DNA Match Leads To Charge In 2001 OKC Cold Case Killing - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

DNA Match Leads To Charge In 2001 OKC Cold Case Killing

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A man with a violent history toward women is now accused of a murder dating back to Halloween night 2001. A man with a violent history toward women is now accused of a murder dating back to Halloween night 2001.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A man with a violent history toward women is now accused of a murder dating back to Halloween night 2001. Thursday charges were filed in the case after a DNA match.

Just like the trail, the case is cold, and the railroad tracks are no longer here. Any evidence of a crime is long gone, at least from here.

When investigators found the beaten body of Vera Gowers 15 years ago, they took a DNA sample. Court records state, "two pipes with blood on them were lying beside" Gowers who had been beaten in the face, and because it was Halloween she "was wearing a witches costume with blue jeans on underneath." When a passerby found her, her "jeans had been pulled down to her knees." She was beaten to death and raped.

Now, more than a decade later a DNA match leads to a break in the case.

Court documents state "during search of the state combined DNA index system database, a DNA match was obtained" between the one taken during Gowers’ autopsy and one from Willie Lewis Hayden, Jr. who is also known as "Big Will." Hayden is already in prison for another crime, where detectives immediately met up with him.

9/10/15 Related Story: DNA Match Links Convicted Killer To 2001 Cold Case Murder In OKC

He told investigators he was familiar with area where the crime occurred, and that he smoked and sold crack cocaine about a block away from where Gowers’ body was found.

He lived at a mission not far from the crime scene, but he denied killing anyone.

It wouldn't be the first. Authorities believe Hayden killed Gowers in 2001. Less than five months later, he assaulted and murdered another woman in Dallas. She, too, beaten in the face and then stabbed. Hayden served time in prison for that murder but not much.

In 2015, he was convicted again in Tulsa after beating a third woman in the head and stabbing her with a broken liquor bottle.

Each case is eerily similar to the last. Each leading to a Halloween night killing.

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