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Cold case: 1979 Salem stabbing death solved


(Update: Comments from prosecutor, victim’s sister)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The persistence of a detective and the sister of a teen girl killed almost 40 years ago led to solving the crime.

Marion County prosecutor Paige Clarkson says DNA and other evidence shows a convicted rapist named Gerald Dunlap killed 18-year-old Janie Landers in 1979.

Clarkson says Dunlap died in prison in 2002. Oregon State Police reopened the cold case in 2015 at the request of the victim’s sister.

Dunlap’s death deprives Landers’ family of seeing him brought to justice for Janie’s murder.

For her sister, Joyce Hooper, what matters is Dunlap died in prison and wasn’t out hurting anyone else. She says she will be forever grateful for Detective Steve Hinkle’s persistence.

Clarkson says Landers was a patient at the Fairview Training Center, a now-closed Salem facility for people with developmental disabilities. She disappeared March 9, 1979, and her body was found five days later.

Clarkson says blood on Janie’s clothing contained the DNA of Dunlap, who worked at Fairview as a laundry worker until he was fired in 1983 for inappropriate behavior toward women.

Detectives noticed old photos of Dunlap closely resembled a composite sketch done at the time. Dunlap’s ex-wife also confirmed the vehicle Dunlap drove in 1979 matched one seen by witnesses when Janie vanished.

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