Murderer Caught 30 Years Later Kills Self
Californian commits suicide as DNA links him to old crime
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2014 5:40 PM CST
Robert Hathaway.   (Fairfield Police Department)

(Newser) – As a teenager, Robert Hathaway raped and murdered his friend's mother in the summer of 1983 and got away with it all these years. Finally, a routine check of a fingerprint database in January of this year sent police to his door in Fairfield, California, to get a DNA sample, and Hathaway knew he was sunk. He hanged himself last month, alluding to the murder of Priscilla Strole in his note and writing that he was taking the "coward way out," reports the San Francisco Chronicle. After his suicide, police announced that his DNA sample matched evidence found at the crime scene.

Hathaway wasn't a suspect initially because he had no police record at age 17 and thus his prints weren't in the system, explains TheReporter. But a burglary arrest three years later changed that, though it took decades for police to catch up with him. Hathaway had been friends with Strole's 15-year-old son, who returned from a night out to find his mother's body in the kitchen.

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Showing 3 of 47 comments
Art Faucett
Mar 10, 2014 12:53 PM CDT
If he had done that in Massachusetts, he would have been out in 1 after a house arrest stay. Tip to pedophiles. Do your molesting in that state. They "love" you and think they can "help" you.
Twiny
Mar 6, 2014 12:14 PM CST
Nice of him to save the taxpayers the price of his trial and his prison term. It's a damn shame more murderers don't off themselves...
Observer
Mar 6, 2014 12:04 PM CST
Good riddance pig.