It Took Over 40 Years, but Justice Was Finally Served in the Killing of a New York Teen Stabbed in Her Apartment

buffalo killing
Source: Erie County District Attorney's Office

Oct. 1 2023, Published 4:01 p.m. ET

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Over four decades after a woman was murdered in her Buffalo, New York, home, her family finally got justice.

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A New York judge sentenced John Sauberan, 63, to 25 years to life in prison for the cold-case killing of 19-year-old Linda Tschari.

In October, 2022, Sauberan was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. The jury took just three hours of deliberating to reach its verdict after five days of testimony.

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On Feb. 8, 1978, Sauberan entered the victim’s home on Pooley Place in Buffalo, prosecutors said. There, he stabbed her multiple times. No motive has been made clear in the killing.

Tschari was a bartending student who lived alone, according to Oxygen.

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The victim’s brother went to check on his sister later in the day and found her dead, prosecutors said.

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The killing happened during a historic blizzard in the northeast, according to Oxygen. A trail of blood led from the home, but police were never able to find the killer. Eventually, the case went cold.

Police reexamined the case in the mid-2000s, according to Oxygen. That led police to get DNA from blood taken from the scene. That led to a match with Sauberan, who was arrested in 2008 in Oregon.

“The family of Linda Tschari has waited nearly 45 years for justice. I hope that this defendant being convicted and sentenced to a significant term of imprisonment provides her family with legal closure as they continue to mourn her untimely death and heal from this horrific crime," Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said.

He continued, "Solving this cold case homicide was truly a team effort that involved hard work and expertise. I want to thank the members of the Buffalo Police Department, both past and present, who never gave up on this case as well as the forensic biologists who found key evidence that led to this conviction."


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