Man admits guilt in rape, slaying of teen in 1975

  • In US
  • 2021-12-06 17:16:25Z
  • By The Columbus Dispatch

A Whitehall teenager's 37-year-old murder finally was put to rest yesterday as her killer pleaded guilty.

But her family members told a Franklin County Common Pleas judge that their bitterness over the rape and strangulation of 17-year-old Karen R. Adams can never be erased.

"You got away with it, and there you sit," Adams' brother, Gene, spat out as he stared at Robert W. Meyer, 72, just a few feet away in the courtroom. "I hope you rot in hell."

Karen Adams disappeared on March 9, 1975, after she left her home to meet a boyfriend at a grocery store. Her body was found the next afternoon in a ditch along Wengert Road, about 6?miles from her home.

At the time, police didn't have the technology to test clothing for DNA left behind by rapists. But last year, Adams' underwear was submitted to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and investigators found DNA from semen from two men.

One was Meyer; the other was a man who was never positively identified.

Yesterday, Common Pleas Judge Guy L. Reece II sentenced Meyer to 15 years to life in prison after his guilty plea to a reduced count of murder. He had been indicted on three counts of aggravated murder; the other two charges were dropped in exchange for the plea, said county Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

O'Brien said he was ready to go to trial, but Adams' relatives were OK with the plea deal. They had hoped that Meyer would explain why he killed Adams, but he refused, O'Brien said.

A mental-health expert had found Meyer competent to stand trial.

Two of Adams' sisters, her brother and her mother attended the hearing yesterday.

Sister Lori Adams said in a statement in court that the family was never the same after Karen was killed.

"It's not only that he stole her life from her, he stole her from all of us," she said.

Meyer had served a combined 34 years in prison for another murder and rapes. He was arrested in September in Cincinnati, where he lived.


This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Man admits guilt in rape, slaying of teen in 1975


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