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Confession - Slaying of Illinois girl, police say Confession...
Slaying of Illinois girl, police say Confession solves 9 77 murder WAUKEGAN, 111. (AP) Police say they had many leads and suspects in the 1977 slaying of a 12-year-old Waukegan girl, out probably would not have solved the case if a South Carolina man hadn't admitted to the killing. Gary D. Kerpan, 40, of Inman, S.C, was being held without bond Sunday in the Lake County Jail, after being transferred from Spartanburg, S.C, said jail officer Wendell Russell. Kerpan was charged Friday with murder in the stabbing and bludgeoning death of Lisa Slusser, who in 1977 disappeared from this city about 40 miles north of Chicago, said Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Ralph Connard. Kerpan also was questioned in Spartanburg about unsolved homicides in three southern states before being brought back to Illinois, Connard said. Kerpan, a furniture mover who lived in Waukegan at the time of the girl's death, was arrested after he called FBI agents in South Carolina on Thursday and said he wanted to talk about a murder in Illinois years ago, Connard said. "It was a crime of opportunity," he said. "Mr. Kerpan resided about three blocks north of the abduction site at the time." An extensive investigation over the years filled three boxes of police files, Connard said. "We were following up on leads actively for eight years. We even talked to Ted Bundy, and Henry Lee Lucas from Texas A task force of local and regional authorities labored over the case, but "as time progressed the leads became fewer and fewer" and the task force was dissolved, he said. "We were following up on leads actively for eight years. We even talked to Ted Bundy, and Henry Lee Lucas from Texas," Connard said, of two noted confessors to serial killings. Connard said Kerpan called from a phone in a convenience store in Inman and a police car was sent to the store to pick him up. He was arrested on a fugitive warrant issued by the Orange County, Fla., sheriff's de-partmemt for a parole violation following a firearms conviction, Connard said. He had lived in Inman for several months after moving there from Florida, Connard said. Authorities from South Carolina, Florida and Virginia planned to "interview him relating to unsolved homicides in their jurisdictions," Connard said. The Chicago Tribune, citing unnamed sources, reported that Kerpan implicated himself in other murders in several states. Connard declined to comment on the report, saying: "It's just standard procedure to interview somebody who had been on the run for 13 years." The case had baffled authorities for years. Lisa Slusser left her Waukegan home on Aug. 24, 1977, and rode her bicycle to a vacant field near a highway about two blocks away to collect acorns and weeds to feed to her pet rabbit. Her family reported her missing. After a two-day effort in which more than 100 searchers combed the area, her body was found on a dirt road near the Des Plaines River about 11 miles northwest of the city. Police said at the time that she had been abducted, sexually as saulted, stabbed 19 times and her skull fractured.

Clipped from
  1. The Index-Journal,
  2. 22 Jan 1990, Mon,
  3. Page 9

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