MT MT - Verna Kvale, 37, Missoula, 18 April 1976

Discussion in 'Resolved Cold Cases' started by PonderingThings, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. PonderingThings

    PonderingThings Former member

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    Cold case closed

    A resurrected 30-year-old murder is solved.

    At a press conference today, Missoula police and county officials said their evidence showed 37-year-old Verna Kvale was murdered by former funeral home director, Niel Morris. By connecting D-N-A samples found at the crime scene with recent samples, detectives pin-pointed Morris as the primary suspect.

    In April of 1976, Verna Kvale was found stabbed to death in her home. She had been sexually assaulted. The murder has been unsolved until now.

    At one time serial killer Wayne Nance was connected to the murder, but police later decided to dismiss him as a suspect.

    Police recently re-opened the case, collecting DNA samples from possible suspects. 27 hours after Niel Morris' DNA was acquired he was found dead. Officials say the cause of death was suicide.

    Prior to the murder, officials say Kvale and Morris dated. They say the murder was a personal crime of violence, but a motive is unknown.
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  3. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Bumping. Any updates on this case?
  4. Bluecat

    Bluecat New Member

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    Looks like not so much an update as a fuller story:

    Police close 1976 Kvale murder case

    Kvale, 37, was found beaten, raped and stabbed to death at her Cleveland Street home on Easter Day in 1976.

    "There was a continuum of crimes that were violent, sexual, passionate and personal," LaCroix said. "It's clear Kvale knew the attacker and let him in the front door. She was first physically assaulted, and then sexually assaulted. But the violent acts were sexual and the sexual acts were violent"...

    She had been sexually assaulted and beaten in the head with what Wood said was possibly an iron. Other pattern marks indicate Kvale might have been beaten with the butt of a pistol, Wood said. A knife was still in her body.

    Other evidence indicated the initial assault took place in the living room, Wood said. Morris then carried Kvale to the upstairs bedroom and kept beating her until she was incapacitated. The woman's clothing was cut and torn, exposing superficial cuts on her breasts and chest.

    Police found semen inside the woman and down her leg. They determined that the "person who left the semen was the person who committed the crime," Wood said.
  5. Missouri Mule

    Missouri Mule Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I lived in that area about this time. Glad they finally solved the crime.

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