An estranged husband who was a former high school sweetheart.... A suitor spurned after a night of boozing and dancing.... A secret early-morning lover.... These were three of the five viable suspects police were investigating after 23-year-old Catherine Janet Walsh's parents discovered her half-nude body in her bed that Saturday morning of a sultry Labor Day weekend in 1979. But there was not enough evidence to convict any of them.
Thirty-two years later, thanks to the emerging science of DNA forensics, Detective Andrew Gall, who was the initial responding officer to the murder scene, had a prime suspect in this cold case. Sperm left on the stored evidence - a nightgown, a robe tie to bind the young secretary's hands, and a bandana used to strangle her - pointed to one of the five men who had motive and/or opportunity to kill her. But this true saga of liquor- and sex-tinged murder that disrupted a small riverside blue-collar town where crime was rare and everybody was related or friends, was only beginning. Now came the trial - no prosecutorial slam dunk, despite the scientific and forensic evidence - as the story of the murder was told in a courtroom drama involving internationally renowned forensics and DNA experts, conflicting character testimony, questionable alibis, and compromised memories of one long night and early morning of dancing, drinking, partying, and death.
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