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Rita Curran

After 52 years, the murder of Vermont school teacher, Rita Curran, is finally solved. Mrs. Curran was killed in 1971 in her apartment. Her roommates returned home and discovered Curran strangled. 

Burlington police investigated the murder but was not able to narrow down the search to a suspect. So the case remained opened and active for 52 years. In 2009, new detectives took over Curran’s case and began re-examing evidence. They discovered a previously bagged cigarette butt found near Currant’s body. They submitted it to an independent DNA lab for testing. 

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In 2014, the Burlington police received the results and they were shocking. During a press conferences the Burlington detectives announced that they have a suspect in Rita Curran’s killing. 

“We are all confident that William DeRoos is responsible for the aggravated murder of Rita Curran,” said Lt. James Trieb. 

Back in 1971, William DeRoos was two weeks into his marriage when he had a fight with his wife. He left their home to cool off, returning several hours later. He asked his wife to cover for him, telling her to lie to anyone who asks if he was ever out that night. Eventually DeRoos moved to Thailand to become a monk, but returned in 1986 and died shortly after from an overdose. His body was discovered in a motel room surrounded by illegal substances. 

Addressing DeRoos’s death, Lt. Tried said, “Because he died in a hotel room of a drug overdose he will not be held accountable for his actions, but this case will be closed.’

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William DeRoos

Rita Curran’s parents were not able to find out who killed their daughter. Both her parents passed away not knowing. At the press conference, Rita’s brother and sister, listened as the Burlington police named her killer. 

“I don’t think so much about the guy who did this as I do about Rita, my parents and what they went through,’ Curran’s brother Tom said during the event. ‘I pray to Rita and I pray to my parents,” first reported by the DailyMail

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By Jolene Grace

Jolene Grace was a journalist for ten years, interning for CBS evening news, working as a beat report for Oklahoma Public radio, and eventually transitioning into managing digital content for a radio corporation. Currently, she writes crime fiction full time and blogs for the Crime Room. Jolene is fortunate enough to be able to tell the stories of those who no longer can. She’s passionate to write about cold cases being solved. You can read her blogs on thecrimeroom.com or listen to The Crime Room Podcast wherever in the world you happened to be. Let’s Talk Crime.

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