Cops believe they solved 1984 cold case murder…then find killer is already dead

Metro 2 weeks ago
Phillip Cross, Traci Hammerberg
Police identified Phillip Cross (left) as the man they believe raped and murdered Traci Hammerberg in December 1984. (Picture Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office)

Police believe they identified the man who raped and brutally murdered a teenager in 1984 – but their suspected killer has already died.

On Tuesday, the Ozaukee County Sheriffs Department said that DNA evidence and forensic genealogy lead them to determine Phillip Cross raped, strangled and beat 18-year-old Traci Hammerberg to death in December 1984 in Wisconsin.

However, Cross will appear in court for the crimes he is now accused of because he died of drug overdose in 2012, the Journal Sentinel reported.

On the night of her murder, Hammerberg had been babysitting. Afterwards she met up with friends who went to a bar, then to a party where they drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, according to police.

Hammerberg is believed to have left the party on foot at approximately 12:30am. Her home was a 3.7 mile away and she would have had to walk along State Highway 33, but Ozaukee County Sheriff James Johnson said it was not uncommon for Hammerberg to make that walk home.

She was found hours later by a man who discovered her battered, partially naked body. Blood was reportedly found spattered across the snow and trees around her.

Two witnesses who had been hunting in the area told police that they saw a car speed away from the home with its headlights off.

thumbnail for post ID 10970910Judge in big trouble for telling double murderer she hopes he dies soon

Authorities used semen found at the scene, as well as blood under Hammerberg’s finger nails to create a DNA profile of the killer.

For more than three decades, police interviewed hundreds of people, ruling out more than 400 men whose DNA did not match the evidence found at the crime scene.

In March 2019, Police decided to focus more heavily on forensic genealogy and reached out to the Los Angeles FBI Forensic Genetic Genealogy Team, which notably helped identify the Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo.

Traci Hammerberg, Paul Cross
Hammerberg’s body was found in front of a home on Maple Road in Saukville, Wisconsin on December 15, 1984. (Picture: ABC News)

After Cross died in 2012, authorities obtained a sample of his DNA, which was used to identify Cross as a potential suspect on August 28.

Sheriff Johnson said that Cross was quick-tempered, abusive, and had a past with police. He spent a year in prison for forgery in 1983. He was accused of strangling a woman who gave him a ride home from a bar in 1991.

thumbnail for post ID 10970682Incredible moment police officer saves life of baby who choked on cracker

Authorities were also at home home numerous times for domestic abuse, as well as drugs and alcohol abuse.

Johnson said the case would never have been solved without the help of forensic investigators.

He added: ‘While many of us may not have known Traci, we wanted justice for her and her family. We became her voice when she could no longer speak.’


Source link
Read also:
The Sun › Entertainment › 1 month ago
AMERICAN Horror Story: 1984 saw more murder and mayhem in its latest instalment. Warning – the following article contains spoilers for episode 3 of American Horror Story: 1984. The Ryan Murphy anthology series left fans aghast as it transpired that...
NBC News › 3 weeks ago
Philip Cross, who died of a drug overdose in 2012, was identified as a suspect in the 1984 murder after police compared DNA to a genealogy database.
CBS News › 4 days ago
A public DNA database led to an arrest for a cold case from more than two decades ago. Angie Dodge was murdered in Idaho Falls in 1996, but police could not find her killer despite having a sample of his DNA. Anne-Marie Green, who has been following...
Daily Mail Online › 2 weeks ago
Traci Hammerberg was found raped, beaten and strangled to death on a snow-covered driveway in Saukville, north of Milwaukee, on December 15, 1984.
Fox News › 1 month ago
The cold case rape and murder of a popular Washington state teenager has finally been solved after nearly three decades, authorities said.
The Sun › Entertainment › 1 week ago
AMERICAN Horror Story is famed for its clever crossovers between seasons. And now fans reckon they have discovered a secret link between the current 1984 season and AHS: Asylum. The sixth episode of 1984, titled ‘Episode 100′, gave viewers a...
CNN › Entertainment › 1 month ago
"American Horror Story: 1984" is turning up the fright level by featuring a plot line that includes real-life serial killer Richard Ramirez, also known as "the Night Stalker," in the new season.
The Sun › Entertainment › 1 month ago
ITV2 is bringing American Horror Story: 1984 to life with their terrifying new reality show that sees contestants avoiding a crazed killer to earn cash. The horror will be as real for the viewers as the contestants in this show, which drops 11...
New York Post › 3 weeks ago
Authorities have solved a decades-old cold case involving the murder of two teens who were both found shot in the head on a school rooftop in East Harlem. Ramon Solla, 45, is charged with slayings of Ricky Santiago and Christopher Toro-Rossy, the...
New York Post › 3 weeks ago
The city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday will teach labs across the country about a groundbreaking forensics procedure that helped solve the 1981 cold case murder of a Bronx mom. OCME began using its “Extraction of Exogenous...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR