Los Angeles Times

48 years later, a cold case is solved

LOS ANGELES _ It should have been an ordinary errand: a trip to a Mid-Wilshire drugstore to buy a hair dryer.

Wendy Jo Halison drove her prized green Thunderbird down Fairfax Avenue on that Sunday afternoon in 1968, stopping at the Thrifty on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard. After shopping, the 22-year-old art student was seen filling up her car at a gas station down the street.

But Halison would never return home to her family.

Her body was found the next morning, stuffed in the trunk of her car, a few blocks from where she was last seen alive.

The mystery of her murder lingered for nearly half a century, outlasting several detectives and potential suspects. New forensic techniques sometimes revealed tantalizing clues, but investigators failed to identify her killer.

Halison's family was haunted by her death. Her parents died without learning who killed their daughter. Her sister wondered if she would too.

When an unexpected break came 48 years later, the revelations were chilling.

The man who strangled Halison had already been convicted of murdering two other women _ and was suspected of killing more.

___

Halison grew up in Los Angeles with her parents and older sister, Linda. The daughters of a real estate salesman and a bookkeeper-turned-homemaker, the girls painted and played the piano. Halison was gregarious, with a big smile that still beams through the black-and-white photos hanging on her sister's

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