The police were surprised by the lack of clues or witnesses when Patricia Miller was discovered murdered in her own house in Melbourne, Florida, on April 20, 1988. However, little did they know that Linda Barnes' 1997 killing would lead them straight to Patricia's killer. Let's go deeper into the murders and find out more.
What Happened to Patricia Miller and Linda Barnes' Death?
Patricia and Linda were uninvited and had little in common other than being residents of Melbourne, Florida. Those who knew Linda stated that she was a kind person who enjoyed meeting new people and making friends. However, terrifying actions fueled by fear and hatred claimed their lives forever.
Authorities in Melbourne, Florida, were alerted to a fire on April 20, 1988. They entered the building to discover Patricia's deceased body on her bed, which, according to the reports, had been struck with a heavy object. Soon, the victim's autopsy revealed that Patricia had died of blunt force trauma.
Police were asked to examine Patricia's death on December 12, 1997. Authorities spent no time reaching her Melbourne apartment and discovered it was all gone. The walls were covered in chips, the furnishings were worn out, and the doors had been removed from the frames. Upon further investigation, they discovered Linda's body stuffed inside a closet, and an autopsy determined that she too was beaten and strangled to death.
Patricia Miller and Linda Barnes were killed by whom?
The initial investigation into Patricia Miller's murder was a challenge because the cops had no leads or witnesses to draw upon. Secondly, the entire house had been set on fire, which naturally destroyed most forensic evidence. Lastly, the victim's clothes appeared to be missing from the scene, while there was no evidence of an intrusion anywhere inside the residence. However, no one was able to identify an immediate suspect.
Linda Barnes was discovered murdered inside her own house in 1997, and detectives discovered her body. James Barnes did not resist arrest until the discovery of his DNA, which enabled the cops to apprehended him.
The cops analysed James' DNA against a partial sample taken from Patricia's body, which matched him to the crime. According to the police, James agreed to confess to Patricia's murder but stated that he would only disclose it to his cellmate and spiritual advisor, Sherman Insco.
What Has Happened to James Barnes?
James was sentenced to life without parole in 1998 for the murder of Patricia. In 2007, he was sentenced to death for the same crimes as armed burglary and arson. Moreover, he is currently sentenced to three consecutive life terms as well as a 30-year prison term.