Killer Cases: Murder At The Mall

39 years after the murder of Michelle Martinko, detective work and modern investigative techniques led to an arrest and first-degree murder charges.

Video Transcript

- Now Detective Denlinger began to close in, telling Burns he had a warrant to collect a DNA sample from him to make sure there was no doubt.

- I already knew in the back of my head that Jerry was responsible for killing Michelle. His DNA was on the dress.

- And then all the cards on the table.

- Just spitballing here, but I'm just thinking, you know, we kind of know going in that this is probably gonna be a match.

- Oh, really?

- Yeah.

- Why would that be?

- Well, we were kind of hoping you'd tell us.

The reality is we're not here on a whim. We're here to confirm what we already know. I already collected some DNA from you that you got rid of before. And so I'm telling you, Jerry, I already know that your DNA is gonna match the DNA that we have on file.

- Outside, prosecutor Nick Maybanks was in a surveillance van listening to a live audio feed of the interview.

- The reality is we're not here on a whim.

- I was on pins and needles as I was listening to the interview take place.

- The date chosen for the confrontation was December 19, the anniversary of Michelle's murder. It was no coincidence.

- I mean, I think, in any investigation, you hope that the suspect confesses. We thought that, you know, there could be a possibility that that day would have meaning to Mr. Burns.

- Do you know what today is?

- 19th of December.

- Did you murder someone that night, Jerry?

- Test the DNA.

- Jerry.

- Test the DNA.

- Why did this happen, Jerry?

- Test the DNA.

- What happened?

- I don't know.

- You don't know?

- I was not there that night.

- You don't know why this happened?

- I was not there that night.

- Well, we know better than that, Jerry. You know better than that. You know I'm not lying.

He was in denial, full denial mode, about having any involvement. I didn't get quite what I wanted, which was just a full confession, explanation. Maybe I was overly optimistic I could get that from him, but.

- One last try.

- Take a good look at her picture for me, please, and just really make sure in your mind that this is not someone you know.

- I don't believe so.

- Or you met.

- So eventually, we came to the conclusion that he's not gonna provide us any more information and we're not gonna get any more evidence to connect him to Michelle. So at that time, it was decided that we were gonna arrest him for the murder of Michelle Martinko.