Cold Cases

New Jersey Police Taking Fresh Look At Unsolved Triple Homicide — 40 Years Later

All three members of the Deal family were found with their throats slit the day before Halloween in 1978.

This week marked the 40th anniversary of the day police found the bodies of a couple and their 3-year-old son, all with their throats slit, inside their New Jersey home. Now, police hope new DNA and ballistic technology can help solve the case that rocked a community and continues to haunt investigators.

New Jersey State Police were summoned to the home of Gary and Joan Deal, both 26, on Oct. 30, 1978. The last time anyone had contacted the family was just four days earlier.

When officers arrived, they found Gary Deal lying on the floor near the front door with multiple gunshot wounds on his head and a slit throat, police said in a statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday. His wife, Joan, was found naked and was also shot multiple times and slashed across her throat; the couple's toddler son, Jason, was found in his bed and wearing his pajamas with his throat cut, as well.

In addition to asking the public for help in solving the triple homicide, police said they recently resubmitted DNA and ballistic evidence recovered at the crime scene for additional testing now that new technology was available to analyze such clues. During the investigation, police identified several possible suspects, but no arrests were ever made.

"Updated investigative leads are still being sought today," police said, adding that they hope to "bring closure to the Deal family and their devastated community” with this latest push to uncover answers.

"The brutal murder of the Deal family sent shockwaves throughout New Jersey and across the country, with numerous local and federal law enforcement agencies assisting with the case," police said in the statement. "The original detectives conducted an extremely thorough and relentless investigation, compiling volumes of information before exhausting all leads."

[Photo Credit: New Jersey State Police/Facebook]

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