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Oregon man, 69, approaches FBI office, confesses to brutal 1979 murder and rape of Susan Marcia Rose

WorldOregon man, 69, approaches FBI office, confesses to brutal 1979 murder and rape of Susan Marcia Rose

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In a shocking incident, an Oregon man reportedly walked into an FBI field office and confessed that he killed a Boston woman by hitting her over the head with a hammer nearly 44 years ago. 69-year-old John Michael Irmer confessed to the barbaric 1979 murder and rape of Pennsylvania native Susan Marcia Rose. Susan and John had met at a Boston skating rink.

John Michael Irmer, 69, confessed to the barbaric 1979 murder and rape of a Pennsylvania native (CBS News Boston screenshot)
John Michael Irmer, 69, confessed to the barbaric 1979 murder and rape of a Pennsylvania native (CBS News Boston screenshot)

While another man had initially been suspected of the crime, he was acquitted during a trial in June 1981. “An Oregon man is expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Central Division Monday for the murder and rape of a 24-year-old Pennsylvania woman in a Back Bay apartment building in October 1979, District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced,” Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said in a statement released online.

The statement added that Boston Police detectives transported John from Portland to Boston this weekend. Of the circumstances before the murder, the statement said, “Irmer said the two walked into 285 Beacon Street, which was under renovation at the time.  Irmer said that shortly after the two entered the building he grabbed a nearby hammer and struck the woman on the head, killing her. He then raped her.” John confessed he fled to New York the next day. 

What was Susan Marcia Rose’s cause of death?

Susan’s cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt injuries of the head with fractures of the skull and lacerations of the brain, as per the statement. DNA retrieved from John and samples preserved from the scene of the murder were a match. At the time of the murder, Susan had moved to Boston from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She was living on Dartmouth Street.

“Nearly 44 years after losing her at such a young age, the family and friends of Susan Marcia Rose will finally have some answers,” Suffolk 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.”

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