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1977 Rubidoux murder solved by DNA evidence

September 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Cold Case Unit of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department has solved the 1977 murder of a Rubidoux bartender. Investigators say DNA evidence has identified the killer of James Anagnos. Anagnos, 66, was stabbed 20 times with a steak knife and was beaten to death with a blunt object inside his bar at closing time. He was found dead on Oct. 18, 1977.

The prime suspect was Frank Wright. Wright allegedly argued with Anagnos earlier in the night. He was ejected from the bar.

There were no independent witnesses to the attack, so the Riverside District Attorney's Office did not file charges against Wright, investigators said. In addition, technology at the time could not connect Wright to the murder.

Sheriff's cold-case investigators closed the case in August after linking Wright to the murder through DNA tests conducted on hair found on the Anagnos's hand.

Wright died in 2002 from alcohol abuse.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. Cold Case Unit is currently examining more than 70 unsolved cases that may have DNA evidence.


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