A Pennsylvania man’s DNA linked him to a 33-year-old Aurora homicide. He committed suicide this summer.


A Pennsylvania man, who fled Colorado after an Aurora stabbing dying 33 years in the past, dedicated suicide this summer time after a detective instructed him that blood discovered within the sufferer’s house was matched to his DNA, Aurora police stated.

On the time of his dying, 52-year-old John Edward Strait was the first suspect within the stabbing of 28-year-old Julian Lawrence Domenico, who died in his one-bedroom house in 1986, stated Steve Conner, an Aurora Police Division chilly case murder detective.

Following Strait’s dying, Domenico’s case was closed, Conner stated.

Conner was investigating the kidnapping and dying of Donna Sue Wayne, an 18-year-old highschool pupil, when Domenico’s unsolved case grabbed his curiosity.

Wayne was final seen alive July 14, 1986, at an Aurora bar referred to as Shagnasty’s on the 400 block of Havana Road. Domenico was final seen alive about three weeks later additionally at Shagnasty’s, Conner stated.

The detective stated he suspected the 2 homicides could have been dedicated by the identical particular person.

Within the means of investigating the Domenico murder, he submitted blood proof from the sufferer’s house to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for DNA testing earlier this yr.

In April, a CBI worker referred to as Conner to say that blood drops collected in Domenico’s house had been matched by a nationwide database to Strait, by then a registered intercourse offender residing in Greencastle, Pa.

Though the DNA check didn’t result in an arrest within the teen’s dying, it led to a robust suspect in Domenico’s murder, Conner stated.

Witnesses in Domenico’s dying instructed police group of acquaintances left Shagnasty’s on Aug. three, 1986, and went to Domenico’s house for an after-party fueled with medication and liquor, the detective stated.

It was Conner’s perception that Strait had gone to the celebration and, sooner or later, a battle erupted between Domenico and Strait. It may have been over any variety of issues together with a foul drug deal, he stated.

Killers who use knives typically lower themselves in a frenzied state of anger, he stated. He believed that’s the possible purpose Strait’s blood ended up in Domenico’s house.

Conner and Aurora police Sgt. Steve Kokerst flew to Pennsylvania and on April eight they interviewed Strait.

Strait was pleasant, however he claimed he had by no means been in Colorado in his life and had by no means met Domenico, Conner stated.

“If you’ve never been in Colorado before, how did you get arrested and convicted of drunken driving after you crashed a Cadillac>” Conner stated he requested Strait.

The contradiction created a fault line in Strait’s alibi that grew when the Aurora officers talked about that his blood was discovered inside Domenico’s house.

Strait all of the sudden started remembering. He admitted he had lived for a short while in Colorado, and he remembered going to Shagnasty’s, Conner stated.

How did his blood get inside Domenico’s house?

Strait stated that if his blood ended up in Domenico’s house that he should have partied there sooner or later. He added that he should have poked himself within the arm whereas he was mainlining methamphetamine with a needle, Conner stated.

However no means did he stab Domenico, the suspect instructed the officers. He caught to his story, however his facial cues gave Conner an altogether completely different story, the detective stated.

“When he left he acted like his puppy had died,” Conner stated.

Conner and Kokerst returned to Aurora.

About six weeks later, Conner acquired a name from Pennsylvania. Strait had killed himself June 15.

Though Conner stated he would have most well-liked seeing Strait held accountable for Domenico’s homicide, he was happy he knew who was liable for the homicide.

The case was solved.


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