PORTLAND, Oregon—A convicted murderer called the “Animal,” who was executed by the state of Texas in 1999 has been identified by 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 on Jan. 31, 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.
News Release: Cold Case Homicide Detail Solves 40-year-old Case (Photo)
Hlavka was sexually assaulted and strangled with an electric cord. The Portland Police Bureau said at a news conference retired detectives submitted evidence to the state crime lab in 2009 for forensic testing.
Authorities said that evidence eventually showed McFadden, who was executed in Texas for the rape and killing of an 18-year-old high school cheerleader, was Hlavka’s killer.
Original detective , retired Det. Kerry Taylor , seated , and cold case Det Meredith Hopper speaking about how police, the state crime lab and a private lab worked to solve 40yrold Portland homicide of Anna Marie Hlavka , age 20. pic.twitter.com/Q353IUyeMJ
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) 31 januari 2019
The 51-year-old McFadden was a notorious criminal in Texas. He was sentenced to death for a daylong murder rampage in 1986 that took the life of the cheerleader as well as two other people.
Authorities said it took years of research and detective work to determine that McFadden killed Hlavka.
Portland police said an “unknown male DNA profile” was found in 2011 in evidence collected from the scene of the 1979 slaying. The profile was deemed especially good considering how much time had passed.
From 2012 to 2016, detectives collected and submitted eight subjects’ DNA profiles in an attempt to identify the killer, but authorities said all came back negative.
Last May detectives researched forensic genealogy using unidentified DNA profiles from homicides scenes, the technology used to bring about the May 2018 arrest of the suspect in the “Golden State Killer” case.
Detectives contacted Parabon NanoLabs and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab and it was determined that the evidence from the Portland cold case was a good candidate for that technology.
Portland Police Bureau announces they’ve solved the 40-year cold case homicide of Anna Marie Hlavka and identified her killer. https://t.co/YN4ZyBuqYy
— KATU News (@KATUNews) 31 januari 2019
Scientists were able to map three of the four familial lines of the Portland killer and identified him as McFadden.
Detectives travelled to Texas to interview McFadden’s relatives and obtain further DNA samples.
Killer of 24-Year-Old Houston Officer Executed After 3 Decades
Three decades after he shot a police officer twice in the head at a Houston bookstore, just one hour after the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal, 61-year-old Robert Jennings was executed by lethal injection, as dozens of police officers stood in vigil outside, along with the fallen officer’s mother.
The execution in Texas at 6:30 pm. on Jan. 30 was the first of 2019 in the United States.
Jennings killed police officer Elston Howard during a botched robbery at an adult bookstore in 1988. Howard was 24 at the time.
Howard’s mother was escorted by the Houston police chief outside the prison, who said that the police force would not abandon families who lost officers.
Speaking outside the prison in Huntsville, Chief of the Houston Police Department Art Acevedo said, “In this police department here in Houston … no family will finish their journey to justice alone—we will be here with them.”
Jennings was killed by lethal injection, given at 6:15 pm. He was pronounced dead 18 minutes later, reported the Texas Tribune.
A request to delay the execution scheduled for Jan. 30 was denied by higher and lower courts.
The U.S. Supreme Court had earlier that day denied an appeal by Jenning’s attorneys to delay the execution. The court rejected the argument that during the trial, attorneys failed to ask jurors to fully consider evidence—including details of his remorse for the officer’s shooting and possible brain damage.
The Epoch Times reporter Simon Veazey contributed to this report.