The Associated Press
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — The cold-case slayings of five women have been solved after three decades, and a man already behind bars will face murder charges, authorities announced Monday.
The suspect was connected to the killings, in 1977 and 1982, by DNA evidence, Police Chief Carl Kinnison said. He is incarcerated outside of Missouri in an unrelated case. Neither police not the prosecutor's office would identify him before a new conference planned for later Monday.
Kinnison said the slayings remained unsolved for so long because of their randomness and the cunning of a killer who took care to cover his tracks.
"This is a very smart man who committed these offenses," Kinnison said.
The homicides began in 1977 and terrorized the town of about 37,000 residents that sits along the Mississippi River about 100 miles south of St. Louis.
The first victims were Mary Parsh, 58, and her 27-year-old daughter, Brenda. Both were found shot to death inside their home on Aug. 12, 1977. They were face-down on a bed beside each other, with their hands bound behind their back.
A few months later, Southeast Missouri State University student Sheila Cole, 21, was kidnapped from a Wal-Mart parking lot on Nov. 16, 1977, and found dead a day later at a rest area near McClure, Ill. She had been shot twice in the head.
In 1982, police suspected the same man killed two women after sneaking into their homes through the bathroom window.
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Margie Call, 57, found strangled inside her home on Jan. 27, 1982. Mildred Wallace, 65, found shot to death inside her home on June 21, 1982.