cold cases

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Paul Flores Allegedly Killed Kristin Smart in His Dorm Room

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow speaks about the case

(Newser) - Tuesday brought big arrests in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart. Wednesday brought the prosecution's theory of the crime. San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow alleged Paul Flores, a fellow student who was the last person seen with Smart and has been the main suspect all these...

Widow's Admission Cracks 20-Year-Old Double Murder

Arkansas police finally know what happened to Angela Cox and her young son Mikey

(Newser) - Police in Arkansas say they have solved a nearly 20-year-old double murder case, but the killer has since died himself. In a lengthy account , the Fulton County Sheriff's Office says a man named Clarence Krusen killed 20-year-old Angela Cox and her 4-year-old son Mikey in late 2002 or early...

New Autopsy in 2004 Death Leads to Murder Investigation

Exhumed body of Alonzo Brooks shows evidence of injury

(Newser) - When Unsolved Mysteries was revived last year , show producers said they hoped to solve the April 2004 death of a 23-year-old Black and Hispanic man found in a creek following a party in Kansas. And though Alonzo Brooks' death is not yet solved, authorities are now confident in calling it...

The Day After the Killer Died, a Tipster Called Police

Jesse Aylward confirmed as having murdered a former lunch lady in 1984

(Newser) - A 59-year-old Massachusetts widow was stabbed and strangled to death at home in 1984, and police were stumped. They conducted 50-plus interviews. Virginia Hannon's family suspected it perhaps had to do with a $380,000 inheritance she had recently received, money that led her to retire from her job...

Remains Found Decades Ago Are Those of Missing Wife

Body of woman killed in 1977 in Delaware is identified as Marie Heiser

(Newser) - Four decades ago, a 50-year-old Philadelphia wife and mother of two named Marie Petry Heiser vanished. Police say husband William Heiser told their children that she "packed her bags and left" and that he had no idea where she'd gone, per the Philly Voice . One part of the...

They Went to Investigate 1999 Murder, Found a Different Body

Christopher Lovrien, 53, is accused of killing 2 men in Oregon more than 2 decades apart

(Newser) - More than two decades ago, Mark Dribin vanished. While police haven't yet found the Oregon man's remains, they have a suspect. That man, 53-year-old Christopher Lovrien, is now being accused not only of murdering Dribin, but also of murdering Kenneth Griffin, who disappeared in February 2020 and whose...

A High-Profile Murder in 1963 Still Haunts Chicago

A rising Black politician named Ben Lewis was shot to death in his office

(Newser) - It is, declares the headline of a lengthy story at ProPublica , "the murder Chicago didn't want to solve." And as Mick Dumke writes, the killing of Black politician Ben Lewis in 1963 does indeed remain unsolved after nearly six decades. The slaying was national news at the...

DNA Solves 1999 Cold Case Hospital Slaying

Cops used a public genetic genealogy database

(Newser) - The 1999 murder of a 23-year-old Colorado woman whose body was found wrapped in plastic in the stairwell of the hospital where she worked has finally been solved. Per Fox News , Colorado Springs police announced Wednesday that they finally found the man who murdered Jennifer Watkins over two decades ago,...

DNA Leads to Mother's Arrest in 2003 Slaying of Twins

Woman decided no one would know about boys' birth: police

(Newser) - Cook County sheriff's detectives watching Antoinette Briley waited for her to finish her cigarette. She dropped it, and they picked it up, giving them the DNA sample they needed. Briley, 41, is now charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her two newborn twins, WBBM...

How Worst Serial Killer in US Got Away With It for Decades

Samuel Little enjoyed decades of impunity by targeting the unmissed: Washington Post

(Newser) - America's most prolific serial killer operated for more than 30 years, targeting vulnerable, usually Black women, under the watch of an "indifferent" criminal justice system. That's according to part one of an in-depth investigation by the Washington Post , which interviewed experts and reviewed thousands of pages of...

25 Years Later, Caller Confesses
25 Years Later,
Caller Confesses

25 Years Later, Caller Confesses

Alabama man wasn't a suspect in the killing

(Newser) - The days without an arrest turned into months and then years after someone killed Christopher Alvin Dailey in 1995. While never closed, the Alabama case went cold without new evidence. Then the phone rang at the Decatur Police Department. Johnny Dwight Whited called investigators saying he wanted to confess to...

Suspect in 1972 Murder Kills Himself Hours Before Verdict

Terrence Miller was found guilty after death

(Newser) - After evading justice for 48 years in the 1972 murder of 20-year-old Jody Loomis, Terrence Miller didn't live to hear the guilty verdict against him. Police in Snohomish County, Washington, say the 78-year-old killed himself Monday morning, around three hours before a jury that started its deliberations Friday found...

After 51 Years 'Free and Easy,' Murder Suspect Arrested

Victim's sister persuaded cops to reopen case

(Newser) - When Rosalie Sanz read about the Golden State Killer and other murderers identified through new DNA technology long after their crimes, she thought about her sister, who was raped and murdered in San Diego in 1969. She enlisted a retired police officer friend to persuade police to reopen the investigation...

Skull Found on Mount Hood in 1986 Belonged to 19-Year-Old

Police seeking tips on Wanda Ann Herr

(Newser) - Oregon police are investigating the 1970s disappearance of a 19-year-old woman after a skull found on Mount Hood in 1986 was confirmed to be hers. Two Forest Service workers were near Government Camp when they came across the partial skull and other bone fragments, which were thought to have been...

After 35 Years, Cops Identify Murder Victim

His belt buckle was the most important clue

(Newser) - If it wasn't for his belt buckle, the fate of William Ernest Thompson might have forever remained a mystery. Police in Escambia County, Florida say Thompson was identified as a murder victim after a relative searching for their missing uncle read a cold case listing on their website that...

He Was Obsessed With a Cold Case. Now He's the Suspect

Steven Pankey arrested for murder in case of 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews, killed in 1984

(Newser) - A man who "intentionally inserted himself in the investigation" into the murder of a 12-year-old girl more than 30 years ago has now been arrested for the crime. Steven D. Pankey, 69, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the 1984 disappearance of Jonelle Matthews from Greeley,...

DNA Triggers Arrest in 35-Year-Old Cold Case

Officials and family hold an emotional press conference in Rochester

(Newser) - Wendy Jerome was brutally raped, killed, and left by a dumpster 35 years ago—a crime officials say has finally been solved with DNA testing, CNN reports. The news emerged at an emotional press conference Friday in Rochester, New York. "I never thought I would see this day, and...

A Big Cold-Case Break, Followed by Disappointment

Suspected murderer of 2 young women in 1973 may not face trial because of dementia

(Newser) - It was one of those cold-case breaks that have become common these days: Thanks to a DNA match, police arrested a suspect last year in the murder of two young women in Virginia Beach in 1973. The families of Janice Pietropola and Lynn Seethaler, two 19-year-olds from suburban Pittsburgh who...

Stepdad of Teen Missing Since 2001 Arrested for Her Murder
Teen Vanished in 2001 on Last
Day of School. Now, an Arrest
in case you missed it

Teen Vanished in 2001 on Last Day of School. Now, an Arrest

Michael Turney, stepdad to missing 17-year-old Alissa Turney, has been charged

(Newser) - In 2001, a high school junior from Phoenix disappeared on her last day of school. Now, nearly two decades later, a suspect is in custody, thanks to her sister's perseverance and dogged investigative work. Arrested Thursday in Mesa, Ariz., and charged with second-degree murder in the case of Alissa...

Cops Found Killer After 24 Years, Didn't Get to Arrest Him

As authorities closed in on Steve Branch in 1996 rape, murder of 17-year-old, he killed himself

(Newser) - Alaska State Police were pretty sure they'd found their man when they arrived at the Arkansas home of Steve Branch last week. But 66-year-old Branch—suspected of raping and killing Jessica Baggen after her 17th birthday party in Sitka, Alaska, in 1996—refused to provide a DNA sample, so...

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