BOSTON (WWLP) – An Oregon man has been charged with the 1979 murder of a woman in Boston, Massachusetts, after walking into a Portland FBI office last month and confessing to hitting her in the head with a hammer.
Prosecutors said he also confessed to another slaying, which is currently being investigated.
John Michael Irmer, 68, appeared in a Boston courtroom Monday. He was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated rape in connection with the killing of 24-year-old Susan Marcia Rose in 1979.
Irmer is due back in court on Oct. 17, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. He is currently being held without bail.
Irmer told FBI agents last month that he had met the victim around Halloween in 1979, at a skating rink in Boston. He said the two walked down the road to a building in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood that was being renovated. That’s where he allegedly grabbed a hammer, hit her in the head and raped her.
Rose’s body was found on Oct. 30, 1979, in the Beacon Street building.
Another man had been arrested by police at the time. He was charged but acquitted in 1981.
Following Irmer’s confession last month, authorities were able to link elements of his story to Rose’s murder. Investigators said Irmer’s DNA also matched that of a sample that had been saved from the crime scene, the Associated Press reported.
“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 County DA Kevin Hayden said in a news release. “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,” Hayden said.
Irmer had previously served a 30-year sentence for a homicide in California, according to investigators. He was freed about 10 years ago and had since moved to Oregon.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.