Arrest made in 1975 cold case

Earl Taylor (Provided Photo/Vigo County Sheriff’s Office)

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department made an arrest in connection to the 1975 murder of Kathy Taylor.

Kathy N. Dean Taylor, 23 at the time, had married Earl L. Taylor of Terre Haute and formerly of Sullivan County.

On the evening of April 2, 1975, Earl stated he came home to find Kathy dead in the bathtub at their home in Terre Haute.

Kathy Dean Taylor (Provided Photo/Vigo County Sheriff’s Office)
Kathy Dean Taylor (Provided Photo/Vigo County Sheriff’s Office)

Officials stated that Earl had removed her body from the bathtub and contacted a family member instead of contacting authorities. The family member then contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

Earl told authorities that it was the electronic clock radio that fell into the tub killing her.

During the investigation, detectives noticed that the power cord on the clock radio appeared to have been changed to extend the length.

The investigation revealed the factory cord length would not have allowed the radio to fall into the bathtub.

Detectives learned weeks prior to her death, Kathy told family and friends that Earl was having an affair and that she was planning on filing for divorce.

Documents also show that Earl had taken out several life insurance policies on Kathy without her knowledge or consent.

When told of the insurance policies, Kathy reportedly told the insurance representative that she feared her husband was going to kill her.

Several years after Kathy’s death the same insurance representative learned that Earl Taylor was soon to be married to a woman named Mindy Svadeba of Terre Haute.

Mindy Svadeba Taylor (Provided Photo/Vigo County Sheriff’s Office)
Mindy Svadeba Taylor (Provided Photo/Vigo County Sheriff’s Office)

Documents show those insurance representatives contacted Mindy and warned her she may be in danger.

On October 4, 1987, Mindy’s body was recovered from the driver’s side of her Pontiac Fiero which was found submerged in a lake near Deming Park in Terre Haute.

Earl Taylor told Sheriff’s detectives that he and Mindy had difficulty sleeping that night, and at her suggestion, they had gone for a drive at about 3 a.m.

Earl stated that Mindy swerved the car to avoid hitting a raccoon which was crossing the road in front of them and the car went into the water.

He stated she was unconscious and he was unable to get her out of the car once it began filling with water.

An investigation revealed that the seat on the driver’s side was too far back for Mindy to have driven the car and that her arms were under the seat belt and her seat belt was fastened in the passenger receptacle.

An autopsy revealed that Mindy had died of drowning, and although she had no injuries, there were no signs she attempted to escape the car.

Mindy's Fiero being  examined by Sheriff's deputies (Provided Photo/Vigo County Sheriff’s Office)
Mindy’s Fiero being examined by Sheriff’s deputies (Provided Photo/Vigo County Sheriff’s Office)

The investigation revealed that Earl had taken out a life insurance policy worth $600,000 on Mindy and also on another woman that he was having an affair with at that time.

Earl Taylor was arrested and convicted for the murder of his second wife in 1988 and received a sentence of 60 years in prison, but was released early in January 2014.

As part of an ongoing review of cold cases, Vigo County Sheriff’s officials recently re-opened the Kathy Taylor death investigation.

Sheriff Greg Ewing also called again on the expertise of TNT’s- Cold Justice to assist detectives in taking a closer look at the murder.

Earl Taylor was taken into custody on Tuesday by Vigo County Sheriff’s investigators. A press conference was scheduled Tuesday afternoon in regards to the case. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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