06-09-2009, 11:00 AM #1Registered User
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- Aug 2003
Susan Chase murder trial to start
Another notorious and cold case is set to begin in Boulder:
Susannah Chase was murdered a year and almost to the day after JBR. There was a lot of speculation over the years. A DNA match found the killer, and there can be no innocent reason why his DNA was found on her. She was a random victim in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The BPD missed a trail of blood---a citizen reported it the next morning. The trail of blood led to the discovery of a BAT---DNA on the bat was traced to killer's girlfriend (she was not part of it--he just used her bat). He attacked other women in Denver shortly after the murder of Susannah. He even told someone that he beat a woman, and it was reported. The name given had a few letters off--but it wouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to check with surrounding communties for similar crimes. That wasn't done, and the tip lay in a box.
He did 7 years in a Wyoming prison for attacking a woman. It was only after he was released that his DNA eventually got in the database, and they got a match. He had returned to Colorado to live with his mother.
More precise DNA testing several years ago revealed the killer was either of Indian or hispanic descent. (He's from Chili).
This guy had a history of violence against women, with escalating behavior. He didn't just wake up one morning and decide to kill a random woman. Most likely Susannah was beaten to death because she fought him.
It wouldn't surprise me if the murderer of JBR had a similar history who was no stranger to crime, including burglaries.
06-09-2009, 11:05 AM #2Registered User
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- Aug 2003
The tip not followed up on....
Nice work BPD...and this was a YEAR after the murder of JBR, after the BPD was highly critized for their actions the very first day when JBR's body was found. I think there could be the right tip in the murder of JBR mothballed in a box.
Chase tip referred to girl 'killed with baseball bat'
Boulder police didn’t act on 2001 tip that named Alcalde as suspect
By Heath Urie (Contact)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Diego Olmos Alcalde is charged in the 1997 murder of Susannah Chase.
Susannah Chase Homicide
Special Section and Archives
BOULDER, Colo. — An anonymous tip sent to Boulder police in 2001 contained the subject line “girl that was killed with baseball bat” and the misspelled name of suspect Diego Alcalde.
But it went unconnected to the baseball-bat beating death of University of Colorado student Susannah Chase three years earlier, and was lost inside a box at police headquarters, investigators testified in Boulder County District Court on Tuesday.
Alcalde, 39, who was arrested in the case in 2008 after his DNA matched crime-scene evidence, is in court all week for motions hearings. The hearings resumed Tuesday with defense attorneys questioning detectives about the tip, which was submitted to Crimestoppers and forwarded to Boulder police on Jan. 9, 2001.
The tip, which investigators have since learned came from one of Alcalde’s former girlfriends, indicated that “Diego Ivan Olmos Alcalad” had hit a man with a black-handled, blue baseball bat. The description matched the bat used in the Chase homicide on Dec. 20, 1997, but the tipster never referenced the case or mentioned Boulder.
“At one point, she had seen something on TV about the Chase homicide and had called Crimestoppers,” Sgt. Kerry Yamaguchi said.
Yamaguchi, who was in charge of the investigation for the first 10 months, testified Tuesday that the tip indicated “Alcalad” had been arrested by Denver police in 1997 or 1998 on assault charges.
The tipster wrote that police should “see if there is a connection.”
It’s unclear how Crimestoppers knew to send the tip to Boulder, police said.
Alcalde’s defense attorney, Mary Claire Mulligan, asked why police didn’t follow up on the tip or make the connection to Chase.
“Do you recall any other cases in the Boulder Police Department that involved a girl that was beaten to death with a baseball bat?” Mulligan asked.
Yamaguchi answered that there are not other such cases, and he “probably would have made that assumption” if he had seen the tip. But no one appears to have followed up on it, he said.
Boulder detective Chuck Heidel, who is now in charge of the investigation, said the tip apparently made its way into a box of paperwork that officers assumed was “mostly duplicates” of information already filed with individual cases.
He said investigators had no way of knowing who Alcalde was at the time, and the tip didn’t include a birthday to help run background checks.
Mulligan questioned that logic, and said police surely had ways to check alternate spellings of names. They also could have called Denver police, who likely would have had information about Alcalde’s arrest in January 1998 on suspicion that he assaulted two women — one of them at knifepoint.
“Do you know how (the tip) may have gotten into that box?” Mulligan asked.
“I don’t know,” Heidel answered.
The tip was finally found and attached to the Chase file in January 2008, after Alcalde had been linked to the case by a DNA sample he had to submit following an unrelated kidnapping conviction in Wyoming, Heidel said.
The defense is asking Judge James C. Klein to impose sanctions on the prosecution for failing to act on the tip, because too much time has passed now for Alcalde to mount an effective defense. Several of the witnesses and possible alternate suspects are now dead, deported or missing, according to Alcalde’s attorneys.
The motions hearings resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
06-09-2009, 11:24 AM #3Registered User
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- Aug 2003
Violence escalating at the time of murder
Violent crimes were increasing at the time both JBR and Susannah Chase were murdered. There were plenty of transients hanging around, many of them with violent tendencies. Intruder crimes in occupied homes were increasing. I found articles prior to JBR's murder where intruders had entered homes while people were sleeping.
The publication of Access's success only 4 days before JBR was murdered, in my opinon was the trigger--the Ramsey's home was publically listed in the phone book. It could explain why the killer has been so elusive---he could be very remote from the family. He didn't know JBR's name....didn't blindfold her...or care if he left his handwriting. IMO, that's because he was not close at all to the family.
Brutal attack leaves many Boulder residents on edge
People taking special care when out
As last-minute Christmas shoppers bustle about the Downtown Mall on Christmas Eve, a deadline that has nothing to do with Christmas hangs over their heads.
Shoppers want to get done before dark, especially women.
Outweighing Christmas cheer is the knowledge that somewhere out there is the person or persons who brutally beat Susannah Chase, a 23-year-old University of Colorado student who died Monday after police found her Sunday morning lying in an alley.
Since then, police have warned Boulder women to walk with escorts after dark.
Kim Rothwell, who lives five or six blocks away from the site where Chase was assaulted, is one Boulder woman who recently made a decision not to get caught alone on the streets after dark. Rothwell, a 22-year-old CU student who grew up in Boulder, said she has seen crime grow along with the city. She didn't need a police warning to know that Boulder's streets aren't as safe as they used to be. One of the four women who lives with Rothwell was assaulted this October in her own bedroom.
"Some guy had climbed through an open window and went directly downstairs to her room," Rothwell said. She said the man hit her unsuspecting housemate over the head, and detectives say they believe he wanted to rape her.
"But she wasn't knocked out. She started screaming and he ran out a side door," Rothwell said.
Since that incident, Rothwell and the women she lives with stopped going out at night alone. Rothwell said she came home Tuesday night and got nervous walking the 10 feet between her car and her door.
"I get scared not knowing what I'm going to come home to. I get scared walking to put out the trash, whether someone would be in the alley," she said.
Having grown up in Boulder, Rothwell said she used to walk the streets alone without a thought for her own safety. Now, she wouldn't go without an escort. She and her housemates have installed sensor lights around the house.
"We were watching a movie last night, and a ski boot fell out of our closet," she said, adding that everyone in the room jumped at the sound. "The little things that we never would have thought were anything are now big things."
Christian Mattson, 38, is more than 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. He said he isn't often afraid for his own safety. He lives across the street from Susannah Chase's home, however, and said that since he heard the news of her attack and death, he's felt a little strange.
"I say that it's just a shock. Boulder is not the quiet little town it used to be," Mattson said. "It's scary to think that someone is walking around down there with those kind of tendencies."
The manager of five rental units in a house in the 1800 block of Spruce Street, Mattson said he pays attention to people who hang around the neighborhood. He said that before Chase's death, he had never heard of any violent crimes.
"But there's a lot of strange people hanging around in this area," Mattson said. "I recently caught two different prowlers here on two different occasions so we ended up putting a secured door on. Previously, we had a lock on the individual doors, but not on the front door. We have a couple ladies who live here and they are pretty upset about it."
Although Mattson said he still feels safe himself, this type of crime gets to him.
" This sort of thing shakes the whole neighborhood up," he said.
Keith Michand, 19, said though the crime against Chase was brutal, he still considers Boulder a relatively safe place to live. Having lived on the streets for a few years in Atlanta and Worcester, Mass., Michand said there's nowhere in Boulder that comes close to the danger he faced back East. Michand, who works at Subway Sandwiches on the Downtown Mall, said he has spent an entire night on the Mall and never feared for his safety.
"That's why there are so many street kids here," Michand said. "It's safe."
Michand said he was more concerned for his own safety when David Emmett Simpson, a homeless Boulder man known as "Mad Dog," was found brutally beaten to death. Although Michand now lives with his mother, he said he had spent time with Mad Dog on the wooded trails near the creek where the older man's body was discovered.
"When Mad Dog got killed, that freaked me out even more. I would see him down by the creek, on the trails back there," he said.
Boulder Mayor Bob Greenlee said the police warning was appropriate.
"There aren't any suspects, and there's someone who committed a horrendous, violent murder in our city and hasn't been apprehended," Greenlee said. "I don't think it signals anything other than we live in violent times, not just in the city of Boulder ... Wanton and senseless acts of violence occur without notice and can happen anywhere."
06-26-2009, 07:42 PM #4
Alcalde guilty on all counts in 1997 Chase murder
A Boulder jury Friday afternoon found Diego Olmos Alcalde guilty of kidnapping, raping and murdering Susannah Chase, providing her family a long-awaited sense of finality in what has been an almost 12-year quest for answers to one of the city's most vexing cold cases.
Yay! RIP Susannah.
06-26-2009, 08:37 PM #5
06-27-2009, 12:12 AM #6
06-27-2009, 12:40 AM #7
This is great news..Knowledge of time is precious.Wisdom of truth is more precious than time..Opinions I write are mine..
06-28-2009, 11:40 AM #8Registered User
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- Aug 2003
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