Murderer Wanted For Michigan Killings In 1983 May Be Living As A Woman In LA

A man who murdered two people in Michigan in 1983 is believed to be hiding in Los Angeles as a woman.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Det. Jeff Smith told the LA Times that they have discovered leads suggesting that John Kelly Gentry, Jr. is living as a woman in Los Angeles. The police have reason to believe that Gentry adopted his middle name “Kelly.” They also discovered that he used to visit the West Hollywood area on a regular basis.

Police authorities in Michigan have been looking for Gentry’s whereabouts for decades. Strapped for evidence, they are calling on the public to give them any information that could help them trace and find the suspect. To give the public a good head start, investigators in Monroe County, Michigan, have released an age-progressed image showing what Gentry would look like today.

[Image via Monroe County Sheriff]
Authorities said that Gentry is around 63-years-old. He is white, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs around 154 pounds and has brown eyes and hair. Distinct features include a circular burn scar on his left elbow and an “LCI” tattoo on his upper left arm.

John reportedly killed a man and a woman at two different locations in the Midwest in 1983. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “Kelly” was romantically involved with both victims, and investigators suspect that he was forced to murder them both after the two found out about each other.

The first victim, 25-year-old Barbara Gerber, was found dead in her Summerfield Township, Michigan, home on April 12, 1983. The autopsy revealed that she was sexually assaulted and stabbed. Gentry was eventually identified as the suspect. Police believe that Gentry made an attempt to blow up Gerber’s home upon finding that the stove was left open and a lit candle was nearby. They also discovered that Barbara’s car was nowhere to be found.

After conducting a search for Gentry in Toledo, Ohio, the police found Barbara’s car.

Seeing that Gentry listed William Veith’s home as an alternate residential address, investigators visited Veith’s rare coin shop in the hopes of finding Gentry. They found Veith’s dead body in the basement. He was reportedly beaten to death using the handle of an ax. Veith’s car, including some of his valued possessions, were found missing.

Before long, Veith’s stolen car was found in South Bend, Indiana.

While the stolen cars of both murder victims have been found, Gentry was never seen again. His fingerprints and DNA remain on the police files, but with no further leads that could help the police trace his whereabouts, the murder suspect remains at large.

According to an America’s Most Wanted fan site, “Kelly” was a newly-released convict when he met his first victim. He told her that he was jailed for defending a woman in a bar fight. What he did in that incident, however, was far from heroic, as the site reported that Gentry nearly killed his then-boyfriend by crushing his Adam’s apple in the bar fight.

On June 7, 1988, an arrest warrant for John Kelly Gentry, Jr. was issued by the police. The warrant for his arrest remains active to this day.

The only clues investigators had at their disposal were two postcards Gentry mailed to two locations, both of which were sent several days apart. The first postcard was postmarked May 1, 1983, and sent to a friend in San Diego. Another was postmarked on May 7, 1983, and sent to Gentry’s father from Los Angeles.

Smith said that the first detective who handled the case didn’t document the postcards’ contents nor used them as evidence. Both of the suspect’s parents were dead and his only surviving relative, his sister, hasn’t been in contact with him since before the murders happened.

“We’ve tried numerous things. We’ve got nothing substantial to go on,” Smith said.

[Image via Monroe County Sheriff]

Share this article: Murderer Wanted For Michigan Killings In 1983 May Be Living As A Woman In LA
More from Inquisitr