Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
On February 28, 1982 Jackie Simpson didn't return to her daughter's apartment after tending bar at the former Magic Lamp Bar and Grill in Vandergrift. She was last seen just after midnight with Gary R. Kunish, the bar's owner.
Prior to her disappearance, the mother of seven had ended a relationship with Kunish just before Christmas 1981. She had since begun to date a man from Vandergrift.
Later that morning, Simpson was reported missing when she failed to return home. Spots of blood was found in the bar. Jacqueline Simpson has never been found despite intensive police searches. Scuba divers searched two Westmoreland County lakes and helicopters made sweeps over the Alle-Kiski Valley. Other areas that were searched include the Braeburn area of Lower Burrell, areas of water in Allegheny Township, the wooded area by the Bonfire Restaurant on Route 56, a cave behind the former Woodland Drive-In in Parks, the basement of the Magic Lamp, and the former Varos Landfill in Buffalo Township. The general consensus at the time was that Jackie Simpson's body was in the landfill.
Gary Kunish was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1982. Prosecutors won the case despite having no murder weapon, no eyewitness, no confession and no body. Kunish began serving a 3 1/2-year sentence in August 1984 at the state prison near Greensburg. He was paroled Feb. 16, 1988. Gary R. Kunish, died in 1996.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Pennsylvania State Police