The cold case murder of Janet Walsh, aka Catherine Walsh, is airing on tonight’s 48 Hours. The weekly CBS crime documentary series is dedicated to bringing you the most interesting true crime cases. In this episode, the case of Gregory Scott Hopkins, the ex-Bridgewater councilman who was found guilty in the death of Janet Walsh. The gruesome murder went unsolved for over 30 years.
The 23-year-old woman was found dead in her bed by her father in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1979. When police arrived at the scene, they found the body of a white female with her hands tied behind her back and a scarf around her neck. Detectives on the scene say that it was obvious that the young woman was already dead. A coroner ruled that the death was caused by strangulation with a cord that had been taken from her bathrobe.
As police tried to retrace Catherine Janet Walsh’s steps the night before, they found that the young and newly-separated woman was out on the town with friends the night before she was discovered the next day in her Monaca apartment. There were about five people of interest that could have been Janet’s killer. Despite the officers’ best efforts, the crime case went cold.
Janet Walsh’s distraught family members had suffered for the past 34 years before a break in the case surfaced in the 2000s. That’s when investigators took another look at the case through their cold case unit. All of the evidence that had been collected that tragic day had been well-preserved and DNA evidence was extracted. When the results came back, investigators were led to Gregory Scott Hopkins, a man who was now married with a family of his own. There was no denying the fact that Hopkins had killed Janet Walsh. But now investigators wanted to know why.
Sadly, Gregory Scott Hopkins was unwilling to give them the answers that they needed. Prosecutors alleged that at some point during the night, Hopkins came to Catherine Janet Walsh’s home and was most likely invited in. At some point during his visit, things went too far. Then, Gregory Scott Hopkins slipped away into the night for the next three decades. It was almost the perfect murder.
At trial, Hopkins was found guilty of third-degree murder and sentenced to serve no more than 16 years and no less than 8 years in prison. His sentence offered little consolation to the victim’s family who say they’ve been sentenced to a life time of pain because of what he did.
Tune in tonight to see how the police were able to catch a killer on CBS at 10/9c. Here is the trailer for the 48 Hours episode.