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Cold Case of Patricia Beard

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Jasmin Lechuga

on 5 January 2015

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Transcript of Cold Case of Patricia Beard

Patricia Beard:
Cold Case of Patricia Beard
Hector Bencomo-Hinojos
Hector Bencomo-Hinojos was a 53-year-old abusive husband who assaulted his wife for minor things & engaged in burglar sprees. Becomo-Hinojos was found to be the killer of Patricia Beard, who was murdered in 1981.
The scene:
When officials arrived at Beard's apartment, they found the woman lying face up on her bed with her pink bath robe open, revealing nudity from the waste down. There was a used tampon near the body & an open window, which officials concluded was the killer's way in. A few items were missing & there was a brick outside of the window as a step-stool for the killer. An autopsy revealed a laceration on Beard's left breast, a bone fracture and extensive hemorrhages along the neck. The coroner concluded that Beard had been strangled to death.
The Autopsy:
Because forensic science wasn't as developed as it was now, officials could not track the killer. In fact, it took more than three decades when a Denver detective with the Denver police cold-case unit discovered a post-mortem kit affiliated with the Beard case. (It survived, but much of the other material taken from the scene was gone, having been tossed in 1994.) He then met with a forensic scientist who revealed a vaginal swab tested positive for sperm. The detective asked that the swab be tested for DNA, and it was, but this effort didn't lead to a swift conclusion
Justice for Beard
Later in the year of 2013, forensic scientists finally matched the sperm with DNA & found it to match perfectly for Hector Bencomo-Hinojos. Finding Bencomo-Hinojos wasn't hard, considering he resided in a Pennsylvania prison. Upon interrigation, Bencomo-Hinojos denied everything, even when the DNA for sperm was brought up, to which he replied he never slept with an African-American woman. Officials then met with his wife, who painted Bencomo-Hinojos as an abusive spouse who slapped her if his shirts weren't ironed by the time he was home. She also described him as kleptomaniac. He'd come home late at night after a series of burglaries, which helped officials time frame his where-abouts during the incident involving Beard. This eventually helped charge Bencomo-Hinojos with first-degree murder. Peace was finally received to the family of Beard, decades later.
The Cold-Case of Patricia Beard
The case I chose was over the brutal rape & death of Patricia Beard, which hadn't been solved for three decades up until July 11, 2013 when forensic scientists & officials found a DNA match to Beard's killer.
Patricia Beard was a 32-year-old mentally impaired woman who lived alone on the first floor of her small studio apartment in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado.
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