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Man admits murdering woman with hammer in 1979 in building under construction, DA says

By Jamy Pombo Sesselman

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    BOSTON (WCVB) — An Oregon man is facing charges in the murder of a 24-year-old Pennsylvania woman in an apartment in Boston’s Back Bay in 1979, District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced Monday.

John Michael Irmer, 68, will be charged with in the Oct. 30, 1979 death of Susan Marcia Rose.

Last month, Irmer went to the Portland FBI field office and said that he met a woman with red hair at a skating rink around Halloween in Boston in 1979.

He said the two walked into 285 Beacon St., which was under renovation at the time. Shortly after the pair entered the building, Irmer said he grabbed a hammer and struck the woman on the head, killing her, according to the District Attorney’s office. Irmer said he fled to New York the next day.

Officials said Rose, who had red hair, was found murdered at 285 Beacon St. on October 30, 1979. The cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt injuries of the head with fractures of the skull and lacerations of the brain.

Investigators retrieved a DNA sample from Irmer, which proved to be a match with DNA samples preserved from the murder scene, officials said.

Rose moved to Boston from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and was living on Dartmouth Street at the time of her death. A man was tried and found not guilty of Rose’s murder in June 1981.

“Nearly 44 years after losing her at such a young age, the family and friends of Susan Marcia Rose will finally have some answers. This was a brutal, ice-blooded murder made worse by the fact that a person was charged and tried,” Hayden said

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