DNA leads to arrest in Seattle slaying from 1972
Seattle police arrested a 73-year-old Everett man in connection with a 1972 slaying that is believed to be one of Seattle's oldest cold cases.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Late last year, after a DNA match linked an Everett man to a murder and rape from 1972, Seattle police Detective Mike Ciesynski drove north to confront the suspect.
When Ciesynski knocked at his door he was greeted by an infirm man seated in a motorized scooter. In addition to complaining about a variety of ailments, the 73-year-old man insisted he had nothing to do with the murder of Jackson Schley and the kidnapping and rape of his wife, Daisy, Ciesynski said.
On Thursday, after additional investigation, the detective returned to the man's home and arrested him in connection with the slaying, which is believed to be one of Seattle's oldest cold cases.
"Some people will say this guy is 73 and has a hard time walking, but I still feel he is a dangerous, dangerous man," Ciesynski said.
Seattle cold-case detectives are also looking into whether the man might be responsible for the murder of a Madrona man during a 1968 robbery. They say DNA found on cigarette butts inside the slain man's apartment matches that of the Everett man.
And authorities in Pasco, where the man once lived, are investigating him in connection with the slaying of a woman in the early 1970s — a case in which he was initially the key suspect, Ciesynski said.
Attacked in their home
Just after 10 p.m. on Jan. 9, 1972, Jackson and Daisy Schley returned to their Central Area home from a shopping trip.
As the couple stepped inside, a stranger emerged from their dining room and without uttering a word shot Jackson Schley, a 58-year-old retired shoe repairman, in the head. The armed man then forced Daisy Schley to kneel over her husband's body as he pulled the wallet from Jackson's pocket.
The man ordered Daisy into her car and drove her to a wooded area, where he raped her. He later drove the 46-year-old woman to another spot, where he struck her over the head with a blunt object and left her for dead.
Over the years, several generations of Seattle police detectives investigated the murder, rape and kidnapping. Daisy Schley, who survived the attack, died in 2007 without learning the name of the man who killed her husband and nearly took her life.
Advances in DNA technology — and the suspect's extensive criminal history — helped police link the crimes to the Everett man.
On July 15, 2005, police received a call from the State Patrol crime lab saying that an unknown male's DNA had been found in evidence from Daisy Schley's rape. The same DNA profile matched the cigarette butts found inside the home of James Keuler, the Madrona man found stabbed to death in June 1968, according to a search warrant filed on Thursday.
Because the suspect is a convicted sex offender, he was required to give a DNA sample when he moved to Washington state after recently being released from a Nevada prison. The Times is not naming the man because he has not been charged.
On Nov. 5 of last year, crime-lab scientists called Seattle police to say they had matched the DNA profile in the Schley and Keuler cases to the Everett man, prompting Ciesynski to visit a suspect he had been seeking for five years.
Long criminal history
Much of the suspect's life has been marked by prison stints and parole violations, according to law-enforcement officials in Seattle and Nevada.
In July 1987, the man pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon on a victim over the age of 65 in Las Vegas.
The 66-year-old victim had hired the suspect to work as her gardener. The woman said the suspect tied her up after the sexual assault and stole $80 in cash, credit cards and her 1977 Oldsmobile. He was eventually arrested in Denver, where he was behind bars for another crime, according to a pre-sentence report filed by authorities in Las Vegas.
The pre-sentence report in that case provides a brief chronology of the man's life: He was born in Louisiana and was married to a Pasco woman until 1982. He had three children by three other women. He has served prison time in Washington, Colorado and Nevada.
The report, prepared by the Nevada Department of Parole and Probation, says officers considered the man "institutionalized and unable to function properly within the community without resorting to violence."
The report said that of eight times the man had been released on parole before 1987, his parole was revoked six times by corrections authorities. The report recommended that he serve 60 years in prison. A correctional case manager with the Nevada Department of Corrections did not return calls for comment Thursday.
The man's criminal record in Seattle was not immediately available.
Update, 2:45 p.m., Feb. 26: During a brief hearing Friday afternoon, a King County Superior Court judge found probable cause to hold the man in custody. He is being held without bail until a bail hearing, which could happen as early as Saturday.
The man did not appear in court.
Seattle police believe the man was burglarizing the Schleys' home when the couple walked in on him. A news account at the time said a revolver was found in Jackson Schley's pocket after the murder but doesn't say why he was armed.
A badly beaten Daisy Schley was left in a wooded area, where she was found by a man walking his dog. She was barely conscious and bleeding from her head, according to the search warrant filed by Seattle police on Thursday.
Daisy Schley moved to Texas after the attack to live with her children. She died in January 2007 at the age of 81.
King County prosecutors cannot charge the man with the rape because the statute of limitations expired three years after the crime, said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. In subsequent years the statue of limitations for rape was revised to 10 years.
But there is no statute of limitations for murder.
Prosecutors declined to comment on whether charges will be filed in Jackson Schley's slaying; Goodhew said the case is under review.
Seattle Times news researchers Miyoko Wolf and Gene Balk contributed to this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.