Thursday, 14 September 2023

A Man Walked Into An FBI Office And Confessed To A 1979 Cold Case Murder In Boston, Prosecutors Say

 FBI agents in Portland, Oregon, were surprised when a 68-year-old man walked into their office and reportedly confessed to bashing a Boston woman’s head in with a hammer back in 1979.

John Michael Irmer told FBI agents last month that he had killed a 24-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had moved to Boston, Massachusetts. Irmer has since been extradited to Boston and arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Central Division, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release on Monday.

Irmer reportedly told authorities that he met a red-haired woman at a skating rink in Boston around Halloween nearly 44 years ago. He reportedly said that he and the woman walked to an apartment building that was under renovation, where he quickly grabbed a hammer and hit the woman on the head multiple times. She died instantly, and Irmer said he raped her afterward, according to prosecutors. The next day, Irmer said, he fled to New York, according to the press release.

Investigators were able to verify his story, discovering that a red-haired woman named Susan Marcia Rose was found murdered at the same apartment building on October 30, 1979. Rose’s cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head, which fractured her skull and lacerated her brain. A DNA sample collected at the scene and preserved for 44 years matched a sample taken from Irmer after he allegedly confessed.

Rose was originally from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, but had moved to Boston prior to her death. In June 1981, a different man was tried for her murder but found not guilty.

“Nearly 44 years after losing her at such a young age, the family and friends of Susan Marcia Rose will finally have some answers,” District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement. “This was a brutal, ice-blooded murder made worse by the fact that a person was charged and tried — and fortunately, found not guilty — while the real murderer remained silent until now. No matter how cold cases get resolved, it’s always the answers that are important for those who have lived with grief and loss and so many agonizing questions.”


Irmer was arraigned for the crime on Monday and reportedly hid behind a wall for much of the time, CBS Boston reported. He is being held without bail on charges of murder and aggravated rape.

Irmer allegedly told FBI agents that he wanted to confess to multiple murders, the Boston Globe reported. In court, Assistant District Attorney John Verner said that Irmer admitted to killing another woman in the south, but that case is still being investigated.

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