33 Years Later, Hubby Charged in Newlywed's 'Staged' Slaying

John Norton accused of inventing 1985 home invasion
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2019 10:05 AM CDT
Cops: Newlywed's Killer Skirted Suspicion With Staged Scene
Karen Norton.   (Baltimore County Police)

It was long thought that 23-year-old Karen Norton was killed when she interrupted a 1985 home invasion. More than three decades later, authorities in Maryland have offered a different version of events, alleging murder at the hands of the newlywed's husband. Indicted on first-degree murder charges, John Norton, 57, is believed to have fatally stabbed his wife in their Catonsville home on Dec. 17, 1985, before staging the scene to look like a break-in. "Although there was evidence of a breaking and entering, police believe this was staged to thwart the homicide investigation," authorities say, per ABC News. WBAL reports that conclusion came after careful study of crime scene photos.

Though Norton had previously skirted suspicions, new evidence and additional interviews with witnesses then pointed to him as the prime suspect, police said Monday. Earlier reports suggested Karen Norton had stumbled upon a burglary in progress after returning home from her job at a JCPenney. Norton, now held in Baltimore County jail, was said to have discovered the body when he got home an hour later, finding his wife's keys in the front door, per Fox News. "I think the investigators and the department, along with the family, are just ecstatic that we were finally able to get this case to the point where we can prosecute it," a police rep tells WBAL, via Fox. "It's been 33 years in the making." (Cops say a used razor solved these two murders.)

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