DAILYKENN.com -- At age 73, Elma Kolman was savagely raped and strangled in 1984.
Arrested this week is 60-year-old Donnie London. He was booked on first-degree murder.
Through DNA testing, detectives identified London as a suspect in the April 7, 1984, killing. London, a bed-ridden resident at a Plaquemine, La., nursing home, was taken to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna by ambulance. He confessed to the crime, according to authorities.Some say black-on-white violence seems to be on the increase. I disagree. The illusion comes from advanced technology. The advent of the Internet coupled with the proliferation of video devices brings the reality of racist hate to our eye and ears. Advances in forensics — such as in the Kolman case — also provides information we formerly never knew.
"It's long overdue," Diane Kolman said. "We're just thrilled because of the development. It's been 31 years, and we're just amazed that DNA was found, and they came up with a suspect." — nola.com
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It's time white American's free their minds from the illusion that they are racists when, in reality, they have been the perennial victims of racist violence for centuries.
• While some black university students pretend to be victims of micro-aggressions, white Americans must daily contend with macro-aggressions inflicted upon them by anti-white racist hate.
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Elma Kolman was born and raised on Birch Street in New Orleans. She spent 40 years teaching elementary-age children with the New Orleans Public School System before she retired in 1970s, her niece said.
Elma Kolman never married, instead dedicating herself to her young students and the care of her elderly parents. The family eventually moved to the 900 block of Monticello to a single story home, just a stone's throw from the Orleans Parish line.
By the early 1980s, she lived there alone following the deaths of her parents, Diane Kolman said. Residents on Monticello, many of them women also living alone, looked after one another. It was a neighbor who noticed Elma Kolman missing and reported it to the Sheriff's Office April 6, 1984. No one had spoken with her since two nights earlier.
"She had a date with a friend to have lunch, and they couldn't contact her," Diane Kolman recalled.
A passerby found Elma Kolman's fully-clothed body in a vacant lot in the 300 block of Monticello Avenue on April 7, 1984. A cord from the hood of her jacket had been wrapped around her neck.
An autopsy determined she had been sexually assaulted and strangled. She'd also suffered "traumatic injuries" in the attack, Fortunato said.
Detectives had no leads in the case, frightening residents who vowed to move out of the neighborhood. The investigation eventually stalled, frustrating the Kolman family and friends.
Thirty-one years later, the case picked up steam when the Sheriff's Office's periodic cold case review identified a suspect. Crime lab technicians who analyzed evidence collected in the case developed a DNA genetic profile, Fortunato said.
The lab then matched the profile to one on file for Donnie London in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), the FBI's national criminal DNA database.
Capt. Dennis Thornton determined that around the time of the murder, London lived at 1237 General Ogden St., New Orleans, about two blocks from the vacant lot where Elma Kolman's body had been found, Fortunato said.
Thornton tracked London down to a nursing home in Plaquemine, La., where an unidentified illness had left him bedridden, according to authorities.
Thornton and Sgt. Jeffery Rodrigue paid a visit to the nursing home on Wednesday to interview London, who admitted his role in Elma Kolman's death, Fortunato said. London told investigators he spotted her walking near the lot on Monticello and intended to rob her. But when she resisted, he raped and killed her, Fortunato said.
Diane Kolman commended the Sheriff's Office detectives and the crime lab technicians who helped bring her aunt justice.
"They did a fantastic job. It was just amazing," Diane Kolman said. "We were always hopeful because you want some kind of closure."
London has a lengthy criminal history with convictions in St. Charles Parish for illegal possession of stolen property, possession of cocaine and simple burglary, according to Pam Laborde, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.
In 1997, he was arrested and booked with attempted murder and aggravated burglary after authorities say he broke into his then 38-year-old ex-girlfriend's Luling home and beat her with a baseball bat. The woman was hospitalized and received more than 200 stitches in her head, authorities reported.
London pleaded guilty to aggravated battery in 1998 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to court records.
He was being held Thursday night without bond at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on the new murder charge.
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Image credit: nola.com ####
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