Press Release: 49th Anniversary of WVU Coed Abduction

Disappearance and Decapitation of Coeds Detailed in Compelling Eight Part Series

Morgantown, WV - January 18, 2019 marked the 49th anniversary of the disappearance of Mared Malarik and Karen Ferrell, an unresolved crime that still haunts north central West Virginia. The WVU coeds, heading to their dorm on a cold Sunday night, hitched a ride – common in 1970s Morgantown. In an unknown car, with a person unknown, the pair passed friends waiting for a bus and have never been seen alive again. At least not by anyone but their murderer(s).

This true story of two freshman girls is vividly detailed by podcast team J. Kendall Perkinson, Geoffrey Fuller and Sarah James McLaughlin. Meticulously crafted by storyteller and narrator Perkinson, the eight episodes relate the decades of research of Fuller and McLaughlin, integrating local history and memories of direct participants while calling into question the conviction of the man who was twice found guilty of the crime.

“We’ve made a forceful case that the person convicted could not have killed them,” states Fuller. While the trio remain of differing opinions on who committed the heinous act, all agree that the case should be reopened. “Time is working against resolution for Mared and Karen. We ask that anyone who may know something be in touch with us at,” adds Perkinson.

In 2017, Kromatic Media began an award-winning podcast project titled Mared & Karen: The WVU Coed Murders. When the first story about the show appeared in WV Explorer, the web traffic crashed their server. The reaction since then has been equally overwhelming. The show is now at over 250,000 listens with an ever-growing audience.

In less than six months from its first posting, the podcast was added to the curriculum of classes in forensics (West Virginia University), true crime (Marshall University), and podcasting (University of Tennessee).

For further information, please contact Press Coordinator Sydney Pringle at