Florida police say they’ve cracked the 43-year-old slaying of a nurse who was brutally raped and murdered inside her home in 1980, pinning the grisly crime on a jailed convict and repeat killer.
Advances in DNA technology led cops to Ronald Eugene Richards, who was indicted last week in the cold case slaying of Evelyn Fisher-Bamforth, 32, cops said.
“I think this is a serial killer,” Miramar police Det. John Zeller said at a press conference announcing the arrest on Friday, according to WSVN. “There could potentially be other cases out there.
Zeller declined to offer details on the DNA trail to solved the case, but said their probe into Richards in continuing.
Cops said the psychiatric nurse was home alone in bed when he broke into her trailer, raped and then bludgeoned her to death.
Her husband, John Bamforth, now 77, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he recalled rushing past police when he returned home on that night more than four decades ago.
“That’s when I saw what I saw,” he told the paper. “Furniture disturbed, cushions disturbed. Then I walked into the back bedroom and we had a California king…half of the bed at least was soaked with blood.”
Cops, however, could never prove he was the killer, and several months later he was also eyed for a similar rape and attempted murder in nearby Volusia County.
Richards, now 75, was eventually convicted of that attempted murder in 1982 and released from prison in May of 2020.
He was indicted last Friday for the slaying of Fisher-Bamforth, and is being held in jail in Ohio awaiting extradition to Broward County, Fla.
The victim’s now elderly husband said the development provided some measure of relief, but also revived difficult memories.
“But for Evelyn, justice is the most important thing,” he said.