The Forgotten Death of a Forgotten Actor

As an actor, Jimmy Ferrara shared the screen with a number of Hollywood stars and owned the TWT (Tomorrow Will Tell) Ranch in central Nevada. Only 65-years-old at the time  of his murder on September 30, 1985 in Yuma Arizona, it would take more than 20-years to bring his killers to justice.

Born May 11, 1920, in New York City to Soloadose and Laura Ferrara, he’s described as a ‘bit-actor from the 1940’s,’ appearing opposite of Humphey Bogart, Roy Rogers, and Bill Elliot. And he also served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II.

jimmie-ferraraIt was while in the Coast Guard that Ferrara dated Rita Hayworth. According to Hollywood historians, Rita once snuck a bottle of bourbon to him after he got thrown in the brig for punching an officer.

He married actress Carole Gallagher on November 27, 1946, having been married once before, to Kathleen Cartmill, in 1942, whom he divorced in 1944 or 1945. On October 3, 1981, while visiting Reno, Nevada, Ferrara got hitched for a third-time to Delma Lee Troy.

Less than four-years later, this third marriage would prove his undoing.

Ferrara was last seen driving near his house with a friend Carly Axel, after he returned from a Nevada vacation. Half-an-hour later, Ferrara was found shot four times in the head and upper body.

Nearly 21-years later, Rick Kosterow, Donald White and Ferrara’s estranged wife, Delma found themselves charged with his murder. Her arrest was made as she shopped at the local Walmart in Fallon, Nevada, near her home.

Assistant Fallon Police Chief Ray Dolan said  Troy had lived in Fallon since 1987 based on records of contact with her over the years, which included a noise complaint filed by a neighbor and had lived at her current address since 2004 when she called to report a fire. He said he was contacted by Arizona detectives who had developed information that Troy was living in Fallon and that she was wanted for the decades-old murder.

Police had reopened the case after getting a series of phone calls from an ex-wife of one of the defendants, and another call from Kosterow’s uncle, whom Kosterow had swindled. The uncle told police Kosterow had admitted to the shooting years before.

Further investigation brought to light the fact that Troy, who was unhappy in her marriage, had been having an affair with Kosterow.  She told him she wanted Ferrara killed, and he enlisted White to help carry out the deed.

White pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and received 20 years in prison. However, Kosterow decided to plead not guilty arguing that the case against him was “full of holes and there was no physical evidence” that linked him to the crime.

Both White and Troy testified against Kosterow.  The jury found Kosterow guilty of first-degree murder, felony first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and he was given life with the possibility of parole.

White pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was given 20 years in prison. Troy eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and received 20-years in prison where she died in 2015.

Jimmie Ferrara rests in the Unionville Cemetery, in Unionville, Pershing County, Nevada, not far from his ranch that he loved.

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