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The original item was published from 1/22/2018 7:45:11 AM to 9/4/2020 1:49:58 PM.



Posted on: January 22, 2018

[ARCHIVED] New Technology Being Used In 1986 Murder Investigation

On June 5, 1986, at approximately 2:42 p.m., Eugene Police and Eugene Fire Medics responded to an apartment at 255 High Street regarding deceased person Gladys May Hensley, age 62, who was located during a welfare check by an apartment employee after she had not been seen for several days. The investigation revealed that the death of Hensley was a murder and that it was likely that she was killed in the early hours on June 4, 1986. Police have not been able to locate the involved suspect, however, similarities in the murder and evidence at the scene connect the suspect with two additional murders, one that occurred in the same month and the other in February, 1988. 

In August 2000, additional DNA work requests resulted in Hensley`s murder being connected to the June 19, 1986 murder of Janice Marie Dickinson, investigated by the Eugene Police Department, and the February 28, 1988 murder of Geraldine Spencer Toohey, investigated by the Oregon State Police. Dickinson, a 33-year-old white female, was found murdered behind the car dealership at 20 Coburg Road, Eugene. She was naked and had been sexually assaulted. Her death was attributed to brutal homicidal violence. Toohey, a 73-year-old white female, was found in her residence, on the 5400 block of Franklin Boulevard. Evidence of forced entry into the residence was discovered.  Toohey had been sexually assaulted and her death was attributed to brutal homicidal violence.

The Eugene Police Department investigated eight murders in 1986, four of which occurred in a three-month period beginning with Hensley`s murder. Several persons of interest were developed and thoroughly investigated over the years and have been excluded through DNA comparison. All three cases have lacked any strong leads. In 2016, a new technology came to market, from Parabon Nano Labs, allowing the inference of physical characteristics of individuals based on DNA information. This service, Snapshot Phenotyping, was employed in this case and in September 2017 Eugene Police Investigators received the results.

Snapshot is a revolutionary new forensic DNA analysis service that accurately predicts the physical appearance and ancestry of an unknown person from DNA. It can also determine kinship between DNA samples out to multiple degrees of relatedness. Snapshot is ideal for generating investigative leads, narrowing suspect lists, and solving human remains cases. Starting with extracted DNA or biological evidence, Parabon can produce a detailed Snapshot report and composite sketch that includes eye color, skin color, hair color, face morphology, and detailed biogeographic ancestry. 

Detectives hope the release of this new information will generate new leads in these cases. The Eugene Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit has established a dedicated tip line for these cases and is asking anyone with information about these murders to call the tip line at 541.682.5162.

06/03/86 21:30, 200 BLOCK HIGH ST

Murder (Victim/Gladys May Hensley) – 8608247


06/19/86 16:23, 20 COBURG RD

Murder – 8609010 (Victim/Janice Marie Dickinson – Mentioned/Geraldine Spencer Toohey murder, February 28, 1988, investigated by OSP)


June 6, 1986 – Register Guard Article (Hensley)


June 19, 1986, Register Guard Article (Dickinson)


February 29, 1986, Register Guard Article (Toohey)


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