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Solved Cold Cases - General discussion about how they were solved

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Kimster, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    This area is for discussion about cold cases that were solved where we don't already have an individual case thread.

    spike and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  2. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member


    Investigators in Massachusetts say they have solved the 1969 murder of a popular Harvard graduate student, pinning the slaying on a career criminal who has been linked to multiple other sexual assaults and homicides in the years after his death.

    The family of Jane Britton, who was just 23, finally has anwers nearly 50 years after her body was found in her Cambridge apartment by her boyfriend.

    Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said Tuesday that DNA testing has identified Michael Sumpter as the assailant who sexually assaulted and murdered Britton in January of 1969. She credited "multiple teams" of investigators for the breakthrough in the case.

    "As a direct result of their perseverance and utilization of the latest advances in forensic technology by the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab today I am confident that the mystery of who killed Jane Britton has finally been solved and this case is officially closed," she said.

    Ryan recounted the final hours of Britton's life during a press conference on Tuesday. Jane went to dinner with classmates on Jan. 6, 1969, and then stopped at home to change before going ice skating with her boyfriend. After going to a pub with her boyfriend and spending time with him in her apartment, she visited a neighbor for a glass of sherry before returning home about 12:30 a.m.

    Investigators say Michael Sumpter raped and murdered Jane Britton. (Middlesex County District Attorney's Office)
    Investigators believe Sumpter broke through a window and attacked Britton. Her body was found the next day at about 12:40 p.m. by her boyfriend after she failed to show up for an exam at school.

    After failing to make a breakthrough in the case for decades, authorities made progress this year with the help of DNA technology, and were able to obtain a sample from Sumpter's biological brother.

    DNA evidence has also linked Sumpter to the 1972 rape and murder of 23-year-old Ellen Rutchick, and the 1973 rape and murder of 24-year-old Mary Lee McClain.

    Sumpter died of cancer at the age of 54 in 2001. He was on parole after serving time for a rape that took place in Boston in 1975. He was linked to another rape one year after his death.

    Boyd Britton, a relative of Jane's, said in a statement that "learning to understand and forgive remains a challenge."

    "A half century of mystery and speculation has clouded the brutal crime that shattered Jane's promising young life and our family," he said. "As the surviving Britton, I wish to thank all those — friends, public officials and press — who persevered in keeping this investigation active, most especially State police Sergeant Peter Sennott."


    This is an interesting case that @Cousin Dupree showed me. The DNA was so old! Isn't it amazing that they were able to match it? Has anyone ever heard of Sumpter before? I hadn't.
    spike, Blue G 3, Whatsnext and 2 others like this.
  3. Blue G 3

    Blue G 3 Well-Known Member

    I remember reading about this, I think its amazing! Hopefully through advances in DNA technology, many more cold cases will be solved.
    Paradise likes this.

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