Author Topic: 40 YEARS LATER... AN ARREST  (Read 16443 times)

Offline Battle

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« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2019, 09:28:16 am »
Wednesday, 23rd October 2019
A 1980 murder in an Idaho mining town shuttered its only school. Now the suspect has been found on a Texas ranch.
by Meagan Flynn

There were two bars in Clayton, Idaho, a tiny mining town tucked into a bend in the Salmon River, and on the night of Sept. 22, 1980, Walter James Mason would go to them both.

The central Idaho town at the foot of a mountain was home to 43 people, and that night, plenty of them were parked at the Sports Club bar when Mason walked inside.

He was 47 then.

A burly retired bareback rider who toured the pro rodeo in the ’60s before settling down in Clayton.

Mason had worked in the area for years as a rancher and hunting guide, but nobody really knew him, as locals would recall to the Post Register.

That was about to change.

Mason stormed inside the first bar around 10 p.m. that September night to accuse his wife of cheating on him with another man at the bar named Daniel Mason Woolley, witnesses told the Post Register at the time.

The bartender threatened to throw Mason out “if he couldn’t clean up his mouth” ― and before long, three men dragged him outside.

A brawl erupted.

Woolley, a 52-year-old father of three, went outside to break it up, the Post Register reported.

But at that point, Mason had crossed the street to grab two pistols from his truck, witnesses said.

He allegedly returned to fatally shoot Woolley in the head.

He went back inside the Sports Club bar to fire multiple shots in a fit of rage, striking the jukebox, the pool table and a man in the shoulder, the Post Register reported.

Then, escaping the grasp of the bar patrons who disarmed him, he fled for the Silver Bar at the Clayton Hotel across the highway.

He sat down and ordered one last drink, and then he allegedly said, to no one in particular,

“I have just killed a man.”

By the time Custer County deputies arrived, he was gone.

He left his pickup truck parked at Sports Club, and disappeared into the Idaho backcountry never to be seen or heard from again — that is, until this month.

On Monday, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office revealed that after nearly 40 years, Mason was discovered living under the alias Walter James Allison on a Central Texas ranch nearly 1,500 miles away, located on the outskirts of the sleepy rural town of Rising Star, Tex., population 835.

Now 86 years old, Mason was arrested by Texas authorities and extradited back to Idaho this month to face murder charges in Woolley’s death, said Custer County Sheriff Stu Lumpkin.

His identity was confirmed through fingerprinting, the sheriff said, and he has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mason’s court-appointed attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Back in the 1980s, as Mason vanished from Clayton and authorities launched a fruitless search, the town spent years recovering from the damage of the frightening rampage.

“It was a shock, I’ll tell you,” Dan Strand, a nearby resident who knew both Mason and Woolley, told the Post Register in 1986, when the paper ran a postmortem on the stagnant investigation.

“Nobody could believe it.”
The fatal shooting affected nearly the entire community in more ways than one.

Mason’s wife was the town’s only teacher in its two-room schoolhouse, the Post Register reported at the time.

The Idaho State Journal also reported that a woman believed to be Mason’s wife was battered on the face on the night of the man’s alleged rampage.

Shaken up by what happened, and the lingering publicity, his wife reportedly left town for Challis, Idaho.

With no schoolteacher left in Clayton, all the children had to be bused to Challis to attend school more than two dozen miles northeast of the town — a treacherous journey in icy conditions along a two-lane highway, the Post Register reported.

The school apparently reopened in later years when a new teacher arrived.

But the challenges for the small town kept snowballing.

An earthquake in 1983 would leave the school unstable, causing it to close again, and causing the community to fear for the end of Clayton itself.

“In Clayton,” the school’s superintendent told the Associated Press in 1984,

“there’s little left of the community without the school.”

By the time the Post Register published its reflection on the Mason case just a few short years later, Clayton was “no longer the boomtown of the early ’80s.”

The Silver Bar and Clayton Hotel were closed.

The Clayton Silver Mine closed after a half-century.

And most of the witnesses and even original investigators had left town.

By 1990, the population of Clayton had been sliced in half, and today it is home to just seven people.

The FBI attempted to assist the Custer County Sheriff’s Office in the case until 1985, when it apparently gave up.

“All logical investigation had been considered,” Kent Madsen, FBI special agent, told the Post Register in 1986.

“There were no other leads to pursue.”

Authorities stressed that Mason had defining characteristics that would make him hard to miss.

In a wanted poster for Mason, the sheriff’s office noted that his arms, back and chest were covered in scars.

He had also lost control of the muscles on the entire left side of his face, paralyzed by a kick from a horse during his rodeo days.

But Mason still managed to live quietly and unnoticed in a farmhouse in Eastland County, Tex., police now say.

It’s unclear how he was discovered there.

Eastland County Today reported that the sheriff’s office received a tip that a man by the name of Walter James Mason was living on a farm on a county road just north of town ― and was wanted for murder in Idaho.

Eastland County Chief Deputy Don Braly confirmed with Custer County that it was true, and then made the short drive to his home.

When he arrived, the newspaper reported, Braly asked the elderly suspect if his name was really Mason, rather than Allison, to which the man allegedly replied,

“If you did not know the answer to the question, you would not even be here.”

Mason denied shooting Woolley in cold blood, Eastland County Today reported, but claimed it was in self-defense.

He said he had been to both bars in Clayton that night in September 1980.

He left the first after finding his “live-in” drinking with Woolley, the newspaper reported, only to leave the second to find Woolley outside.

He allegedly claimed that he feared Woolley would beat him to death, and so he pulled out his pistol and shot him.

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« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2019, 06:18:04 pm »
Tuesday, 12th November 2019
Nurse took in disabled teen, then tortured and killed her in 1999
by Minyvonne Burke

A mentally disabled Illinois woman who was found dead along a Wisconsin road 20 years ago had been living with an Illinois nurse, who subjected her to years of "horrific" abuse and killed her, authorities say.

The nurse, Linda LaRoche, was arrested on November 5th in Cape Coral, Florida, where she was living, on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in connection to the 1999 death of 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson.

Johnson's body was found on July 21, 1999, in a cornfield in Racine County, Wisconsin.

According to a criminal complaint by the Racine County sheriff's office, she had burns covering 25 percent of her body, possibly from a chemical, broken ribs, bruising on her face and upper torso, and a "noticeably deformed" ear that had been cut.

She also had a broken nose, a discolored cheek and her lower lip was "slit open on both ends," the document states.

An autopsy revealed that she was "slightly malnourished" and had an untreated infection that left her knees and feet swollen.

The complaint states that there was a bruise on Johnson's head from a blow that "did fully penetrate the scalp, but not the skull."

It was determined that the cause of death was homicide by sepsis pneumonia as a result of infection from injuries sustained from abuse. No drugs were found in Johnson's system.

For two decades, Johnson was referred to as "Jane Doe" as investigators worked to identify her.

Then in September authorities received information that helped them uncover her identity.

According to the criminal complaint, a concerned citizen in Florida told police that LaRoche was telling people that she had killed a woman when she lived in Illinois.

It was later determined that Johnson lived with LaRoche, her then-husband and three of her children from 1994 to 1999 before the young woman vanished.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said at a news conference Friday that the case's finally coming to close has brought mixed emotions.

"We are angered by the senseless and brutal murder of this young woman, and we want justice served," he said.

"Yet we're also very proud today by the fact that we can finally offer some closure and some peace."

Johnson, who was raised in Illinois, was 18 when she became homeless after her mother died.

The teen's father and brother were already dead, and she had never met her sister.

Schmaling told reporters that the teenager, who was "cognitively impaired," went to a medical clinic for help which is where she met LaRoche, a registered nurse.

LaRoche "recognized Peggy's disability" and offered to take her in and let the teen live with her and her family, Schmaling said.

According to the criminal complaint, Johnson was allowed to stay with LaRoche's family if "she acted as a nanny and housekeeper."

LaRoche's children, who are now adults, told investigators that their mother was "very abusive" toward Johnson and forced her to sleep in a crawl space underneath the home.

"LaRoche was verbally and emotionally cruel to Peggy, at times screaming at her like an animal," the complaint states.

One of her children recalled a time when LaRoche allegedly stabbed at Johnson's head with a pitchfork.

They all said Johnson had visible injuries.

LaRoche's now ex-husband told investigators that one night he came home from work and found Johnson "lying on the ground lifeless," the complaint states.

He said LaRoche told him that Johnson had overdosed and she was going to get rid of the body "so they would not be involved."

According to the criminal complaint, he said LaRoche was gone for more than two hours and returned home without the girl.

Schmaling told reporters at the news conference that the abuse Johnson endured during the last five years of her life "is something that none of us will ever forget."

LaRoche, 64, will be extradited from Florida to Wisconsin.

Online court records do not list an attorney for her.

LaRoche told detectives that on the day Johnson went missing, she had fainted after she was caught with pills, the criminal complaint states.

LaRoche alleges that she put Johnson in her car, drove to Wisconsin and let her out of the car.

According to the complaint, LaRoche claims that Johnson "was not injured at all when she dropped her off and that something must have happened to her after she dropped her off."

Schmaling said Johnson's remains are buried under the name "Jane Doe" and in the coming weeks she will be laid to rest next to her mother's grave.

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« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2019, 10:36:19 am »
Sunday, 17th November 2019
Arizona white man is arrested in the 1979 murder of a woman in Nevada
by Theresa Waldrop

A suspect has been arrested in the murder of a woman four decades after the body of the 21-year-old was found in Nevada, officials said.

Charles Gary Sullivan was extradited Friday to Nevada from Arizona, where he was arrested and charged in the 1979 murder of Julia Woodward, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

It's one of the latest arrests made possible by advances in DNA technology decades after crimes were committed.

In this case, a detective in the sheriff's office's new cold case unit asked for evidence from the scene to be tested.

Woodward's body was found on March 25, 1979, in Hungry Valley, about 15 miles north of Reno, according to the sheriff's office.

The cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Her parents told investigators at the time she'd lived with them in San Rafael, California, before leaving to look for a job in the Lake Tahoe/Reno area, authorities said.

She was last seen alive in California on February 1st, 1979.

Biological evidence identified Sullivan as a possible suspect in the case.

In August, the Nevada attorney general got an indictment against him.

Technological advances are leading to more and more cold case arrests.

The most famous is probably the arrest in the Golden State Killer case in April 2018, where investigators used DNA and a free genealogy database to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, for allegedly killing 12 people and raping more than 50 women in the 1970s and 1980s.

In Philadelphia, investigators used photo-enhancing technology to link an old sock to the then-boyfriend of a woman murdered in 1991.

The 52-year-old man was arrested in September.

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« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2019, 03:42:04 am »
Saturday, 21st December 2019
DNA leads to arrest of former football coach in 1981 case
by CNN

Police in Florida arrested Joseph Mills after nearly four decades of investigating the 1981 murder of 31-year-old mother Linda Slaten.

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« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2020, 07:14:26 am »
Thursday, 13th February 2o2o
Genealogy leads police to real killer of woman in 1985
by CBS News

A California man who was convicted of a murder nearly 15 years ago is expected to be exonerated Thursday.

Genealogy may have led police to the real killer of a 54-year-old newspaper columnist in 1985, a law enforcement source familiar with the case told CBS News.

Ricky Davis was sentenced to 16 years to life for second degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Jane Hylton, who he lived with in El Dorado Hills, outside of Sacramento.

Davis' then-girlfriend Connie Dahl and Hylton's 13-year-old daughter also lived in the home.
At the time, they said they found Hylton dead and called 911.

A lack of evidence turned the case cold and the identity of the killer went unsolved for 14 years until November 1999, when investigators charged Davis with murder.

He was convicted in 2005.

Investigators said DNA evidence at the time connected Davis to the murder, along with a confession from Dahl.

The day after the murder, Dahl gave a newspaper reporter a tour of the crime scene.

"She showed me a bloody hand print on the wall and then she showed me where she believes the body must have been laid as if asleep is the way she describe it," the reporter said.

But in April of last year, with the help of the Northern California Innocence Project, newly tested evidence revealed an unknown male DNA profile on Hylton's nightgown and under her fingernails.

A judge reversed Davis' murder conviction and he remained in custody awaiting a retrial.

Now, genealogical testing may have identified the real killer, exonerating Davis, the law enforcement source said.

Similar testing using public genealogical websites has been used to solve the most notorious murderers in California including catching the Golden State killer, Joseph James Deangelo, who was accused of at least 50 rapes and 12 murders in the state between the 1970s and 80s.

It is also being used to hunt the infamous Zodiac Killer who boasted about killing as many as 37 people and taunted police by sending them cryptic letters 50 years ago in Northern California.

"Anytime we can't identify the criminal, if we could identify some of the criminal's relatives that might give us a very good leg up on solving some of these crimes," DNA expert Monte Miller said.

Davis is due in court Thursday morning, and his jail record on the county website now lists him as awaiting a removal order.

His lawyer said they are hoping his release is imminent.

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« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2020, 07:34:24 pm »
Tuesday, 17th March 2o2o
Judge says DNA evidence from trash pull can be used in 40 yr old murder trial

by Danielle Ferguson

DNA evidence found on a trash pull at the home of a Sioux Falls woman charged with murder in a nearly 40-year-old case can be used in her jury trial, a judge ruled.

DNA that linked Theresa Rose Bentaas to that of a baby found in a ditch in 1981 can be used in her trial, scheduled for April, Second Circuit Court Judge Susan Sabers said in a brief filed in court Monday.

Sabers denied Bentaas' attorney's request to suppress DNA evidence obtained from a trash pull last year, but acknowledged that privacy concerns existed.

Bentaas voluntarily discarded the items tested in her trash, Sabers wrote, and knows that she had no reasonable expectation of privacy in those items.

"Because defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the items searched, the Fourth Amendment does not apply to the DNA testing performed on those items," Sabers wrote.

"Once law enforcement lawfully possessed those items, it was not an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment to test those items for identification purposes."

Bentaas, 58, was charged in March 2019 with first- and second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter in connection to the 1981 death of Baby "Andrew" John Doe, an hours-old newborn found at the corner of what is now 33rd Street and Sycamore Avenue in Sioux Falls.

In February, Bentaas' attorneys filed a motion to suppress the DNA evidence that was tested from a February 2019 trash pull, saying testing the evidence without her knowledge or consent was a violation of her Fourth Amendment right to reasonable search and seizure.

Prosecutors say police did their due diligence, and said use of DNA was similar to a fingerprint or mugshot.

Deputy Minnehaha County State's Attorney Randy Sample at a motions hearing last week said Bentaas' case was similar to a drug case, in that police had information that the family might be linked to the case, so they did a trash pull, tested in the items and then, based on the results, requested a search warrant for buccal swabs of Bentaas and her husband.

Sabers acknowledged the defense's concerns about privacy, however, saying she would be "remiss" if she didn't share same concerns.

"Nearly twenty years ago, Justices Sabers and Meierhenry cautioned:

‘When police do “garbage pulls,” they are not merely poking through ho-ho wrappers and soda cans. They are delving into the intimate details of a person’s life,’" Sabers wrote.

"In 1984, those words were embedded in a dissent of two justices of the South Dakota Supreme Court," she continued.

"In 2020, those cases fall on deaf ears as the overwhelming majority of cases uphold the use of discarded DNA for identification purposes, as occurred here.”

Bentaas' potentially three-week trial is scheduled to start April 20th 2o2o.

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« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2020, 02:50:54 pm »
Thursday, 19th March 2o2o
Pensacola police make arrest in 35-year-old cold case murder using familial DNA
by Tony Adame

(PENSACOLA, Florida) - Tonya Ethridge McKinley was 23 years old and had an 18-month-old son waiting for her at home when she was killed in the early-morning hours of January 1st, 1985, in Pensacola.
She was last seen alive around 1:30 a.m. at Darryl’s Bar & Grille in Pensacola, and in the early-morning hours of New Year’s Day her body was found in an empty lot at the corner of Peacock Drive and Creighton Road, just one block off Scenic Highway.

She had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

On Wednesday, 35 years later, Pensacola police made an arrest in the case: Daniel Leonard Wells, 57, is facing charges of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual battery.   

Wells was identified after Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia-based company working with the Pensacola Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, ran a DNA sample obtained from the scene of the crime through an open-source genealogy database and identified several different people believed to be distant cousins of the suspect.   

From there, Pensacola police, FDLE and Parabon constructed a family tree, starting with the distant relatives, that eventually led them to identify Wells as a suspect.

Police surveillance teams then surreptitiously obtained his DNA from a discarded cigarette, which was tested and matched DNA found at the crime scene.

"This was a case that spanned three generations of detectives," said PPD Captain Chuck Mallett, who led the investigation.

"I know it took a long time, but it was one of those cases we never gave up on."
According to the arrest report, there is a greater than 1 in 700 billion chance that the DNA from the crime scene is a match to anyone other than Wells.

It is the oldest cold-case arrest in Pensacola history and the first time the familial DNA method has been used to solve a case in Northwest Florida.

Detectives in California used the same method to identify and arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, a suspect in the Golden State Killer cases, in April 2018.

Orlando police used the method in November 2018 to identify a suspect in the 2001 murder of Christine Franke and arrested Benjamin Holmes for first-degree murder.

Wells is being held without bond at Escambia County Jail and will make his first court appearance Thursday morning.   

According to court records, Wells was arrested in Pensacola in 1987 for battery and witness tampering, but the witness tampering charge was dropped after he pled no contest to the battery charge.

In 1988, he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution in Pensacola.

Court records did not indicate the outcome of that case.

Tonya's body was found shortly before 5 a.m. on New Year's Day by a family living on Peacock Drive who were taking their sick dog to an all-night veterinarian clinic.

Investigators collected semen, head hair and pubic from Tonya's body and the crime scene.

Years later, thanks to advances in DNA testing, all of the evidence was identified as being from the same person, but no matches were ever found in the national DNA database.

Tonya's older sister, Renee Ethridge, has run the "Tonya Ethridge McKinley Memorial" page on Facebook since 2012 in hopes of keeping her sister's case in the public eye.

"(Tonya) would fight hard for me ... she would fight for me and I've gotta fight for her," Renee told WKRG in a 2008 interview.

"There are people out there who know (what happened). I'm positive of that."

Tonya and Renee's father, Joe, died in April 2000. Their mother, Laverne, lives in Jay with Renee.

"(Tonya) can rest now," Renee said after being told of Wells' arrest.

"She can finally rest."

Renee said Tonya loved Rod Stewart and KISS and was trying to make a better life for herself when she was killed.

More than anything, Renee said, Tonya loved her then-18-month-old son, Timothy Davidson Jr., who family members affectionately referred to as “Timbo” when he was a child.

"My mom, she never got to raise me, never got to be a part of my life," Davidson said after the arrest.
"(Wells) got to live his life the last 35 years. He got to have a family. He got to be around his children ... and all those years he was out there, knowing what he did. He was carrying it around with him and he was never going to tell anyone what he did. He wasn't going to ever just say what he did on his own."
"Nothing could ever make up for losing my mom, but at least now we know what happened to her."

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« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2020, 04:10:01 pm »
Thursday, 28th May 2o2o
1970 rape and murder solved after body exhumed from Fort Logan National Cemetery
by Janet Oravetz

A man who likely picked up 23-year-old Betty Lee Jones following an argument with her husband in 1970 would be charged with her rape and murder if he were alive today, according to a release from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

Paul Martin died last June, but his body was exhumed to obtain a DNA sample, which investigators said was a match to DNA found on Jones' body.

Jones, a mother of two, was last seen on March 9, 1970 around 3:30 p.m. at her home in Denver near East 12th Avenue and York Street.

She shared that home with her husband of just nine days.

On that day, she and her husband Robert Jones were arguing and it culminated with him leaving the home in his car and Betty Jones flagging down cars in the street, according to BCSO.

She got into a blue sedan that had stopped and was last seen in that car going southbound on York Street, according to the sheriff's office.

Martin's brother told investigators he drove a blue mid-to-late 1960s Plymouth Fury sedan.

Two workers from the Colorado Department of Transporation (CDOT) found the body of Betty Jones the next morning down the side of an embankment on Highway 128, near the Boulder County/Jefferson County line.

She had been bound, sexually assaulted, strangled and shot, according to the sheriff's office.

Her killing remained unsolved and in 2006 it was reopened and evidence recovered from Jones’ body was submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

A male DNA profile was developed, but the suspect’s profile was not in the national Combined DNA Index System database.

Six potential suspects, which included her husband, Robert Ray Jones, were developed.

DNA was obtained from each person through personal items or direct swabbing, according to BCSO.

Robert Jones died in 2000 so DNA was obtained from his parents.

None of the potential suspects were a match to the suspect’s DNA.

In 2019, the suspect DNA was submitted to a private lab, Bode Technologies, where a profile was developed and they worked with other agencies to use forensic genealogy to develop a family tree.

They identified a woman seen in a 1957 Denver directory as a potential relative of the suspect, but no other identifying information was found.

CBI eventually successfully identified the woman, her husband, and her two sons, who would have been in their twenties at the time of the murder, according to BCSO.

They also lived in Denver at the time.

One son was still living, but the other died in 1977.

The living son was interviewed, and DNA swabs were obtained.

He told authorities about an estranged third brother, whose name was Paul, but said he did not know where he was or even if he was dead or alive.

The living brother’s DNA profile was compared to the suspect DNA and came back as “closely related” to the suspect.

The missing brother, identified as Paul Leroy Martin, died in June 2019 with no identified next of kin, except the living brother.

He was buried in Fort Logan National Cemetery.

The court authorized an exhumation, and on April 8th, 2020 Martin's body was exhumed and biological material was collected.

The next day the sample was sent to the CBI Lab, where a profile was developed.

The profile from Martin was compared to the suspect's DNA.

On April 24th, BCSO was notified that the sample collected from Betty Jones’ body matched the sample from Martin.

Martin has no known link to Betty Jones, and a close family member said the Martin name was not familiar to her and she did not recall Betty dating anyone by that name.

A Probable Cause Statement was submitted to the Boulder County District Attorney and was approved on May 26th.

Based on the evidence and DNA analysis produced through this investigation, if he were alive today, Paul Martin would be charged and prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office for the murder of Betty Jones, the sheriff's office said.

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« Reply #53 on: June 15, 2020, 07:06:31 pm »
Monday, 15th June 2o2o
Golden State Killer suspect Joseph DeAngelo WILL PLEAD GUILTY to nearly 90 charges
by Katie Dowd

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., the man prosecutors say is the prolific and ruthless Golden State Killer, will reportedly plead guilty to 88 charges in exchange for life in prison, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday.

DeAngelo, 74, is facing the death penalty if convicted in the murders of 13 individuals in five California counties.

But sources told The Bee that DeAngelo — barring a change due to his "unpredictable nature" — will plead guilty at a hearing on June 29 in order to receive life in prison instead.

He is currently facing over two dozen charges in the Sacramento Superior Court, which means some 60 more charges would be added.

The Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, is suspected in the violent rapes of over 50 women from 1975-86.

DeAngelo has already been charged in the murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore, Lyman and Charlene Smith, Keith and Patrice Harrington, Manuela Witthuhn, Janelle Cruz, Claude Snelling, Robert Offerman, Debra Manning, Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez.

Investigators believe he is linked to crime scenes around the state, which likely explains the additional charges.

Capital punishment is currently suspended in California due to a 2019 executive order signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The order put a moratorium on executions for the duration of Newsom's governorship.

In order to fully repeal the death penalty, state voters would have to weigh in.

Given DeAngelo's age and the death penalty moratorium, it's highly unlikely he would ever be executed by the state.

But the plea bargain would allow for an expedited legal process, something both DeAngelo's public defenders and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office have previously pushed for.

Death penalty trials are long and arduous.

Prosecutors told The Bee they have 150 witnesses, many in their 80s or older, and the trial alone could take 10 weeks, not counting any appeals.

In March, CBS-13 reported the Sacramento County public defender's office sent a letter to victims and their families saying they were seeking a way to shorten the process.

"Criminal cases often take many years to resolve by trial," the letter obtained by CBS-13 reads.

"The trial process is often very stressful for victims and their families. This particular case is exceedingly complex due to the number of charged crimes and the diverse locations of the charged crimes. We would like to reach a resolution of the case that avoids a trial, satisfies all parties and provides a more immediate resolution of the case."

Investigators believe the former California police officer may have raped over 50 women.

The crime spree, which spanned Sacramento, Contra Costa, Orange, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties, created panic in the Sacramento area as dozens of women were victimized.

The Golden State Killer was known for creating violating, personal connections to victims, including telling one woman he had seen her at the lake.

It's hard to know if the killer really had links to his victims, however.

He broke into victims' homes before he attacked, giving him ample access to family photos, letters and other identifying details.

The terror did not end with rape, however.

In some cases, the rapist called his victims afterward.

One woman, at the request of police, kept her phone number for years in the hopes the attacker would call and reveal identifying information.

Decades after the last case went cold, investigators announced DNA led them to a break in the case.

Detectives say they submitted the killer's DNA to an open-source genealogy website called GEDmatch, where it found a match with a relative who also used the service.

Detectives were then able to narrow their list of suspects, eventually arresting DeAngelo, who once worked as a police officer in Auburn and Exeter.

DeAngelo is due next in court on June 29th.

He has been incarcerated in the Sacramento County Main Jail since his arrest in April 2018.

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« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2020, 11:01:59 am »
Monday, 29th June 2o2o
California's Golden State Killer just plead guilty Monday in Sacramento
by Associated Press

(SACRAMENTO, California) — A former police officer who terrorized the Sacramento region as a serial rapist and went on to kill more than a dozen people across California and then evaded capture for decades pleaded guilty Monday to the first of 13 murders.

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. had remained almost silent in court since his 2018 arrest until he uttered in a hushed, raspy voice the word “guilty” to killing a community college professor in 1975, the first homicide in his decades of burglaries, rapes and other crimes that were later dubbed the work of the Golden State Killer.

DeAngelo acknowledged at the beginning of the hearing that he would plead guilty to 13 murders and acknowledge dozens of rapes that are too old to prosecute in exchange consecutive life sentences and no chance of parole.

The frail-looking 74-year-old sat in a wheelchair and spoke behind a plastic shield to prevent possible spread of coronavirus.

He was arrested in 2018 after authorities used DNA to track him through a popular genealogy website.

A plea deal will spare DeAngelo any chance of the death penalty for 13 murders and 13 kidnapping-related charges throughout California.

In partial return, survivors of the assaults that spanned the 1970s and 1980s expect him to admit to up to 62 rapes that he could not be criminally charged with because too much time has passed.

“I’ve been on pins and needles because I just don’t like that our lives are tied to him, again," said Jennifer Carole, the daughter of Lyman Smith, a lawyer who was slain in 1980 at age 43 in Ventura County.

His wife, 33-year-old Charlene Smith, was also raped and killed.

Investigators early on connected certain crimes to an armed and masked rapist who would break into sleeping couples’ suburban homes at night, binding the man and piling dishes on his back.

He would threaten to kill both victims if he heard the plates fall while he raped the woman.

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« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 11:32:41 am by Battle »

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« Reply #55 on: July 31, 2020, 01:50:20 am »
Friday, 31st July 2o2o
Minnesota police make arrest in 34-year cold case using DNA
by Alicia Victoria Lozano

The alleged killer of a Minnesota woman found beaten and strangled inside her home more than three decades ago has been arrested and charged in her death.

Michael Allan Carbo Jr., 52, of Chisholm, was charged with second-degree murder for the 1986 killing of Nancy Daugherty, also of Chisholm.

Bail was set Thursday at $1 million, The Associated Press reported.

“This is the day Nancy Daugherty’s family and all of Chisholm have waited for over 34 years,” Chisholm police chief Vern Manner said Wednesday during a press conference.

Daugherty was last seen alive just after midnight on July 16, 1986.

She was 38 years old at the time, was the mother of two and worked at a nursing home.

The night before she died, Daugherty had been out with a friend and planned to move from Chisholm to the Twin Cities the next day, Manner said.

When her friend showed up to help her move furniture, Daugherty did not answer the door or phone.

The friend and a concerned neighbor called police for a wellness check.

They found Daugherty beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled. Evidence pointed to a physical struggle both inside and outside the home, and witnesses reported hearing a woman scream in the early morning hours, Manner said.

“My mom loved to help people,” her daughter Gina Haggard wrote in a statement read by Manner.

Haggard described a family trip to Alaska when she helped accident victims until they could be airlifted to a local hospital.

“She was happy, loved to take care of people and loved her family,” Haggard wrote in her statement.

“So many tears and struggles. She has missed so much. I miss her love and guidance.”

Over the years, investigators collected DNA samples from more than 100 people but none matched the evidence collected at the scene.

“We pursued every tip and lead that came in but came up empty every time,” Manner said.

Earlier this year police turned to genetic genealogy, which combined DNA testing with genetic tracing, to find new leads. Carbo turned up as a possible match.

Agents from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Chisholm police arrested Carbo Wednesday after a state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension lab confirmed that his DNA matched DNA from the crime scene.

Carbo was 18 years old at the time of Daugherty’s death, lived less than a mile from the crime scene and attended school with her children, The Associated Press reported.

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« Reply #56 on: July 31, 2020, 02:00:41 am »
Friday, 31st July 2o2o
1993 Cold Case Murder of 15-Year-Old Girl Solved
by Alberto Luperon

Law enforcement authorities in Washington State say they have solved a 1993 cold case, but their investigation is not over yet.

Alan Edward Dean, 62, was arrested Tuesday in the death of Melissa Lee, 15. Authorities said they were able to link the killer to the incident through help from the DNA tech company Parbon Nanolabs.

“We never gave up hope that we would find Melissa’s killer,” said Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney.

“The arrest yesterday shows how our detective’s determination, combined with new advancements in DNA technology, continues to get us one step closer to justice for victims and their families, even decades later. We are also extremely thankful for the support and expertise from our partners at Parabon.”

According to the sheriff’s department, Lee was home alone in the city of Bothell on the evening of April 13, 1993, and was expecting to have a female friend stay the night.

That friend didn’t end up making it.

The last time Lee apparently spoke with her mother was on their landline phone at about 9:30 p.m., but her mother returned home after midnight to signs of a struggle.

The coffee table was askew, the ashtray was knocked upside down and onto the floor, and there was a spilled glass of milk also on the ground, deputies said.

Melissa wasn’t home.

The girl’s body was found in a ravine in the nearby city of Everett.

The medical examiner determined she was strangled to death.

According to the official account, Parabon was able to deduce the killer’s identity from DNA genotype data derived from the crime scene.

They had matches with a number of relatives, and from there, detectives obtained a cigarette the suspect had abandoned, deputies said.

Authorities say they spoke to Dean back in 1993.

Notes in Lee’s address book included a phone number for a man listed as “Michael,” who authorities identified as Dean, then 35. 

Dean allegedly told detectives he used the name “Mike” when he met Lee on a night talk line.

He allegedly claimed to have dated her twice in March 1993.

Dean is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.   

He remains in the Snohomish County Jail on a $2 million bond.

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« Reply #57 on: August 20, 2020, 10:42:12 am »
Thursday, 20th August 2o2o
White man faces child sex charges dating back to 1980
by WNEP (an ABC News affiliate)

Police have arrested a man for sexually assaulting two different juveniles 40 years ago.

Officers said the assaults by Richard Garnett happened at a home on Roaring Brook Drive in Hunlock Township starting in 1980 and lasted for four years.

Garnett faces a list of charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

He was taken into custody without incident and is in jail on $175,000 bail.

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« Reply #58 on: August 21, 2020, 10:49:27 am »
Friday, 21st August 2o2o
Golden State Killer sentenced to life in prison without parole

by Nelson Oliveira

The sadistic former cop known as the Golden State Killer was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday, bringing closure to a horrific case that fascinated California and the country for decades.

Joseph DeAngelo, a frail and emotionless 74-year-old, wore a white sweatshirt and a face mask and issued a brief apology as he appeared before a Sacramento County judge for the last time before heading to prison.

Following a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty, Judge Michael Bowman gave him multiple life sentences without parole.

He’s expected to order additional life sentences during Friday’s hearing, which is being held in a Sacramento State University ballroom that has been turned into a temporary courtroom to allow for social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The infamous killer, who eluded capture for more than 40 years, stood up before the sentence was announced and said,

“I’ve listened to all your statements, each one of them and I’m truly sorry for everyone I’ve hurt. Thank you, your honor.”

DeAngelo pleaded guilty in June to multiple murder, kidnapping and gun charges in connection to 13 victims and admitted to raping more than 60 women in a brutal crime spree that terrorized California in the 1970s and 80s.

“He truly is an evil monster with no soul,” rape survivor Patricia Murphy said in a statement read by her daughter Tuesday.

She was one of numerous brave survivors and relatives of DeAngelo’s victims who appeared in court this week to give victim impact statements.

“Today the devil loses and justice wins,” Debbi Domingo McMullan‏, the daughter of another victim, said Thursday.

A woman who lost her father and stepmom recalled finding her dad’s body with his head “cemented” to the pillow by “an ungodly amount of blood” following a 1980 killing in Ventura County.

The cold-blooded killer, also dubbed the East Area Rapist and Visalia Ransacker, was known to wear a ski mask, bind some of his victims and lay them down in front of TV sets.

He would then turn the TV on and cover the screen with a towel “so he would have this glow, so he could see her,” authorities have said.

DeAngelo would also take “trophies” from his victims’ homes, including pieces of jewelry like cuff links and rings, according to prosecutors.

His crime spree began in Tulare County in 1975 and included two murders in Sacramento County three years later, four killings in Santa Barbara County between 1979 and 1980, two more murders in Ventura County in 1980 and another four in Orange County between 1980 and 1986, authorities said.

The ex-cop was arrested just two years ago after cold-case investigators used an open-source, public genealogy website to track down crime suspects through voluntarily submitted DNA samples.

He had been leading a quiet life with his family near Sacramento.

DeAngelo would likely not be executed even if he hadn’t struck a deal with prosecutors as California Gov. Gavin Newsom placed an indefinite moratorium on executions last year.

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« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 02:49:55 pm by Battle »