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H2H S5. E216. Susan Schwarz. The Queen of Hearts

Unveiling the Mystery: The Case of Susan Schwarz, The Queen of Hearts

In the quiet suburban town of Lynnwood, Washington, the autumn of 1979 was forever marked by a chilling discovery. On October 22, 1979, the body of 24-year-old Susan Schwarz was found in her home, a victim of a brutal crime that would haunt the community for decades. This week, Hitched 2 Homicide delves into the harrowing details of Susan Schwarz’s murder, the years of unanswered questions, and the eventual breakthrough that brought her killer to justice.

The Crime

Susan Schwarz was a young woman full of promise and life. However, her vibrant existence was cut short in a horrifying manner. She was found bound and shot in the head in her own home. The crime scene yielded no significant evidence—no fingerprints, no signs of forced entry, and no immediate suspects. The investigation quickly hit a dead end, leaving Susan’s family and friends in a state of grief and confusion.

The Cold Case

For 32 years, Susan’s murder remained a cold case. The lack of evidence and leads frustrated investigators and the community. Over the years, many theories were proposed, and numerous potential suspects were questioned, but nothing concrete emerged. Susan Schwarz’s case became a haunting reminder of the limitations of forensic science and investigative techniques of that era. But her best friend held a letter from her ex-brother in-law that would prove helpful.

The Breakthrough

The breakthrough in Susan Schwarz’s case came from an unexpected source: a deck of playing cards. In an innovative move to solve cold cases, the Washington Department of Corrections had distributed decks of playing cards to inmates, each card featuring details of an unsolved crime. Susan Schwarz was featured as the Queen of Hearts. And when her killer's half brother who was set on revenge saw Susan's face, he was ready to talk.

In 2011, prison inmate, Sherwood KVay Knight recognized the case from the playing cards and came forward with crucial information about his half brother, Greg Johnson. This led to the re-examination of old evidence and witness testimonies, including Johnson's unknown 17-year-old girlfriend at the time. It eventually produced the confession needed to solve the case.

Justice Served

The confession and subsequent investigation led to the arrest and conviction of Greg Johnson, Susan Schwarz’s murderer. This long-awaited justice brought a sense of closure to Susan’s family and the community. The case of the Queen of Hearts, once a symbol of mystery and sorrow, transformed into a testament to persistence and the power of innovative investigative techniques.


The story of Susan Schwarz, the Queen of Hearts, is a poignant reminder of the human stories behind cold cases. It highlights the relentless efforts of law enforcement to bring justice to victims, no matter how much time has passed. As we explore this and other true crime stories in our podcast, Hitched 2 Homicide, we aim to honor the memory of victims and shed light on the dark corners of human nature.

Tune in to our latest episode for an in-depth look at the Susan Schwarz case. Subscribe, share, and follow us on social media using the hashtags #TrueCrime #QueenOfHearts #SusanSchwarz #Hitched2Homicide. Join us as we continue to unravel the mysteries of unsolved crimes and bring forgotten stories back to life.

Sources used for this podcast:


1. YouTube Video: "Case Cracked: Susan Schwarz"

2. The Oregonian/OregonLive: "Inmate's tip helps investigators solve 1979 killing in Seattle suburb"

3. The Spokesman-Review: "Detectives crack decades-old killing"

4. (The Herald): "Man sentenced to 24 years for 1979 murder"

5. Find a Grave: Susan M. Schwarz (1955-1979) - Find a Grave Memorial

6. On the Case with Paula Zahn"The Truth Never Dies (TV Episode 2019) - IMDb

When a young woman is found shot to death in her home police are baffled. Then a cryptic letter from a mysterious source sends the investigation down a twisting road to the truth.

Detectives crack decades-old killing

EVERETT – Her name was written in the thick murder book. Three decades later Snohomish County sheriff's detectives came knocking on her door. She knew why the two men were there. The moment finally had come to share the secret she'd been lugging around since she was 18 years old. She could tell them who killed Susan Schwarz...

The Daily Chronicle (Centralia, Washington) - April 23, 2011

Newspaper article about the arrest in Susan Schwarz's murder case.

The Daily Chronicle (Centralia, Washington) - April 25, 2011

Another newspaper article about developments in Susan Schwarz's murder case.

Queen of hearts prompts cold case arrest, Kirkland father recalls daughter's 1979 murder

Susan Schwarz may have been the queen of her father's heart, but it was her place as the queen of hearts in a deck of playing cards that may have led to finding her murderer 32 years after her death...

Man sentenced to 24 years for 1979 murder |

EVERETT — Her name was written in the thick murder book. Three decades later Snohomish County sheriff's detectives came knocking on her door. She knew why the two men were there...


Photos and Movie Clips used in YouTube Video


Brooklyn Nine-Nine | S5 E5 | Bad Beat | Fremulon; Dr. Goor Productions; 3 Arts Entertainment; Universal Television

Modern Family |S2 E1 | ABC

Dodgeball” A True Underdog Story | 2004 | 20th Century Studios

The Brady Bunch Movie | 1995 | Paramount Pictures

Murder She Wrote | 1984 | S1 E16 | Tough Guys Don’t Die | CBS

B Positive | 2020 | S2 E12 | Dagobah, a Room and a Chimney Sweep | CBS

Schitt’s Creek | S6 E5 | The Premiere | CBC Television

The Good Place | S1 E8 | Most Improved Player | NBC


❤️ Bless Your Heart Sources




All information contained in this video presentation is provided for entertainment purposes only. The authors leave any and all conclusions to individual members of the audience. The author offers no statements of fact beyond those available through diligent private research or through information freely available in the public record. To the extent that pending or settled criminal matters or crime or possible crimes, are discussed in this video presentation. All parties or defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. To the extent that any pending or settle civil matters are discussed in this video presentation, all parties or defendants are presumed not liable unless proven liable in a court of law. Copyright for material incorporated and presented under Fair Use is retained by the original author or copyright holder where applicable. Our cases are researched using open source and archive materials, and the subjects are real crimes and people. We strive to produce each episode with respect to the victims, their families and loved ones. At Hitched 2 Homicide we are committed to always discussing how victims lived, and not just how they died.


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