The Justice Files: ‘All he wanted was directions’

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The unsolved murder of Dee Dee Wach

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Dee Dee Wach was ready for a change in her life.

She made plans to move from Utah to move past her young life.  But for some unknown reason, someone stopped her.

“We heard the gunshot, a shotgun,” said her mother Dorothy Prince. “She had made it from the curb to the house.”

She heard pounding on the door and then Dee Dee stepped in.

“(She) collapsed on the floor and the only thing she kept saying was he asked for directions,” Prince said.  “He just asked for directions.”

Her 19-year-old daughter was shot in the chest and was taken to the hospital, fighting to stay alive.

It was December 14, 1988 late in the evening when Wach was shot.  Deputies with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

Neighbors also heard the gunfire.  According to news accounts, a woman told police she saw “the victim standing by a car.”  As the woman drove down the street, she heard “two shots,” followed by “oh my God.”  The woman then heard a second shot.

At around 2 a.m., Wach died at the hospital. 

Months earlier, Wach filed for divorce from her husband Paul Wach.  According to court records she even filed for two protective orders against him.  Her mother said there was a bitter custody battle over their lone child, Heather.

Detectives wanted to talk with two possible suspects. One was Paul Wach, Dee Dee’s husband.

Authorities were also seeking information about a “red vehicle parked in the front curb of the home” when the shooting took place. 

Meanwhile, Wach’s mother believed who ever approached her daughter on the street was a stranger.

“If it would have been him, she would have been saying who it was but he just asked for directions,” Prince said.

But Wach’s former husband wasn’t arrested nor was he ever charged.  He supposedly had an alibi.

Prince has her suspicions of Paul Wach who has been in and out of prison.  Among his crimes were child prostitution and aggravated kidnapping.  Prince suspected it was a murder for hire plot.

“I am not going to mince words (but) we got some information after it happened, how Paul set up this whole alibi for that night,” she said.

In 1989, Prince received more information from another mother whose daughter was murdered.

Notes from the woman’s diary said “(Dee Dee) knew too much about (Christine’s) death.”  In May of 1985, Christine Gallegos was shot to death.  Her murder has turned into another cold case.

“When Christina was killed, it was very hard on Dee Dee,” said Prince.

The two young women were friends and worked at the same nightclub.

“It’s more than a coincidence to have Christine that is an unsolved murder and Dee Dee who is an unsolved murder,” said Jason Jensen, an investigator for the Utah Cold Case Coalition.

Thursday on The Justice Files, how the unsolved murders of these young women and a 14-year old girl who was also murdered, are connected.

As for Paul Wach’s possible involvement, a detective with Unified Police Department said the case is still active and can’t release any information.  But the detective said no one has been ruled out and the everyone is still a suspect.

Paul Wach was not reachable for comment because he is still in prison.

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