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Illinois Department of Corrections photo.

The recent solving of a 49-year cold case involving Julie Ann Hanson of Naperville has a connection to Oswego.

Sixteen months ago WSPY News had provided information to the Naperville Police Department that possibly connected the 1972 Julie Ann Hanson murder to the murder of Bobbi Anderson of Oswego 14 months later. Hanson was from Naperville. 

WSPY News had reviewed court and investigation documents, and parole board minutes in the Anderson case.

There were similarities.

Both Anderson and Hanson were close in age, 15 and 16 respectively. Both were on rural roads near their homes at the time of their abduction. Both were sexually assaulted and stabbed to death, Anderson 61 times and Hanson 36 times. Both bodies were found within a few miles of each other in a northern rural Will County location. 

In 1992, Will County law enforcement authorities along with the Naperville PD went to Missouri and obtained blood and hair samples from Major Morris, Jr. to compare DNA to the Hanson slaying. During the interview, Morris confessed to killing Anderson, however, he refused to answer questions about the Hanson case. 

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow had reviewed the two cases. While many in law enforcement considered Morris an alleged suspect, the Naperville PD continued the investigation. 

Then the Illinois Prisoner Review Board heard Major's latest appeal in 2017, in which the board stated a letter from Will County Lieutenant Ed Hayes revealed Morris admitted to a Pulaski County, Missouri jail cellmate that he had killed Hanson, who lived in Naperville. That information spurred the WSPY investigation and contact with Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall in January 2020.  

Major Morris was convicted of murdering Anderson, but Chief Marshall said the DNA of Morris did not provide a match found on Hanson. On Friday, Naperville Police broke the 49-year cold case involving Hanson, when a 77-year old Minnesota man, who once lived one mile from Hanson, was identified through new DNA technology. 

Morris, who grew up in Plano and was living in Oswego at the time of Anderson's murder, is serving time in the downstate Menard Correctional Center, serving an indeterminate sentence of 100-200 years, which was allowed at the time of the crime. That sentence has allowed Morris to apply for parole on five occasions. However, he has never received votes for release. 

Morris, who is 66 years old, comes up for his next parole hearing in autumn of 2022. 

You can listen to Mark Harrington's radio story by clicking below: