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5 chilling details about Claudette Ficik murder case

Jason Ragland (Image via @mylifeofcrime/Twitter)
Jason Ragland (Image via @mylifeofcrime/Twitter)
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Rupanwita Bhattacharjee
Jason Ragland (Image via @mylifeofcrime/Twitter)
Jason Ragland (Image via @mylifeofcrime/Twitter)

When 19-year-old Claudette Ficik failed to return to her parents' house in South Carolina in 1994, it was least expected that her dead body would emerge out of a river about six weeks later. The case went cold when the investigators could not point fingers at anybody. Her boyfriend, Jason Ragland, who was a suspect, also passed the polygraph test.

Trigger warning: This article contains graphic information about violence.

Apart from the detectives in charge of the case, Ficik's mother and brother also launched their own investigation. They visited all the places that Ficik was a regular at. They even spoke to her friends who saw her on the day she disappeared. According to her friends, she was last seen in denim jeans, a white t-shirt, and a pair of Reebok tennis shoes.

However, the truth could not be hidden for long, and Ragland confessed after a series of circumstantial evidence hinted that the perpetrator was Ragland himself.

Claudette Ficik's murder story titled 1994: The Devil Down in Georgia will air on Investigation Discovery at 8.00 pm on Friday, August 5, 2022, in People Magazine's true-crime series Crimes of the '90s.

The synopsis for the episode goes as

People Magazine editors present the story of Claudette Ficik, a Georgia college student who disappears while driving home to see her parents; suspects include an infatuated classmate, an ex, and the man she planned to bring home on that trip.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow night at 8/7c when we revisit the now infamous 1994 Claudette Ficik case #Killer90sOnID

Chilling facts about Claudette Ficik's murder case

1) Claudette Ficik died due to asphyxiation

Ficik's body was recovered from the Oconee River in Athens days after she went missing. Forensic reports suggested that she had died due to asphyxiation. By now, it was clear to the investigators that foul play was involved in her death, and

Jason Ragland was put on the suspect list as he was believed to be the last person to have seen her alive. Ficik was pregnant at the time she was killed.


2) Jason Ragland lied about going to South Carolina

Ragland was supposed to accompany Ficik to her parents' house in South Carolina. She wanted to introduce him to her parents. When investigators asked Ragland what happened on the day of her disappearance, he said that the two of them had an argument and that Ficik went alone. This was a lie.

Ragland also faked a polygraph test that was done on him.

Psycho For Love: Jason Ragland killed his pregnant girlfriend, Claudette Jennifer Ficik;… mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/psy… http://t.co/1s0VJW68il

3) Anchors were used to weigh down Claudette Ficik's body

A boat anchor, an angle iron, and a nylon rope were found tied to the decomposed body when recovered. Investigators believe it was done to ensure that the body remained at the bottom of the water. However, these pieces of steel turned out to be significant evidence against Ragland.


4) The anchors were traced to a building site close to where Ragland worked

The anchors that weighed down Ficik's body turned out to have origins in a building site close to the pet store where Ragland and Ficik worked. The investigators had clear clues about who might have been behind Ficik's murder.

Psycho For Love: Jason Ragland killed his pregnant girlfriend, Claudette Jennifer Ficik; Sentenc… wp.me/p1gRX-cug via @mylifeofcrime

5) Ragland confessed to killing Ficik

To avoid the death penalty, Ragland confessed to killing Ficik. Investigators believe the henious incident happened on February 16, 1994. Ragland was sentenced to life behind bars in August 1996 after he pleaded guilty after repeated denials.


Edited by Sayati Das
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