Oregon man confesses to 1979 murder, rape of Boston woman

An Oregon man has confessed to murdering a woman in the Boston area back in October of 1979.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 11:49 AM PDT
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BOSTON, Mass. (KPTV) - An Oregon man has confessed to murdering a woman in the Boston area back in October of 1979, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

The district attorney’s office says John Michael Irmer, 68, walked into the Portland FBI field office last month and admitted to agents that he killed and raped a woman in Boston in 1979.

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Irmer reportedly told agents he met a woman with red hair at a skating rink around Halloween in Boston 1979. After the two walked into 285 Beacon Street, an apartment building that was being renovated, Irmer allegedly said he grabbed a nearby hammer and hit the woman on the head, killing her. Irmer then raped her.

Investigators confirmed that 24-year-old Susan Marcia Rose, who had red hair, was found murdered in the apartment building on Oct. 30. The cause of death was determined to be blunt injuries to her head.

According to the district attorney’s office, investigators retrieved a DNA sample from Irmer, which proved to be a match with DNA samples preserved from the murder scene.

John Michael Irmer seen in court Monday.
John Michael Irmer seen in court Monday.(KPTV)

Rose moved to Boston from Johnstown, Pennsylvania and was living on Dartmouth Street at the time of her death.

The district attorney’s office says another man was tried and found not guilty of her murder in 1981.

“Nearly 44 years after losing her at such a young age, the family and friends of Susan Marcia Rose will finally have some answers. This was a brutal, ice-blooded murder made worse by the fact that a person was charged and tried—and fortunately, found not guilty—while the real murderer remained silent until now. No matter how cold cases get resolved, it’s always the answers that are important for those who have lived with grief and loss and so many agonizing questions,” Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said.

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Irmer was taken from Portland to Boston this past weekend by Boston police detectives. He will be charged with murder and aggravated rape.