Executed Killer Named in 1979 Cold Case

Jerry McFadden was executed in Texas in 1999
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 1, 2019 12:34 AM CST
Executed Killer Named in 1979 Cold Case
In this Aug. 31, 1999 photo, Jerry "Animal" McFadden, left, looks at his attorney while Upshur County Sheriff R.D. "Buck" Cross, center, follows him out of the Upshur County Courtroom after his execution date was set.   (Kevin Green/The News-Journal via AP, File)

A convicted murderer called "The Animal," who was executed by the state of Texas in 1999, has been identified via DNA as the person who killed a young woman in Portland, Oregon, nearly 40 years ago. Anna Marie Hlavka, 20, was killed in an apartment on July 24, 1979. Authorities said Thursday her killer, Jerry McFadden, was identified using the same technology that led to an arrest last year in California in the "Golden State Killer" case, the AP reports. Hlavka was sexually assaulted and strangled with an electric cord. Retired detectives submitted evidence to the state crime lab in 2009 for forensic testing, the Portland Police Bureau says.

Authorities say evidence eventually showed McFaddden, who was executed for the rape and killing of 18-year-old high school cheerleader Suzanne Harrison, was Hlavka's killer. The 51-year-old McFadden was a notorious criminal in Texas who kidnapped and killed Gena Turner, 20, and 19-year-old Bryan Boone in the same daylong rampage in 1986 that took the life of Harrison. Portland police say an "unknown male DNA profile" was found in 2011 in evidence collected from the scene of the 1979 slaying. Detectives determined that the evidence was a good candidate for forensic genealogy technology using unidentified DNA profiles from homicide scene. Scientists were able to map three of the four familial lines of the Portland killer and identified him as McFadden. (A suspect in three 1967 murders died three days before police could arrest him.)

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