cold cases

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37 Years Later, Man Accused of Wife's Murder

Indictment of James Krauseneck Jr. comes after new DNA tests

(Newser) - A man has been charged in his first wife's brutal ax murder some 37 years after the fact. It's unclear what new evidence has surfaced against James Krauseneck Jr., who claimed to have found 29-year-old Cathleen dead in her bed, with an ax in her skull, after returning... More »

Nurse Charged in Beating Death of Long-Unidentified Woman

Body of cognitively impaired victim was found 20 years ago

(Newser) - A 63-year-old nurse has been charged in the beating death of a 23-year-old cognitively impaired woman whose battered body was discovered at the edge of a cornfield in southeastern Wisconsin in July 1999, police said Friday. Linda La Roche was arrested Tuesday in Cape Coral, Florida, Racine County Sheriff Christopher... More »

Facebook Crime Page May Have Cracked Cold Case

Tip in North Carolina leads to arrest of Kimberly Hancock in 2004 murder

(Newser) - Police in the small town of Spring Hope, NC, have made an arrest in a 15-year-old cold case thanks to an unexpected break. These days, such breaks often stem from DNA ancestry websites and the like, but this time, the break came in the form of an old-fashioned tip. Still,... More »

'What Does It Mean?' Remains Identified After 4 Decades, but Mystery Lingers

DNA sample leads to a relative of missing teen Sandy Morden

(Newser) - For almost 40 years, the body discovered at Fly Creek near Amboy, Washington, in 1980 was known simply as "Fly Creek Jane Doe." But then investigators uploaded DNA from the skeletal remains to a public genetic genealogy database. The move ultimately led them to a cousin of Sandra... More »

Ex-Student Charged 23 Years After School Burned to Ground

Fingerprint on fire extinguisher was key

(Newser) - A man has been charged with burning down his high school—23 years ago. Macedonia High School in South Carolina was "totally destroyed" in the Aug. 4, 1996, arson, in which books, papers, and other materials were set alight in hallways, according to Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis. Only... More »

Cops Say They've IDed a Serial Killer—but There's a Twist

Suspect can't be charged in South Korea murders as statute of limitations has run out

(Newser) - For years, a serial killer terrorized Hwaseong, a city south of Seoul in South Korea, leaving police stymied. Decades later, authorities say they've finally identified the man who murdered at least three of the 10 victims who were killed between 1986 and 1991 in what is called "the... More »

Kid With a GoPro Solves a 1992 Cold Case

Missing Canadian woman was in submerged vehicle in a lake

(Newser) - The family of a Canadian woman who disappeared in 1992 finally know what happened to their loved one, thanks to 13-year-old Max Werenka and his GoPro camera. Max, whose family owns cabins on Griffin Lake near Revelstoke, BC, spotted what appeared to be a submerged vehicle around 15 feet below... More »

'Key Evidence' in 1991 Murder: Yellow Socks

Theodore Donahue charged in former girlfriend's killing

(Newser) - A single yellow sock found 28 years ago in the apartment of a man whose girlfriend had been discovered dead is now "a key piece of evidence" in the murder case against him. Theodore Dill Donahue immediately became a person of interest in Denise Sharon Kulb's killing after... More »

Cold-Case Murder Revived by Simple Job Application

Todd Barket's trial in Florida began Monday

(Newser) - A 21-year-old cold case has come to life over—of all things—a job application, the Washington Post reports. Sondra Better, 68, was stabbed to death while working at a Florida consignment shop in 1998, her wounded hands suggesting a fight for her life. The killer left a trail of... More »

Man Goes to Cops, Says He Killed Wife 13 Years Ago

He said he strangled 'frantic' wife in Missouri

(Newser) - A troubled man walked into a police station in Wisconsin on Sunday and confessed to killing his wife 13 years to the day earlier, police say. According to court papers filed Monday, Keith Comfort told officers that on Aug. 4, 2006, he went to his home in Columbia, Mo., after... More »

62-Year-Old Arrested for Crime That's Nearly 40 Years Old

North Carolina man Robert James Adkins was hauled in on Friday

(Newser) - A North Carolina man was arrested Friday for allegedly raping and murdering a teenage girl nearly 40 years ago, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. Robert James Adkins, 62, was charged with first-degree forcible rape and first-degree murder of Ronda Mechelle Blaylock, whose partly-clothed body was found in a wooded area in... More »

Body of 'Miss Molly' Exhumed in Kansas

Police hope DNA will finally ID woman found dead in 1986

(Newser) - Police in Kansas have exhumed the body of a woman killed more than 30 years ago in the hope of arriving at her real name. The partially clothed body of the woman nicknamed " Miss Molly " was found face-down in a creek along Interstate 70 in rural Saline County... More »

11 Years Later, He's Charged With Unspeakable Crime

Ohio's Peter Romans accused in arson that killed his wife and 2 children in 2008

(Newser) - An Ohio man was arrested this week and charged with killing his wife and two children by setting fire to their family home. Beyond the heinousness of the alleged crime is this wrinkle—the fire took place in 2008. Peter Romans, 59, is now in jail on three counts of... More »

Vatican Missing-Girl Mystery Deepens as Bones Are Found

Emanuela Orlandi disappeared in 1983

(Newser) - The mystery of the 1983 disappearance of the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee took yet another twist Saturday following excavations this week at a Vatican City cemetery, the AP reports. The Vatican said it had discovered two sets of bones under a stone slab that will be formally opened... More »

Vatican Opens 2 Tombs in Hunt for Long-Missing Teen

Remains of Emanuela Orlandi aren't there, and neither are those of original bodies

(Newser) - Emanuela Orlandi is still missing—and now two long-dead princesses are, too. Emanuela was an Italian teenager who disappeared more than 30 years ago, and the Vatican on Thursday opened two 19th-century tombs after the family got a tip she might be buried in one of them. They found nothing,... More »

Army Vet's Death Raises Question: Is DB Cooper Dead?

Robert Rackstraw was suspected of being the notorious hijacker

(Newser) - A 75-year-old Army vet named Robert Rackstraw died this week in San Diego after years of heart trouble. That would not be making headlines save for one thing: Some think Rackstraw was the infamous parachuting hijacker DB Cooper , reports the San Diego Union-Tribune . In fact, a History Channel documentary in... More »

TV Show Helps Lead to 84-Year-Old's Arrest for Murder

Norma Allbritton arrested thanks to partnership between authorities, reality show

(Newser) - For decades, the death of Johnnie Allbritton—shot with a 20-gauge shotgun in the chest and back as he entered his Buffalo, Texas, home on May 14, 1984—had remained unsolved. Then, in 2015, Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis digitized the files and evidence and sent it all to Cold ... More »

They Had a DNA Match in 1993. It Wasn't Enough

'Mother Jones' looks at the trouble with DNA advances and our statutes of limitations

(Newser) - When law enforcement officials came to Mary-Scott Hunter's door in March 2018 to say the man suspected of raping her was in custody, it wasn't for that crime. She was raped in 1987, when the statute of limitations on rape in Minnesota was just three years. The man... More »

New Development, Twist in Mystery of 'Geauga's Child'

Gail Eastwood-Ritchey charged with murder after DNA hunt

(Newser) - It's yet another cold case apparently cracked thanks to an ancestry website that collected people's DNA. This time, it involves a dead newborn found in a trash bag along an Ohio road in 1993. The baby's mother, 49-year-old Gail Eastwood-Ritchey, now faces murder charges, but the case... More »

A Soldier Was Killed in '87. Now, an Arrest in Her Murder

Colorado's Michael Whyte charged in death of 20-year-old Darlene Krashoc

(Newser) - A suburban Denver man has been arrested in the unsolved slaying of a soldier in Colorado 32 years ago after DNA evidence was used to create an image of what a suspect might look like, authorities said Friday. Civilian and Army investigators arrested Michael Whyte of Thornton in the 1987... More »

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