I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, then followed my mother’s advice to go somewhere “different” for college. In 1965, I moved to Boulder, Colorado. Now, more than five decades later, my roots are still in the East, but my heart – and my passion for researching and writing about history – is in the West. Colorado has remained my home. Here you will learn more about my books, articles, current projects – and about me. Thanks for visiting my website. (Visitors to www.boulderjanedoe.com are redirected here, as that site has now merged with this one.)

Stumped on a cold case? Need historical context for a research project? Looking for people or places in Boulder County, Colorado? Contact me for more information.

Silvia Pettem © 2023



SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER: IN SEARCH OF JUSTICE FOR JANE DOE, UPDATED EDITION was republished in February 2023, in paperback, by Lyons Press, subsidiary of Rowman & Littlefield.
This paperback edition is UPDATED with the EPILOGUE that was not included in the first/hardback edition.

SEE ALSO, “WEB OF DEATH (EPISODE #2, BOULDER JANE DOE)" STREAMING ON HULU. ("Local journalist Silvia Pettem delves into the 50-year-old mystery of Boulder Jane Doe, an unidentified woman murdered in Colorado.”)



In addition to writing books, I co-author the “In Retrospect” history column for the Boulder Daily Camera, in Boulder, Colorado. My latest column, “Caribou Cemetery neglected but not forgotten,” and many others, can be read at the “In Retrospect column” link, below. 

In Retrospect column


A recent newspaper column ties in with the CARIBOU CEMETERY PROJECT — a community effort to restore respect to those buried in a small Colorado mountain cemetery, once home to silver miners from Cornwall. 

Left, A small cross used to hang near the cemetery’s entrance.

For more information, see cariboucemetery.com

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Long-term missing persons
Unidentified remains
Cold case homicides
Boulder County, Colorado, history