cold cases

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DNA Reveals Fate of Man Who Vanished in Alaska in 1976

Investigators believe Gary Sotherden died in bear attack

(Newser) - Upstate New York man Steve Sotherden says the fate of his brother was "much more brutal" than he had hoped would be the case —but at least he now knows what happened to him, more than 46 years after he disappeared during a hunting trip in Alaska. Gary...

Body Stuffed in Sack Left in Desert ID'd 52 Years Later

Colleen Audrey Rice, found dead in Arizona in 1971, hailed from Ohio

(Newser) - An unidentified woman whose body was found stuffed in a sack in the Arizona desert in 1971 is nameless no more. Fifty-two years to the day after her body was found, Mohave County's oldest unidentified murder victim was identified Tuesday as Colleen Audrey Rice, a native of Portsmouth, Ohio,...

Have Info on the 'Doodler'? Reward Just Got Even Bigger

Police in San Francisco up the pot to $250K, release new sketch in search for '70s serial killer

(Newser) - Last year, police upped the reward in their search for the "Doodler," a serial killer from the '70s who went after gay men. Now, they've increased the pot even more, this time from $200,000 to $250,000, and released a new sketch of the suspect,...

'Pillowcase Rapist' Convicted in 1983 Attack

Authorities in Florida believe Robert Koehler attacked dozens of women

(Newser) - A man suspected of being the "Pillowcase Rapist" in connection with a string of South Florida rapes back in the 1980s was convicted Wednesday in one of the attacks. Miami-Dade County jurors found Robert Eugene Koehler, 63, guilty of sexual battery, kidnapping, and burglary, the AP reports. He faces...

Victim's 1973 Struggle With Her Killer Credited With Arrest

Man described as serial killer admits assault on Leslie Perlov, who had his DNA under her nails

(Newser) - It took 50 years, but detectives in California's Santa Clara County are finally able to close the books on a brutal 1973 sexual assault and murder. John Getreu, a 78-year-old described by authorities as a serial killer, pleaded guilty last week to killing 21-year-old Nancy Perlov, a law librarian...

Man Gets 72 Years for 1984 Crimes He Says He Can't Recall

Michael Sharpe, who claims memory issues, sexually assaulted 4 women, prosecutors said

(Newser) - A 71-year-old Connecticut man who received the maximum sentence of 40 to 72 years in prison for kidnapping four women in 1984 apologized in court Monday, despite saying he had no recollection of his crimes. "I don’t know what happened," said Michael Sharpe, whom police identified as...

New Look at 1980 Evidence Leads to Murder Arrest

Steven Hanks of Kansas accused of shooting 23-year-old Mary Robin Walter

(Newser) - A Kansas man has been charged in the 1980 shooting death of a 23-year-old neighbor after investigators who reexamined her death turned up new evidence, authorities said. Kansas Bureau of Investigation officers arrested 68-year-old Steven Hanks, of Burden, on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Mary Robin...

Murdered 'Boy in the Box' ID'd 65 Years Later

Philadelphia cops hope for 'avalanche of tips' in cold case murder of Joseph Augustus Zarelli

(Newser) - For 65 years, Philadelphia police have worked to identify a boy found dead—beaten and malnourished—inside a cardboard box left in a wooded area in the northeastern part of the city on Feb. 25, 1957. Thanking the many people who've worked on the investigation over the decades, Philadelphia...

He Killed Wife, Replaced Her With Kids' Teen Babysitter

Chris Dawson sentenced to 24 years in wife Lynette's 1982 murder in Australia

(Newser) - A true-crime podcast helped bring about his conviction. Now Australian Chris Dawson has been sentenced to 24 years for the 1982 murder of his wife Lynette, whom he seemingly replaced with a 16-year-old student at the high school where he taught. In sentencing the 74-year-old on Friday, Justice Ian Harrison...

Murder of JonBenet Ramsey to Get a Fresh Look

Colorado Bureau of Investigation team to take up the cold case in 2023

(Newser) - The Colorado Bureau of Investigation will take a fresh look at the unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey next year. The CBI's Cold Case Review Team—a group of "investigative, analytical, and forensic experts from across the state" who meet two to four times a year—will take up...

Killer Saved From Snowstorm Sentenced for 2 Murders

Alan Lee Phillips killed hitchhiking women in Colorado

(Newser) - A man convicted of killing two women who disappeared near a Colorado ski resort town 40 years ago after DNA testing identified him as a suspect was sentenced on Monday to two terms of life in prison with no possibility of parole. Alan Lee Phillips, 71, was convicted in September...

He Was Obsessed With a 1984 Crime. Now He's Guilty Of It

Steven Pankey convicted of felony murder in 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews' death

(Newser) - Update: Steve Pankey was on Monday found guilty of second-degree kidnapping and felony murder in the case of a 12-year-old Colorado girl killed in 1984. He was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 20 years. The Coloradoan reports Jonelle Matthews' father spoke prior to sentencing and implored...

Spit on Sidewalk Leads Cops to Alleged Killer
Double Killer's Mistake:
He Spit on a Sidewalk

Double Killer's Mistake: He Spit on a Sidewalk

Geovanni Borjas pleads no contest to raping, killing Michelle Lozano and Bree'Anna Guzman

(Newser) - Update: Walking along a California street, Geovanni Borjas did the seemingly innocuous: He spit on a sidewalk. But it wasn't innocuous at all for the killer, whose spit matched DNA on two murder victims. On Monday, the 38-year-old pleaded no contest to the first-degree murders and forcible rapes of...

Massachusetts' Oldest Unknown Murder Victim ID'd
'Lady of the Dunes'
Now Has a Name

'Lady of the Dunes' Now Has a Name

Woman brutally murdered on Cape Cod in 1974 identified as Ruth Marie Terry

(Newser) - Massachusetts' oldest unknown murder victim is unknown no longer. The "Lady of the Dunes," found brutally murdered in Provincetown, Cape Cod, on July 26, 1974, has been identified as Ruth Marie Terry , a 37-year-old mother and sister from Tennessee, authorities announced Monday. They said it was the biggest...

5 Years Later, an Arrest in Murder of 2 Girls

Libby German and Abigail Williams were killed while hiking in Indiana

(Newser) - Police in Indiana have made an arrest in the high-profile slaying of two girls out for a hike in Indiana five years ago. Richard Allen, 50, faces two counts of murder in the deaths of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, reports FOX59 . Before the girls were killed near...

Police Plan Announcement on 2017 Slayings of Young Hikers

Bodies of Liberty German and Abigail Williams were found near a trail in northern Indiana

(Newser) - Police investigating the unsolved slayings of two teenage girls killed during a 2017 hiking trip in northern Indiana said Friday they will hold a news conference Monday to provide an update on their investigation. Indiana State Police said officials "will announce an update in the Delphi Investigation" but gave...

Cops: DNA Links State's Former Deputy AG to 1972 Murder

Police say Nevada resident Tudor Chirila Jr. stabbed Hawaii teen more than 60 times

(Newser) - A former deputy Nevada attorney general who ran for the state Supreme Court and was later affiliated with the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel has been arrested in Reno as a suspect in a 1972 homicide in Hawaii, per the AP . Tudor Chirila Jr., 77, is being held without bail on...

In a Decades-Old Case, a Genetic Genealogy First
In a Decades-Old Case,
a Genetic Genealogy First
in case you missed it

In a Decades-Old Case, a Genetic Genealogy First

Technology identifies victim Stacey Lyn Chahorski and her killer

(Newser) - In March, authorities in Georgia announced they'd used genetic genealogy to identify a murder victim whose name had been unknown for 33 years. Just over five months later, they say they've identified the woman's killer using the same technology. Stacey Lyn Chahorski—whose body was found along...

50 Years After Deputy Sheriff's Murder, a Confession

Man interviewed decades ago admits to fatal 1971 shooting: police

(Newser) - A man has reportedly confessed to the murder of a Maryland deputy sheriff that has remained unsolved for a half-century. Larry David Smith, who formerly went by Larry David Becker, admitted to fatally shooting Montgomery County Special Deputy Sheriff Capt. James Tappen Hall in 1971 in what became the police...

Cops Interviewed Him in 1974, but Let Him Go
Cops Interviewed
Him in 1974,
but Let Him Go

Cops Interviewed Him in 1974, but Let Him Go

Glen McCurley of Fort Worth killed a teen decades ago. The fear is he had more victims

(Newser) - Texas Monthly digs into an infamous 1974 cold case out of Fort Worth, one that has a wrenching detail: Police interviewed the killer of the 17-year-old Carla Walker soon after she was murdered but quickly dismissed him as a suspect. Carla was abducted from her boyfriend's car in...

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