DETECTIVES IN Austin, Texas are trying to a link a troubling 1988 cold case to the chillingly similar slaying two years earlier of Christine Morton, pictured right. Now, the working theory is that a serial killer may have been at work although Morton's husband has been in prison for nearly 25 years for the crime. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Debra Jane Baker of Austin was beaten to death with a blunt object in her bed while she slept--identical to Morton's slaying 12 miles away. Morton's husband has been trying to get DNA testing to determine if
there are links to another unsolved homicide: the 1980 bludgeoning death of Mildred McKinney who died in nearly the exact same circumstances.
Morton has always claimed he was innocent and blaming his wife's slaying on an unknown intruder.
About two weeks ago, cold case detectives began re-interviewing Baker's relatives based on a tip from Morton's lawyers with the Innocence Project of New York. The tip included the name and DNA profile of a man whose DNA was discovered on a recently tested piece of evidence from the Morton case: a bandanna that also contained Christine Morton's blood and one of her hairs.
• Christine Morton, 31, was killed in August 1986 by eight blows to her head as she lay in bed. A neighbor checking on the Mortons' 3-year-old son wandering outside alone, discovered her body beneath a comforter, suitcase and wicker basket.
• McKinney, 73, also was attacked in bed, according to blood splatters on her headboard. She was found Nov. 4, 1980, on her bedroom floor also beneath household items — a reclining chair, small table and vacuum cleaner. Unlike Morton, her hands were bound and she had been raped.
• Baker, 34, was killed Jan. 13, 1988, by six blows to the head while lying in bed. She was alone at the time; her two young children were spending the night with her estranged husband.
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