Winchester Police reopen, seek leads in 45-year-old cold case

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 09:00

The Winchester Police Department (WPD) is seeking leads in a recently-reopened cold case homicide that will mark its 45th anniversary this coming November.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on November 11, 1975, 71-year-old Lenna Robinson was hit on the head with an unknown object and robbed outside her Peyton Street home as she gathered her family’s Christmas presents from her car. The assault resulted in injuries that ultimately led to Robinson’s death on November 15, 1975. Despite an investigation that carried into the spring of 1976, no arrests have been made in the case, and to date it has remained unsolved.

Lieutenant Amanda Behan, an employee of the WPD since 2001, discovered the case file after discussing ideas with the City of Winchester’s Communications Department to create a true-crime podcast. “After skimming through the case file and discussing it with colleagues, I was shocked at how unaware of this case most of us are,” stated Behan.   

With Lt. Behan at the helm, the WPD launched its own podcast on March 11, 2020 titled DEFROST: Winchester’s True Crime with Behan & Smith. The podcast chronicles the unraveling of the original case file by Lt. Behan and her cohost, retired WPD Detective Craig Smith. Behan and Smith are joined along the way by guests such as Detective Robert Wolford, a retired Major of the WPD and an original investigator of the case in 1975, City Planning Director Tim Youmans, Handley Library’s Stewart Bell Archives volunteer Dave Jenkins, and more.

To date, the DEFROST team has produced and released three of the planned nine episodes as well as trailers and bonus video content. New episodes will be released on the 11th of each month until the season finale on November 11, the 45th anniversary of the crime.

“Our mission with this podcast is not to entertain, though that quality is certainly a by-product and hits a large market of true-crime podcast fans,” stated Lt. Behan, who not only hosts but also researches for and writes the podcast off the clock. “Our mission is to bring the Robinson family closure and peace, and to find the perpetrator or perpetrators who committed this crime. We feel that even 45 years later, someone knows something, and we need any and all information that we can get our hands on to solve this case.”

The WPD is encouraging anyone who may have information about the case to call the department at 540-662-4131, Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS, or submit an anonymous tip through the P3 app. Please reference case #D-002188. Episodes 1-3 of the podcast are streaming now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor.fm, and more platforms.