Krajcir charged in Kentucky

Sunday, January 6, 2008

PADUCAH, Ky. -- Timothy Krajcir has been charged with kidnapping and burglary in connection with the 1979 killing of Joyce Tharp, a 29-year-old woman discovered dead in an alley near her home in Paducah, according to the Associated Press.

A McCracken County, Ky., grand jury indicted Krajcir on Friday.

Last month, Krajcir, 63, confessed to the murder of Tharp, along with eight other women in four states.

According to Paducah police, Krajcir described driving around the city March 22, 1979, casing Tharp's home in the Forest Hills neighborhood, where he was "looking for a victim."

His work with the Jackson County ambulance service in Carbondale, Ill., allowed him to make several trips to Paducah, he allegedly told police.

He broke into Tharp's apartment and told the woman she would not be harmed if she accompanied him, police said.

He then drove 70 miles to his apartment in Carbondale, where he forced Tharp to perform a sex act and then allegedly strangled her. He dumped her body in the trunk of his car and waited for nightfall, when he returned to Paducah and stashed Tharp's body in an alley behind a church.

Krajcir pleaded guilty Dec. 10 to the murder of Deborah Sheppard, an SIU student who was found dead in her apartment in Carbondale in 1982. He has since been charged with six other murders, including five in Cape Girardeau: Brenda and Mary Parsh and Sheila Cole in 1977, Margie Call and Mildred Wallace in 1982, and Virginia Witte in Marion, Ill., in 1978.

McCracken Commonwealth Attorney Tim Kaltenbach said last month he would not charge Krajcir with Tharp's murder because it appeared the killing occurred in Illinois.

However, kidnapping can carry the same penalties as murder if the abduction results in the victim's death.

Krajcir is an inmate at Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois.

Krajcir has spent most of his adult life behind bars for sex crimes. After a stint with the Navy, he first entered the Illinois prison system in 1963 on rape charges. Except for a brief period of freedom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Krajcir has been in prison ever since.

Christopher Davis, a Missouri public defender for Krajcir, did not return a call Saturday seeking comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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