Duane Owen Wiki, Biography
Karen Slattery, age 14, was fatally stabbed on March 2, 1984 while babysitting William and Carolyn Helms in Delray Beach, Florida. The perpetrator was 23-year-old Duane Owen, who had intruded on the Helms’ home while the couple was out.
Duane Owen stabbed the teenager 18 times in different parts of her body, knocking her unconscious and then proceeded to drag her unconscious body to her bedroom and then sexually assaulted her.
The case lay neglected for a long time due to a lack of evidence to determine who the killer was, but a confession later led investigators to Duane, who was ultimately arrested and convicted of first degree murder. The jury recommended the death penalty for the trespasser, but later appealed to the court.
Over the years, he has made several such appeals. He is currently serving his sentence at the Union Correctional Institution in Florida.
The exciting details of the case will be explored in Investigation Discovery’s Your Worst Nightmare true crime series. The episode, titled He’s Out There, is scheduled to air on January 19 at 7 p.m.
This is the episode synopsis:
“Florida teen Karen Slattery is brutally murdered while babysitting a neighbor’s children; the violent intruder disappears without a trace, and the case remains unsolved.”
Here are some quick facts about the case before you tune in to the episode.
Read on to find out how Duane Owen carried out the murder, how he was arrested, and more.
What happened on a fateful night?
Karen Slattery was babysitting for the Helmses when Duane Owen entered the house unbeknownst to him and proceeded to attack Slattery with a knife.
He stabbed Slattery 8 times in her back, 6 times in her neck, and four stab wounds cutting the front of her throat.
Slattery was knocked unconscious as a result of the brutal attack, but the attacker was in no mood to stop there. Duane decided to drag her unconscious body into her bedroom and began to sexually assault her. They left her to die while he got out.
Forensic report revealed shocking details
When the Helms returned home shortly after midnight, they found Slattery’s essentials lying on the floor. The couple also noticed a pool of blood on the floor. The panicked couple called the police immediately.
Investigators discovered Slattery’s body in the bedroom, dead. The killer had dragged the 14-year-old boy from the kitchen to the bedroom.
Forensic reports revealed painful details. The girl had been stabbed while she was alive and when she lost consciousness from the drainage of blood, she was sexually assaulted.
Owen was arrested for an unrelated case
The case went cold due to lack of evidence, but was reopened when the police found links between Owen’s murder and Karen’s. In June of the same year, Owen was arrested on robbery charges.
On the same day, another murder took place, which had been carried out in the same manner as Karen’s. The police were quick to connect the dots.
However, Owen was not so willing to give in so easily. He asked for proper evidence. The killer confessed after the police discovered his links to Karen’s murder.
Duane Owen appealed to the court many times
Duane Owen was convicted of murder in both cases. The jury sentenced him to death, however he appealed to the court several times over the years. He is now serving his sentence at the Union Correctional Institution in Florida.
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The Estimated Net worth is $80K – USD $85k.
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