Prosecutors linked Carlton Gary to the murder of Marion Fisher through DNA evidence. Gary is the so-called "Stocking Strangler." He was convicted in 1986 of raping and strangling three elderly women in their Columbus, Georgia, homes, in the late 1970s. Gary has asked a federal appeals court for a new trial.
Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick says he decided to close the books on the New York case after talking to her husband - once a suspect - and family.
Fitzpatrick says there is no reason to prosecute Gary at this point. Fitzpatrick says bringing Gary back to New York just presents him with a chance to escape.
August 23, 2007
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - DNA may be the only evidence Syracuse Police need to solve a 32-year-old murder case. Marion Fisher was killed in July of 1975. The case has never been solved.
We’ve learned two Syracuse Police detectives and an Assistant District Attorney have just returned from a Georgia prison.
They were there interviewing death row inmate Carlton Gary. Police say Gary’s DNA matched a sample taken from the crime scene.
Deputy Chief Michael Kerwin says, “Mr. Gary's DNA locks him into this homicide. That’s the only thing I’m sure of."
Syracuse Police say Marion Fisher was at a Nedrow bar that night with her husband. The two apparently got into an argument and Marion ended up walking home alone.
That was June 27, 1975. Deputy Chief Michael Kerwin says Marion's husband ended up calling police the next day when his wife never returned home. The Jamesville Elementary PE teacher's body was found in the bushes along Lafayette Road.
Kerwin says DNA testing wasn't used in crime fighting in the 1970s. Samples taken from the crime scene have recently been matched with 57-year-old Carlton Gary’s DNA. In 1986 he was convicted of raping and strangling three women in Georgia.
“Some point in time during the last 24 months, Mr. Gary submitted to a DNA test and then when the centers for forensic science ran our DNA nationally, they advised us of a preliminary hit,” Kerwin says.
He says Marion's husband voluntarily gave police a DNA sample to eliminate himself as a suspect. Detectives are talking to him and to Carlton Gary. Kerwin says this DNA may just be the missing piece they've been looking for to put an end this unsolved mystery.
The District Attorney's office says no charges have been filed against Carlton Gary. He's currently on death row in a Georgia prison.