Forty-Four-Year-Old Cold Case Murder Solved When Offender Confessed to FBI

( – John Michael Irmer walked into an FBI field office in Portland, Oregon and confessed to a 44-year-old-murder. Irmer confessed to killing Susan Marcia Rose with a hammer on October 30, 1979. The victim was 24 at the time she was killed.

Irmer told the FBI two different versions of events for the night of the killing. At his second interview he said he met Rose at a skating rink and that her red hair made her stand out. Irmer explained that he and Rose went for a walk and ended up inside a “demolition house” where he struck her in the back of the head with a hammer, killing her instantly. He then admitted to raping and sodomizing her body multiple times. He also admitted to moving her body to different locations within the house including dragging her body up the stairs. This was consistent with the evidence of blunt trauma found on Rose’s head and the semen found on her body. Irmer’s DNA has now been matched to the DNA left at the crime scene in 1979.

Irmer told police he had served 30 years in a California prison for a different murder and was released about ten years ago. He also admitted to another cold case murder in a “southern state” which is now being investigated. Irmer’s attorney, Steven Sack, is focusing on Irmer’s decision to turn himself in voluntarily after being a free man for ten years.

Another man, who was said to have been an acquaintance of Rose, was tried for her murder in 1981. He was found not guilty of the crime.

Irmer has been charged with murder and aggravated rape. During Irmer’s arraignment on Monday, September 11, Judge James Coffee ordered Irmer be held without bail after the request was made by ADA John Vermer. DA Kevin Hayden said in a statement that he is thankful the family and friends of the victim would finally have answers.

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