DNA leads to charges for inmate in 1980 Boston rape, killing

This undated photograph released by the Alabama Department of Corrections shows inmate Steven Jerome Fike, who is serving life for murder in Alabama and has been indicted in a killing in Boston in 1980. Massachusetts prosecutors said Fike was indicted on rape and murder charges in the slaying of Wendy Dansereau. Authorities said genetic testing linked the man to the teenager's death. Alabama Department of Corrections via AP)


BOSTON (AP) — A man already serving life in prison for killing a woman in Alabama now faces charges in connection with the rape and killing of a woman in a Boston hotel room nearly 40 years ago, Massachusetts prosecutors said Thursday.

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Steven Fike on rape and first-degree murder charges in the March 1980 killing of Wendy Dansereau, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a written statement.

Fike is behind bars in Alabama for a 1982 rape and murder but is eligible for parole, her office said. An arraignment has not been scheduled.

“Ms. Dansereau was 19 years old when she was murdered, and her family has waited nearly four decades to know what happened to her," Rollins said.

Dansereau's daughter was 4 weeks old when her mother was killed, prosecutors said.

The district attorney's office did not know whether Fike has an attorney to speak for him.

An employee of the Hotel Diplomat in Boston's South End discovered Dansereau’s body. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled, authorities said.

A sample of DNA collected during the early stages of the investigation was recently entered into an FBI database and matched to Fike's genetic profile, the district attorney's office said.

His DNA had been entered into the national database as the result of his 1982 rape and murder convictions in Alabama.

Fike is serving time in Alabama for the slaying of Patricia Ann Culp, whose body was found in a water-filled culvert in Tuscaloosa County on Feb. 2, 1982, court records show.

She died of a skull fracture from a severe blow to the head, according to a decision by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

Fike met the woman at a strip club in Birmingham where she worked as a dancer, and the two had sex at a hotel, documents show. He was arrested days after the killing near Atlanta, and a cousin testified during his 1982 trial that Fike told her about killing the woman.

Rollins has made it a priority to review unsolved homicides. A spokesman for her office said the Dansereau case was under review even before Rollins announced her Project for Unsolved Suffolk Homicides initiative in September.


The story has been corrected to show that the victim's daughter was 4 weeks old when her mother was killed, not 4 months old. The headline has been corrected to show that the Boston homicide was in 1980, not 1960.

Recommended for you