On January 1, 1973, 28 year old schoolteacher Roseann Quinn went out for a drink at the bar across the street from her apartment on West 72 Street in Manhattan. She met a man there named John Wilson. The two hit it off and went back to her apartment. Only Wilson would leave the apartment alive.
In the apartment Quinn and Wilson got into an argument. Quinn questioned Wilson’s sexuality, which set Wilson off into a murderous rage. Wilson stabbed Quinn 18 times with a kitchen knife, wiped the murder weapon and apartment down to destroy fingerprint evidence, and fled the building. He told a disbeleving friend Geary Guest that he had killed someone and requested money to leave town, returning to his Indiana home. Guest complied with the bizzare request, wanting Wilson out of his life. Guest later saw the story in the paper and got very concerned and scared.
Meanwhil, NYPD Detectives Patrick Toomey and John Lafferty were having a hard time with their homicide case. There was no probative physical evidence at the scene. Wilson had done a good job at cleaning the apartment. The patrons at the bar recalled Quinn leaving with a man, but no one could recall his appearance.
A sketch was created by police and when Guest saw it, he panicked. In March of 1973, he finally came forward. Police were able to record a phone conversation between Guest and Wilson which led to an indictment. Detectives Toomey and Lafferty went to Indiana and picked up Wilson. He was brought back to New York to stand trial. However, he hung himself in his cell before the trial started.
The case received a lot of coverage in the tabloids. It was eventually turned into a film called, Looking for Mr.Goodbar, starring Diane Keaton and Richard Gere.