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An Oregon Man Walked into an FBI Office. Then, He Confessed to an ‘Ice-Blooded’ Murder in Boston on Halloween 1979: Officials

Oregon Man Reportedly Confessed to 1979 Cold Case Murder
Source: Unsplash; Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

The murder of Susan Rose has gone unsolved since 1979.

Oct. 31 2023, Published 10:26 a.m. ET

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An Oregon man walked into an FBI office and reportedly confessed to killing and sexually assaulting a woman in late 1979 in Boston, according to authorities.

In August, 68-year-old John Michael Irmer allegedly walked into the FBI office in Portland and told special agents that he killed 24-year-old Susan Marcia Rose over 40 years ago, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

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Irmer reportedly told authorities that he met a redhead at an ice rink in Boston around Halloween 1979. The duo then headed to a building on Beacon Street that was under renovation.

Officials said Irmer allegedly confessed that he “grabbed a nearby hammer and struck the woman on the head, killing her,” shortly after they walked into the building.

Irmer reportedly beat Rose to death and then allegedly raped her before he fled to New York, authorities said.

On Oct. 30, 1979, Rose was found dead in the Beacon Street building with blunt force trauma injuries to her head and brain, according to officials.

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In Portland, FBI agents took a DNA sample from Irmer, which reportedly matched evidence taken at the crime scene.

In 1981, another man went to trial for allegedly killing Rose, but he was found not guilty by a jury.

According to Boston Police, a warrant for Irmer’s arrest was issued out of Boston Municipal Court and he appeared in court for his arraignment on Sept. 11.

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During that hearing, Irmer allegedly confessed to killing another person in another state, Boston.com reported.

Irmer was ordered to be held without bail.

In a news release, District Attorney Kevin Hayden said, "This was a brutal, ice-blooded murder made worse by the fact that a person was charged and tried — and fortunately, found not guilty — while the real murderer remained silent until now. No matter how cold cases get resolved, it’s always the answers that are important for those who have lived with grief and loss and so many agonizing questions."

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