Dawn Rita Olanick, previously known by the nickname "Princess Doe", (August 5, 1964 - c. July 10, 1982) was a teenager found murdered in a cemetery in Blairstown, New Jersey. She was identified through combined efforts through genetic genealogy, a potential match came to light in February 2022, and it was confirmed at the end of April of the same year. The announcement was made on the 40th anniversary of her discovery.
Olanick was reportedly “asked to leave” her residence for unspecified reasons. At the time she was last seen, she had reportedly completed her eleventh year in school. Future details may be released, as discussed during the initial press conference, yet her family members have requested privacy for the time being.
The victim was found days after her death, although she was previously thought to have been killed up to two weeks prior. She had begun to decompose and her head had been severely damaged by a blunt object.
It is not known if she was sexually assaulted or raped, although her skirt was found removed from her body and thrown on top of her legs and she was not wearing underwear. No semen was found, as the body was too decomposed.
She was given the name "Princess" by Lt. Eric Kranz of the Blairstown police, who wanted her to be known by a different name such as Jane Doe, to distinguish her case from others easily.
The New Jersey State Police believed the then-unidentified Princess Doe was Diane Dye for years, despite inconsistencies with dental charting. The media sensationalized the story, claiming an official identification had taken place. Dye was finally ruled out by DNA in 2003.
Her clothing was manufactured in the US Midwest and at least three people say they bought similar clothing at a now-closed Long Island store.
Recent isotope analysis of the remains indicated that she had spent time in various regions of the United States before her murder, including possible locations such as Arizona. After she was identified, it is unclear whether she did, in fact, travel throughout the country or lived elsewhere before settling in New York.
The victim was possibly seen alive at a supermarket by a mother and child, who recognized the clothing found with the body. The woman described the victim as wearing her hair in a bun with a stoic facial expression. This was two days before the body was found, which is consistent with law enforcement's updated belief that she was killed only days before her discovery.
However, following the announcement of Olanick's identification, it was indicated by investigators that the victim had been killed in New York, or at the scene she was found, while in the company of the suspect.
Arthur and Donna Kinlaw
In 1999, Arthur and Donna Kinlaw confessed to the murder of the victim. The Kinlaws ran a prostitution ring and were involved in murder, robbery, forgery, burglary, and welfare fraud in seven states during the 1980s. They told authorities she was a young prostitute Arthur brought home one day, then left home, and killed, with one report stating Donna saying she witnessed Arthur commit the murder where the body was found. Arthur apparently burned his clothing and cleaned his vehicle and threatened Donna not to tell the authorities. Arthur Kinlaw was convicted to life in prison in two other second-degree homicide cases. Donna Kinlaw was convicted on a manslaughter charge in of the cases and was released in 2003. However, they were not charged, at the time, in this case because investigators believed they lack credibility.
During a press conference announcing Olanick's identification, it was stated that charges had officially been brought against Arthur Kinlaw, based on additional evidence and witness statements. A potential motive was suggested for the murder, which involved Kinlaw's alleged effort to engage Olanick in prostitution, which she refused.
- She had brown, shoulder length hair.
- Her left ear was pierced twice. It is unknown if her right ear was pierced, due to decomposition.
- Princess Doe had painted the nails on her right hand red.
- She wore blue eye shadow.
- Her top two front teeth appeared slightly darker than the rest.
Clothing and accessories
- A skirt that was red and white with a peacock design on the bottom portion.
- She wore a red T-Shirt.
- A gold necklace with a cross pendant was found tangled in her hair.
- Her case appeared on America's Most Wanted.
- The television program MISSING covered the case during an episode.
- A fictionalized account of the murder appeared on MTV's Fear.
- A hypothetical account of the case was the subject of the book The Untold Story of Princess Doe by Christie Leigh Napurano.