Cold Case Going to Trial

March 20, 2009 6:05:17 PM PDT
On Friday, a judge found enough evidence to send a 55-year-old man to trial for a crime that happened three decades ago. The Vallin family left court after an emotional day recalling the death of 21-year-old Susan Vallin. In 1977, Vallin was walking in this Central Fresno neighborhood. Investigators accuse Larry Banks of raping Vallin and ultimately stabbing her.

Investigators found Vallin's body in an alley. Nearby, they also discovered her blouse and denim jeans. Both of which turned out to be very valuable pieces of evidence.

Harold Hanesn said, "This is the package containing the blouse that was collected at the crime scene." Hansen testified at a preliminary hearing on Friday. Hansen was also a police officer when the victim's body was found thirty years ago. The case went cold until investigators discovered DNA evidence on her clothing and began testing it in 1999. Eventually, they linked the DNA to Banks who was already in prison for an armed robbery. But his Defense Attorney Antonio Alvarez believes the case is shaky, "The DNA evidence simply shows if you put any credibility to it, that he had contact, possibly sexual contact with the victim. But that's all it shows."

The coroner who examined Vallin showed the judge where the knife entered the victim's neck. It's a thought that still brings the victim's family to tears.

Banks returns to court in early April for his second arraignment.

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