On the evening of 6. November 1973 decided to Cliff and Linda Bernhardt, both 24 years old, from Billings, in the state of Montana, but not to go to the parents-in-law to dinner, but to stay at home. Linda called her mother June is rich and said to let her know. She wanted to push for herself and her husband a casserole in the oven, reported the “Billings Gazette”. However, the police believes that she has set the table for two, but for three people.

no one knows to this day what happened after this phone call. The next Morning, Linda’s mother walked by with her daughter, because this had not appeared at work. And discovered a horrible scene. Your son-in-law Cliff was in the bedroom face down in a pool of blood, according to “People”. The police suspect that he was hit in the head and then strangled to death. Linda appears to have been beaten, sexually assaulted and also strangled. Your undressed body discovered the mother in another bedroom in the house.


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The investigators were ripped open were surprised that throughout the house the window. It was bitter cold in the rooms, so cold that a bowl with ice cubes body in addition to Linda’s not thawed. A strange Scenery. In addition, the officials noted that, apparently, Linda’s missing underwear and some of their shoes, as well as a large, green suitcase.

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trace of DNA on the scene

But the killer only, something was not took, he also left some DNA on the purple panties from Linda. But this helped Determine at the time little. A lot more tracks there were. The case was cold, but never forgotten. Around 3600 pages filled at the end of the files. For 45 years the police could not find the killer.

at the end of March there was a breakthrough: The authorities announced that they had a suspect on the basis of DNA evidence. Cecil, Stan C. was a clerk in a supermarket, in which Linda bought, reports “News Tribune”. The man had been all his life inconspicuous, have two stepchildren and two adopted children. And died in the year of 2003 with only 59 years.

“All we have is an assumption,” said Mike Lindner, Yellowstone County Sheriff, to “USA Today”. “Linda was probably the goal. But we will never know.”

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The investigators had already discovered in 2004, the DNA in the boxes with the case-documents, but there is no Match in the databases found. In 2013, a Task Force was formed to “cold cases” and the Bernhardt case was the priority. Thousands of work hours invested by the officials in the flood of data and Instructions, but most of them were dead ends. The Team have worked as if possessed, reported to Scott Goodwin, who has helped as a Volunteer in the investigation. “These two young people did not deserve what happened to them,” says Goodwin, “USA Today”. “You have done nothing. They came on a Tuesday night and were murdered.”

In the year 2015 was matched to the DNA Material with a genealogy database, which is used for family tree research. There, we identified a relative of the killer, because DNA showed a striking similarity. Consequently, it was carefully researched: Thus, it had to be the killer either C. or his brother who lives in another state. His DNA was tested and he was excluded as a suspect.

“Minnesota death party”

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When the police in front of the door of Duane Arden Johnson, is naked, the man and informs the officials that his wife was lying dead in the house. The two have celebrated a wild Party with drugs and loud music. What happened?

Katharina Grimm, “Our life was destroyed”

Thus, it seems clear who killed the Bernhardts – but instead of an answer, many questions remain open. On the day of the press conference, at which the investigators presented the results, said the state attorney General, Tim Fox, therefore, that it was a good and a gloomy day. Because of the technology, with the now C. is considered to be transferred, for the relatives too late. “It is not a conclusion of the story. A final it would be if the door is closed and you can go further and say that everything is behind them,” says Kelly rich, the sister of Linda. “This result changes nothing.”

And so the questions remain: Where are the belongings of the Bernhardt? Why has C. taken you? Was C. been in Linda in love? And why C. wrote at the funeral, the Bernhardts to sign the book of condolence?

After the death of Linda’s tore the family apart, the brothers moved away, and the family lost sight of each other. “Our life was destroyed,” says rich, “New York Times”.