Orange County District Attorney
FONT> Susan Schroeder
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
August 15, 2006
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 323-4486 Cell
MAN CHARGED WITH COLD CASE MURDER BEING BROUGHT BACK TO OC FROM AN OHIO PRISON
TO FACE JUSTICE
*Linked by DNA to Marla Hires’ rape and murder in 1972
SANTA ANA – Man charged with murder of a Stanton wife and mother in 1972 will be brought back to Orange County to face justice. Edwin Dean Richardson, 70, of Pickway Correctional Institution in Orient, Ohio, was charged with murder on November 30, 2004 by the Orange County District Attorney’s office. The maximum penalty for murder in 1972 was life in prison. Richardson will arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport tonight and will be arraigned at a later date with details to follow. Bail will be set at $1 million but Richardson is a sentenced prisoner in Ohio until 2010.
In the early morning of October 29, 1972, Marla Hires, 23, of Stanton left the house in her blue 1971 Mazda RX2 two-door sedan. She was wearing a purple blouse, brown flare pant, and a pair of brown heels to match her brown purse. This Stanton mother of a two-year-old got up before sunrise, as she often did, to do extra work as a claims adjuster at Southern California Edison located in Rosemead. Mrs. Hires was reported missing by her parents and her husband that night.
The defendant is accused of raping Mrs. Hires, strangling her before wrapping her up in old pieces of drapery and carpet, and casting her out like garbage down an embankment in Yorba Linda. Mrs. Hires’ lifeless body was found on the side of Imperial Highway near Kellogg Drive in Yorba Linda the next morning. The defendant is accused of dumping her car at a Sumitomo bank in Stanton near where he lived and worked.
The Orange County Sheriff investigated and put together the cold case through DNA evidence, which was linked to the defendant who was in prison for murdering another young woman named Joanna Boughner.
The DNA technology did not exist in 1972. The FBI did not conduct forensic DNA analysis until 1988. Orange County did not conduct forensic DNA analysis until the early 1990s. “Technology is catching up with criminals. As technology gets better, it is becoming increasingly difficult to commit crimes without leaving forensic clues. If `Jack the Ripper’ had committed the crimes today instead of in 1888, he would have been caught and convicted,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Earlier in 1972, the California Supreme Court led by Justice Rose Bird had ruled the death penalty unconstitutional because it was “cruel and unusual.” In 1977, the death penalty in California was reinstituted. The defendant could not be charged with rape because of statute of limitations has run.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Jim Tanizaki will be prosecuting this case.