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Peggy Beck: Authorities announce who did it, but need help locating him

The authorities are asking for help to track down a man who they say is responsible for the death of Margaret “Peggy” Beck from Colorado in 1963.

Peggy who was from Edgewater, was 16-years-old and a counselor at the Flying G Ranch Girl Scouts camp in the Pike National Forest in 1963. She was spending the night, Aug. 18, alone in a tent at the camp because her roommate, Claudia Stride was sick. When she went back to the tent the next morning, she found Peggy dead. Beck had been sexually assaulted and strangled. No one saw anything.

It was 8 hours before the police arrived and during that time, the tent was cleared and much evidence was lost. It was thought that Peggy had died from natural causes at first and it wasn’t until the coroner examination that they discovered she had been murdered.

In a news conference on Thursday, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said an arrest warrant has been issued for James Raymond Taylor Investigators have not been able to locate him.

During the news conference, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said, “In 2007, a John Doe DNA profile was created from evidence originally collected from the crime scene, and the profile was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). In June 2019, a more comprehensive profile was created and submitted for investigative genetic genealogy testing. The resulting investigation into leads gained from the testing led to the identity of Peggy’s killer.”

But, even though the authorities know who it is, doesn’t mean they know where he is.

“We have spent several months searching for James Taylor, with no luck,” Alberti said. “We have no idea where he’s at.” They are turning to the public for help to find him.

What is known:

James Raymond Taylor (See above photo) was born Dec. 22, 1939 and was known to live in Edgewater in the early 1960s and worked as a TV repairman. He was married at the time. He did know how to build and test ham radios. Taylor was last seen in the Las Vegas area in 1976. There has been no information about him since then and his whereabouts is unknown. If Taylor is still alive, he would be 81 years old.

The Colorado Spring Gazette published an article on June 19, 1977 of a similar incident that happened at the Flying J. There was also rumors of an incident in 1976, but no details from the individual was ever formally taken, so no documentation exists, only stories that have been passed down.

There were also similarities between this incident and one in Oklahoma in 1977 at a camp. But, it is likely that another man was responsible for the murders. Funding was achieved for a new DNA test in 2017 and results are still pending.

If anyone has information about Taylor, or if you recognize the photo remember some information that would lead to his location, please call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office tip line at (303) 271-5612 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-7867 and are asked to reference case 63-10335.


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