PORTLAND, Oregon – A convicted killer born in Haskell County who was executed in Texas in 1999 has been identified as the person responsible for a 40-year-old murder.
Cold case detectives in Portland, Oregon have identified Jerry “Animal” McFadden as the killer of 20-year-old Anna Marie Hlavka, who was found dead in July 1979 in her apartment, according to a news release from the Portland Police Bureau.
In 2011, a full DNA profile of an unknown male was discovered from evidence at the scene, which is unusual for a case this old, according to the news release.
After unsuccessfully trying to find a match from eight suspects, detectives turned to forensic genealogy, and were able to map three of the four familial lines of the killer, who was identified as Jerry Walter “Animal” McFadden, born March 21,1948 in Haskell County, Texas.
Detectives then traveled to Texas to interview and collect DNA samples from McFadden’s family, who told them that he had traveled to the Pacific Northwest in 1979 with an acquaintance from their home town, who reported dropping him off in Portland and not hearing from him again.
McFadden’s family DNA was submitted to the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, where it was confirmed that he was the killer, the news release states.
Information from the news release regarding McFadden’s criminal history reads as follows:
Jerry Walter McFadden was convicted multiple times of rape and eventually murder in Texas. McFadden had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for two counts of rape in 1973 and was paroled in December 1978, just eight months before Anna Marie Hlavka was murdered. In 1979, he was convicted of aggravated sexual abuse after kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman at knife point. McFadden was paroled in July 1985.
McFadden was arrested in May 1986 for the rape and slaying of an 18-year-old high school cheerleader, and the shooting of two other people.
While awaiting his capital murder trial, McFadden escaped from jail and kidnapped a female corrections officer during the escape. McFadden held the corrections officer hostage for three days while eluding law enforcement in Texas. Labeled as “the biggest manhunt in Texas history,” 1200 officers assisted in apprehending McFadden. His criminal exploits were the reasoning behind changing the parole qualifications in the State of Texas.
The Cold Case Homicide Detail would like to thank Parabon NanoLabs and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, the Hlavka family and the family members of McFadden for helping bring a resolution in this case.
Cold Case Detectives are asking anyone who might have lived in Portland during 1979 to come forward if they recognize the photo of McFadden. Detectives would like to learn more about his whereabouts while he was in Portland.
Anyone who has information about McFadden should contact Detective Meredith Hopper at Meredith.Hopper@