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Colorado Police Arrest Suspected Serial Killer [UPDATED]

By Steve Huff in serial killers
Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 6:12 pm

lbenson.jpg
Linda Benson/Grand Junction Police
Police in Grand Junction, Colorado have arrested a suspected serial murderer. At this time the details are few and far between, including the name of the suspect. Whoever he is, police seem to think he's been at work in both Denver and Grand Junction, CO since the mid-70s.The following comes from 9news.com:

Grand Junction resident Mark Himmerite told 9NEWS he learned an arrest was made Wednesday in the unsolved murder of his sister, Linda Benson, 24, and her 5-year-old daughter Kelley.

Himmerite told 9NEWS the two were found dead inside their Grand Junction apartment in 1975...

At approximately 7:20 p.m. ET, Kate Porras of the Grand Junction Police Dept. sent out a new press release about today's arrest. It read, in part:

The Grand Junction Police Department has made an arrest in a double murder case from 1975. In July of that year, 24-year-old Linda Benson and her 5-year-old daughter Kelley were found stabbed to death in their apartment in the 1300 block of N 21st Street.

[...]

We have been in contact with the family members of the victims. They have asked that you please respect their privacy as they deal with these new developments.

Even with the arrest, the investigation into this case remains ongoing. Because of that we are not releasing the name of the suspect at this time...

The suspect will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. MT tomorrow in the Mesa County (CO) District Court. An hour and a half after the arraignment, Grand Junction law enforcement officials will release more information about the case at a press conference at the Grand Junction Police Department.

Of course, it may be that this killer has been in jail and other crimes are only now coming back to haunt him. I say this because a viable suspect in the Benson murders, Ken Botham, has been incarcerated since the late 1970s. He was convicted of killing his wife, Patricia Botham and their neighbor Linda Miracle and her two sons, Troy and Chad Miracle.

Ken Botham's son Thayer keeps a comprehensive website about his the case at KenBotham.com, and in a detailed case overview, Thayer Botham wrote the following:

Linda Benson, Pat Botham and Linda Miracle were friends. [...] Mrs. Botham, a photographer, musician, seamstress; Mrs. Miracle, easy living, many friends connected with law enforcement, wife. Mrs. Benson, same age, knew the other women. What went on is anyone's guess, but a powerful motive existed to get rid of these and other women in the community. Perhaps Linda Benson knew who threatened Linda Miracle. Perhaps Pat Botham knew also... [LINK]

It could be that Linda Benson's killer was just sitting in a prison cell for the last 3 decades waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It could also very well be that Ken Botham was never supposed to be in that cell at all, and a true monster remained free. We'll know for sure tomorrow afternoon.

NOTE, 12:26 a.m. ET, 4/10/09

Since I first posted this I've received search engine referrals that lead me to believe my hunch about a connection between the Botham/Miracle case and the Benson murders is true. One hit came from a computer owned by the same company that publishes The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The Web surfer was looking for "linda botham murder case."

Someone has either begun following the same trail I did yesterday or they have some inside info.

I have yet to hear back from Ken Botham's son, Thayer Botham, after two emails inquiring about this case.

NOTE, 12:50 a.m.

Commenter Catdog pointed me to a link explaining why I didn't hear back from Thayer Botham. Sadly, he died in 2008. Thayer Botham's wife Jill blogged about his death here in August, 2008. A memorial website for Botham is here: ThayerBotham.com.

More links from around the web!

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