The 2006 Double Murder of Elderly Reno Couple

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Albert and Joan Musalo. Photo credit: Washoe County Sheriff’s Department

Albert Raymond Musalo was born on April 13, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York, to Albert and Louise Musalo.

Joan Elizabeth Behrman was born on November 1, 1931, in Brooklyn to Harold and Matilda Behrman.

Albert was a graduate of Saint Michaels’ High School in Brooklyn. Joan graduated from Fort Hamilton High school, also in Brooklyn.

The couple met while working together at Brooklyn Gas and Electric. They married on January 24, 1953, at Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn, and eventually had four children: Sue, Richard, Joanne, and Robert.

The Musalo family resided in several places across the U.S. and parts of Europe before moving to Nevada in 1973 and raising their children there.

Albert worked as a flight engineer for Pan Am Airlines for 33 years before his retirement. Joan was a homemaker who loved to cook and entertain family and friends.

Those who knew Albert and Joan described them as “friendly and never apart.”

In 2004, the couple bought a $1.2 million home on Lake Geneva Drive in Montreux, a gated community located along Mt. Rose Highway between Reno and Lake Tahoe.

The community was considered safe with excellent security. Montreux had ten full-time guards and several part-time workers who guarded the gatehouse at the main entrance 24 hours a day and a service entrance, 12 hours per day.

Residents had to inform security of any upcoming visitors. Contractors and other workers had to submit their driver’s license and registration to obtain a one- to 30-day pass to enter Montreux.

At Montreux, homeowners felt safe and had no reason to feel otherwise until a double murder rocked this tight-knit community to its core.

The Murder and Subsequent Investigation

The Musalos were preparing for a trip back to their native New York when their daughter, Joanne Kohls, called to invite them to dinner before they went. There was no answer. She called again with the same result.

Knowing it was unlike her parents not to answer their phone, Joanne and her husband drove to Albert and Joan’s home around 7:20 pm on March 28, 2006. When they entered the residence, they found Albert and Joan dead, victims of a fatal shooting.

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Reno Gazette-Journal, March 30, 2006

When the police arrived, they found no signs of forced entry. The house doors were locked, and someone had cut a phone line. A few items were missing, but they had no significant value.

Officers found mud inside the home and footprints in the snow leading from a public hiking trail behind the house. A six-foot wall separated the Musalo home from the path.

Detectives said the killer was likely familiar with the Musalo home or Montreux.

“The shooter could have easily come in through many access points to get on the trail, and if they selected a house easiest to get to from the trail, it would be Al’s,” said neighbor Marv Burton in 2006 (O’Malley, 2006).

Washoe County Sheriff’s Department received several tips through Secret Witness, but those led nowhere. Even a $30,000 reward for information did not produce any results.

In January 2008, Clear Channel Outdoor donated billboards that were put up with the Musalos picture, reward money, and a number to call with tips. Secret Witness managed the billboard campaign. The billboards were estimated to receive nearly 350,000 views per day but proved unsuccessful, despite receiving a couple of leads each week.

Two months later, in March 2008 and near the second-anniversary mark, authorities stated they wanted to question 40-year-old Stephen Potter Goins and emphasized he was not a suspect; he might have pertinent information relevant to the murder investigation.

Sacramento, California authorities arrested Goins in April 2008 on drug charges. Washoe County detectives wanted to question him, but no information was available on whether this transpired.

In 2016, Lt. Tom Green said the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department has a significant amount of evidence, including unknown male DNA that was submitted into the Combined DNA Index System, commonly known as CODIS, but there has been no match to date. (Nelson, 2016)

Paul Nelson wrote that “ballistics from the crime scene could match the firearm used in the killings.”

Fourteen years later, the case remains unsolved. If you have any information regarding the 2006 murder of Albert and Joan Musalo, please contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department’s Detective Division at 775–328–3320. A $35,000 reward is available for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the double slaying.

References

Larson, Kristin S. 2008. “Police Seek Person of Interest in Deaths of Montreux Couple.” Reno Gazette-Journal. March 22. https://www.newspapers.com (accessed December 20, 2020).

“Musalo Obituary.” Reno Gazette-Journal. April 4, 2006. https://www.newspapers.com (accessed December 20, 2020).

Nelson, Paul. 2016. “Musalo Murders Remain Mystery, Ten Years Later.” KTVN. March 24. https://www.newspapers.com (accessed December 20, 2020).

Newman, Alex. 2006. “Gated Communities Not Immune to Crime.” Reno-Gazette Journal. April 2. https://www.newspapers.com (accessed December 22, 2020).

O’Malley, Jaclyn. 2006. “Double SlayingShocks Montreux.” Reno Gazette-Journal. March 30.
http://www.newspapers.com (accessed December 22, 2020).

O’Malley. Jaclyn. 2008a. “Billboards Seek Leads in Unsolved 2006 Killing of Montreux Couple.” Reno Gazette-Journal. January 24. https://www.newspapers.com (accessed December 22, 2020).

— 2008b. “Man To Be Questioned About Montreux Couple’s Murder.” April 1.
Reno Gazette-Journal. https://www.newspapers.com (accessed December 20, 2020).

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I have owned a true-crime blog since 2010. Follow my blog at https://truecrimediva.com

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