D-N-A evidence found in a car led investigators of a cold case to arrest a man this week in the killing of an Iowa native. Fifty-two-year-old William O’Hare was fatally beaten eight years ago at his home in South Dakota. A grand jury that saw the new evidence indicted a Nebraska man known as “Jimmy Bean” who was arrested near South Sioux City on Wednesday.
Thirty-eight-year-old James Strahl appeared briefly this (Friday) morning in a courtroom in Nebraska. Investigators say O’Hare’s car was found about two blocks from Strahl’s home a few weeks after the slaying. South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long says the investigators used D-N-Afound in the car, and a part of this case is the explanation of two different kinds of D-N-A, which were both used by investigators of the case.
Long says the common kind of D-N-A isn’t available for testing in some cases, like one where a lot of time has passed. They can’t get that nuclear D-N-Aout of the old specimen, so investigators used mitochondrial D-N-Afrom the bones where it can still be recovered “after years and years and years.”
Long says investigators think their work will convince a jury to convict Strahl, as it convinced the grand jury that issuedthe indictment this week. Long says nuclear D-N-A evidence will be offered that his office thinks links Strahl with the crime. Long says this was the first case taken up by a new cold-case unit, though he doesn’t expect them all to end so successfully.
He says they’ve reached closure on some other cold cases but didn’t get an indictment, for reasons like someone’s died. Buth he says solving them can still give closure to the families and to law-enforcement people who’ve worked on them for a long time. The cold-case unit says Strahl wasn’t a new suspect, as he’d been interviewed five years ago in the case.
Acquaintances told investigators that O’Hare, a native of Des Moines, often picked up young men in Sioux City, Sioux Falls, or Omaha, and took them to his home. Long says they think O’Hare met Strahl in South Sioux City before he was killed at his home in Beresford, South Dakota, and it’s there that the trial will begin.