Murder cases that were solved ... years later
The families of Bermuda’s unsolved murder victims may take heart from the fact that police here and around the world have cracked homicide cases decades after the crimes were committed. Here are a few examples.l
Stanford Glenfield Archibald was convicted in Bermuda in 2003 of murdering Aaron Easton, 18 years after the killing. He was finally brought to justice when DNA tests showed that blood on a piece of concrete block found at the murder scene matched samples of his blood. Mr Easton’s body was found in a driveway off Laffan Street, Pembroke in the early hours of May 4, 1985; he had 49 stab wounds and a fractured skull. l
In 2001, Archibald, who was living in Scotland, returned to Bermuda on holiday and was arrested on suspicion of the murder. Jurors at his trial heard that DNA testing was not available at the time of the murder but provided fresh evidence when the case was reopened in 1996.
A 33-year-old cold case murder was solved in Portland, Oregon, in 2009. Edward Delon Warren was discovered to be responsible for strangling 80-year-old Rosa Cinnamon in March 1976, thanks to DNA recovered from the victim’s fingernail scrapings. The forensic evidence obtained during an autopsy had been kept in a paper bag for more than 30 years until it was resubmitted to a crime lab in 2007 by a cold case investigator. The lab recorded a match to Warren, who had died in prison in 2003, where he was serving time for a double murder. l
The 1968 fatal shooting of Richard DeLeon Hill was solved earlier this year by police in Kansas City in the US four decades after it happened, due to information provided by one of the killer’s sons. The son told detectives that Hill had gone into his father Joe Centimano’s liquor store to buy beer and his father became angry and threatened to put Hill “in the river”. The son saw his father and another man hold a shotgun to Hill’s head as they put him in the back seat of a car. Centimano and fellow killer James Dearborn both died many years before the son came forward.l
Gordon Park was jailed for life in the UK in 2005 for the 1976 murder of his first wife Carol Ann Park. Mrs Park went missing in July 1976 and was never seen alive again by her family. Her body was discovered at the bottom of Coniston Lake, in the Lake District, in 1997 and Gordon was subsequently arrested. The charges were dropped but he was arrested again in 2004 and later found guilty. Gordon was found hanged in his prison cell in January 2010.l
A federal jury in the US last month convicted William Floyd Zamastil, of Wisconsin, of the 1973 murder, rape and kidnap of Leesa Jo Shaner, 22. Ms Shaner’s remains were found in a shallow grave in Arizona. Witnesses testified and evidence was presented at Zamastil’s trial that he abducted her from Tucson airport and took her to Ft Huachuca where he raped, murdered and buried her. The 57-year-old, whom detectives had regarded as a suspect for decades, will be sentenced in October.