Teen’s slaying went unsolved in Illinois for 49 years. Now retired welder is arrested

Julie Ann Hanson borrowed her brother’s bike to go to a July 1972 baseball game.

The 15-year-old Illinois girl never returned home.

She was found fatally stabbed to death in an open field on the same day as she was reported missing in Naperville. Her murder remained unsolved for half a century.

A year after Julie’s death, Roberta “Bobbie” Jean Anderson, a 16-year-old from neighboring Oswego, was found dead at an abandoned farm, her body also stabbed numerous times, the Chicago Tribune reported. The Chicago Tribune reported that Major Morris was later convicted and sentenced for Anderson’s murder.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Morris later pleaded guilty also to the murder of 18-year old Margaret Stirn. After having discussed her death, Morris told an inmate.

“Many people in law enforcement felt he was the one who killed Julie Ann Hanson but not these guys,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said during a news conference with Naperville police on Friday. These guys never stopped working, never put the file down, and never gave up.

Police said that Barry Lee Whelpley was arrested Wednesday in Hanson’s murder. He is a 76 year old man from Mounds View, Minnesota. He was charged in Hanson’s death with first-degree murder and was released on a $10 million bond.

According to police Whelpley was 27, and lived within a mile radius of Hanson’s home. He recently retired as a welder, police said.

Police have said Hanson was kidnapped, raped and stabbed three dozen times, the Daily Herald reported.

Robert Marshall, Naperville Police Chief, said that the horrific crime “has haunted this household, this community and our department for 49 year.”

Whelpley was taken into custody by police after “technological breakthroughs” in DNA analysis and genetic genealogy. Police declined to release any specific information as they continue to investigate.

“They did not leave any stone unturned. Marshall stated that Marshall used private laboratories all over the country to aid us in advanced DNA testing as well as genealogy analysis. “They pored over the evidence, they conducted interviews, kept regular contact with Julie’s family.”

Whelpley was held in Minnesota, and Whelpley is now awaiting extradition from Illinois.

“As you might assume, it has been a long journey for our family. Hanson’s family stated in a statement that they will always be grateful to all who worked on the case throughout the many decades.

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