Police seek help to solve 1978 cold-case murder of entire New Jersey family

FOLSOM, N.J. — On the night before Halloween in 1978, a young family was found dead in their southern New Jersey home, their throats slashed. Now, 40 years later, state police are making a fresh appeal for clues in the heartbreaking cold case.

Joan and Gary Deal are pictured with their son Jason. All three were found dead with slashed throats in their Folsom, New Jersey home on Oct. 30, 1978. (New Jersey State Police/ Facebook)

The bodies of Gary Deal, Joan Deal and their 3-year-old son Jason were discovered Monday, Oct. 30, 1978 inside a home on Mays Landing Road in Folsom, according to New Jersey State Police, who posted about the case on Facebook Wednesday.

“Ballistic and DNA evidence that were originally collected from the crime scene have recently been resubmitted for additional testing due to new technological advances,” State Police said.

Gary Deal suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his head, and his throat was slashed, police said. His body was discovered on the floor near the front door.

His wife, Joan Deal, was also shot multiple times in the head and had a slashed throat, police said. Her naked body was left on a bedroom floor.

Both parents were 26, according to police.

The throat of 3-year-old Jason was also slashed, police said. He was wearing pajamas and lying in his bed when his body was discovered.

“The brutal murder of the Deal family sent shockwaves throughout New Jersey and across the country, with numerous local and federal law enforcement agencies assisting with the case,” police said.

Investigators at the time concluded the last time anyone was known to have contact with the victims was four days prior, on Thursday, Oct. 26. Numerous suspects were also developed, but police said no one was charged.

Anyone with information about the killing of the Deal family is asked to contact Detective Mario Nocito, of the New Jersey State Police Homicide South Unit, at 609-561-1800 ext. 3354.

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