residence in Warren, Pennsylvania in 1997.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking to speak with anyone who was in contact with Swartzman while he was in Jamestown between the months of August 1972 and January 1973.
If you had a face-to-face encounter with Swartzman in Jamestown in an area bounded by West Eighth Street to the south, West Tenth Street to the north, North Main Street to the east, and Washington Street to the west you are asked to call Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Investigators. If you were the victim of a crime that Swartzman committed, whether it occurred in New York or Pennsylvania, you are asked to call the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.
Those with information should contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Unsolved Cases Team at (716) 753-4578 or (716) 753-4579. You can also contact investigators via email at UnsolvedChautauqua@sheriff.us