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33 years later, husband arrested for staging newlywed bride’s 1985 murder

A Maryland man was charged last week for the 1985 murder of his wife, who was stabbed to death in what authorities long believed was a home burglary gone wrong.

From the Baltimore Sun, Karen Norton, 23, had come home from work at JCPenney at 6:45 p.m. on December 17, 1985, when she was fatally stabbed. Detectives reevaluating the case reportedly reviewed the crime scene photos and determined that John Joseph Norton had killed his wife and made it appear as if the slaying occurred during a break-in committed by an unknown suspect.

“Things that seemed insignificant to witnesses when initially interviewed became significant details to the detective currently on the case,” Baltimore police spokeswoman Jennifer Peach told the news outlet, explaining that re-interviewing witnesses revealed new information that also linked John to the crime.

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John was charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to maim and remains jailed without bail.

“This is something that the victim’s family has been waiting a really long time for,” Peach told WBAL. “It’s been 33 years in the making and I think the investigators and the department, along with the family, are just ecstatic that we were finally able to get this case to the point where we can prosecute it.”

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[Featured image: John Joseph Norton, Karen Norton/Baltimore County Police Department]