Justice for Holly

There are 132 comments on the The Morning Call story from Feb 22, 2009, titled Justice for Holly. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

Less than three weeks before her brutal murder, Moira ''Holly'' Branagan saw the slasher movie '' Halloween '' with a group of friends.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Morning Call.

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Luke Spencer

Prospect Park, PA

#1 Feb 22, 2009
We all know the deaths of Holly and Sean were related. The perpetrator should be brought to justice. Don't forget about other unsolved cases, for example, Jeannie Sulfrich (mid 1990's). She was murdered in the Miller Heights section of Bethlehem Township. Jeannie wasn't as rich as the Branagans however she was still a human being and deserves justice. Her murder is still running free. Perhaps even living next door to you!
Go Dodgers

Hellertown, PA

#2 Feb 22, 2009
Luke Spencer wrote:
We all know the deaths of Holly and Sean were related. The perpetrator should be brought to justice. Don't forget about other unsolved cases, for example, Jeannie Sulfrich (mid 1990's). She was murdered in the Miller Heights section of Bethlehem Township. Jeannie wasn't as rich as the Branagans however she was still a human being and deserves justice. Her murder is still running free. Perhaps even living next door to you!
Luke, you probably right.
I still remember Holly's case like it was yesterday. I lived very close to the Pine Top trail address were it happened. Still it amazes me, they never found the perp.

Also, Jeannie's case is still a mystery, remember that vividly too.
Leave it up to the incompitent LV police crews to botch an investigation again
Staberdearth

Allentown, PA

#3 Feb 22, 2009
"...For example, police didn't wear rubber gloves as they investigated, allowing their fingerprints to mix with any suspects'..."

**********

I sure hope that standards have improved. I would have thought that even in 1979, even the most bumpkin of police forces would at the least use gloves at a crime scene!

I remember this set of tragedies well.
Staberdearth

Allentown, PA

#4 Feb 22, 2009
Go Dodgers wrote:
<quoted text>

Leave it up to the incompitent LV police crews to botch an investigation again
I'd like to think we've graduated from the Barney Fife stage...
starkrial

Whitehall, PA

#5 Feb 22, 2009
Thanks for continuing to keep this case in people's minds. Maybe now one of her 'friends' will talk to the police and give them some information that can end the pain for Mr. Branagan. From all accounts it sounds like they continued with the silence since day 1 of the investigation. I would think that after 30 years they would want to grow up and do the right thing. What a shame and what a waste of a beautiful life.
mary

Bethlehem, PA

#6 Feb 22, 2009
What a man, the father, to carry on and remarry and keep the house. No human being deserves the heartache of losing one child to a murder let alone a second.
God bless you sir.
joe poli

AOL

#7 Feb 22, 2009
I hope they solve the case for the Father's sake; he has suffered too much.

I wonder if she had a secret boy friend at the time. Otherwise, why would she let the stranger into the house? If it were a stranger, she would have told the person she was talking to on the phone.
cereal city

Riverside, CA

#8 Feb 22, 2009
the killer had to brag to someone after all these years. he had to tell someone that he got away with murder. how did her brother die anyway?
comment

Seoul, Korea

#9 Feb 22, 2009
Sean's best friend told me of seeing Mr. Branagan at Saucon Valley Country Club after moving back to the Lehigh Valley about 15 years ago. The man was almost in tears to see him since it had been since college. For those who know Mr. Branagan, there is not a day in his life that has gone by that he has not thought of his children.

One of my very, close friends was baby sat by Holly and was around 10 when Holly died. She still speaks of Holly as the most fun, loving, and energetic positive people she ever met.

Mr. Branagan deserves answers, but I have no hope that there ever will be. The murderer is probably long gone to jail or is dead.

The story of Holly Branagan and the Branagan family is one of the saddest things I have ever heard of because it hit home on how much can go wrong in one man's life. It is good to know how much love Mr. Branagan has and how much concern for justice he has after all these years.

Sometimes good people go to soon for tragic reason, in my case, it was Allen's Barbara Perschy.

God bless Mr. Branagan and may as much evil that exists in the world not find its way into the Lehigh Valley.
Sherry

Stroudsburg, PA

#10 Feb 22, 2009
My prayers that someone, anyone would come forth after all these years so these loved ones & friends can find some peace.
Many prayers to the families.
Anon

Perkasie, PA

#11 Feb 22, 2009
joe poli wrote:
I hope they solve the case for the Father's sake; he has suffered too much.
I wonder if she had a secret boy friend at the time. Otherwise, why would she let the stranger into the house? If it were a stranger, she would have told the person she was talking to on the phone.
unless she didn't know who was at the door, remember 1979? phones had cords, she may have had to hang up to go answer the phone.
Anon

Perkasie, PA

#12 Feb 22, 2009
I mean answer the door!
cynical

Glenolden, PA

#13 Feb 22, 2009
cereal city wrote:
the killer had to brag to someone after all these years. he had to tell someone that he got away with murder. how did her brother die anyway?
He worked at a gas station on Schoenersville rd. Early one morning, he and another worker were cleaning the floor with flammable liquids with the door closed. Whoosh, the place burst into flames. He died from his burns.
rabiddog

Allentown, PA

#14 Feb 22, 2009
Who all did she tell that her greatest fear was being stabbed to death? Was the door the perp enterd unlocked?Did her father have any friends that maybe had the "hots" for his daughter that he wasn't aware of? I mean, she was a beautiful young woman. It is a shame that the police didn't use rubber gloves back then. The perp probably was wearing gloves!Could it have been someone who was close in some way to the family who had an obscession of Holly and she rebuffed them? I hope someones conscience finally gets the best of them and this case can be resolved.
Tammy

United States

#15 Feb 22, 2009
Luke Spencer wrote:
We all know the deaths of Holly and Sean were related. The perpetrator should be brought to justice. Don't forget about other unsolved cases, for example, Jeannie Sulfrich (mid 1990's). She was murdered in the Miller Heights section of Bethlehem Township. Jeannie wasn't as rich as the Branagans however she was still a human being and deserves justice. Her murder is still running free. Perhaps even living next door to you!
I grew up with the Sulfrich family and Jeannie was a pretty girl who lived a little wild,but she didn't deserve to die like that.Her family also suffers still today not knowing who killed her.
me too

Allentown, PA

#16 Feb 22, 2009
I too remember this case from way back when.

What was the Jeanie Sulfrich case? I need a refresher on that one.

And, does anyone remember the 7-11 murder in Hellertown around the same time? That was solved and the murderer arrested, but he may actually be out of prison by now. Peter Shelbo was the killer. And David Spangenburg was the victim. He was a very good friend of mine at the time.
Reaheeeely

Slatington, PA

#17 Feb 22, 2009
Since the daughter and son were very very close in age 1 year apart, I can see where they would have mutual friends. My bet is one the victim's brother's friends. Definitely someone both the daugther and son had personally in common. Knew the brother was at his friend's house and also knew she was the only one in the home.
Jim

Bethlehem, PA

#18 Feb 22, 2009
You are wasting your time placing blame on an investigation that happened thirty years ago. Focus on what can be done now. There has got to be one person who was close to her in 1979 reading the blogs and arcticles that have been written recently. What are they afraid of thirty years later? Many of Hollys friends lawyered up and were under protection from their well-to-do parents. Police were told they couldn't speak to them. Due to all the legal roadblocks, the cops went to the Northampton County president judge at the time to request permission to speak to a person of interest. The police later found out the boys parents and the judge were close friends and the request was denied. I guess the possibility of straining a relationship is more important than finding a killer.
Hollys friends need to come out of hiding and start remembering the events of early 1979. Some still live in this area and it seems they would rather forget these tragic events altogether. They should be ashamed of themselves for keeping information to solve a friends murder secret. What a bunch of pathetic and lousy friends she had. They're not teenagers anymore.
think Deep

Slatington, PA

#19 Feb 22, 2009
My theory: He brother knew how very scared she was after the movie she saw, and knew of her worst fear in dying. I believe he and a friend, (possibally the friend who's house he stayed at) just wanted to give her the scare of her life, and some how it went very wrong, Holly grabbing a knife, or turning the knife the intruder brought along, on the intruder, a real life struggle continued and Holly was the ultimate looser. I can see the boys togeather afterward panicking, in sheer horror, now knowing what the enormity of the prank they were gonna play became. Please question his friend where he slept the night, he should be ready to lighten the horrible secret he has kept these years.
amazed

Quentin, PA

#20 Feb 22, 2009
Sory but if those involved or with knowledge of the murder/s have lived with this secret this long they will probably take it to their graves. Some people have no moral conscience.

Unfortunately after 30 years of non activity and no new evidence, it most likely will never be solved.

I do not know where that father gets his strength from. I would have just coiled up and died myself. You deserve justice. And it will come. Just not on this Earth. Not by our judicial system.

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