Always hang onto evidence: Coppers arrest man in 1983 murder

DA Gerry Leone initiated the cold case program after taking office in 2007

State Police arrested and charged a Holyoke man last night with a 1983 slaying, moving to close an investigation that had been open for 28 years.

The Middlesex district attorney’s office said Shawn Marsh, 46, of Holyoke, had been indicted by a Middlesex grand jury and arrested by State Police in connection with the homicide after evidence against him emerged through new fingerprint testing technology…

The case dates to Aug. 22, 1983, when Malden police, responding to reports of gunshots, found Rodney Wyman, of Simsbury, Conn., suffering from a gunshot wound at the Town Line Motel in Malden. Wyman was rushed to Malden Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities said an immediate investigation into the case yielded no arrests at the time because of a lack of evidence…

The technology, including a national fingerprint identification database, had not been developed at the time of the homicide. The system was launched by the FBI in 1999 and contains the fingerprints, criminal history, and physical description of more than 66 million criminal subjects. It is the largest biometric database in the world…

Authorities alleged that the defendant and another suspect, who has yet to be identified, shot Wyman after breaking into his hotel room with the intention of robbing him.

Bravo. I’m enough of a CSI-freak as it is. But, re-opening and solving cold cases like this one are a special benefit of advances in forensic science.

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