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Sheriff’s Office solves Kansas cold case from 36 years ago



KANSAS – On Tuesday, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office announced that they have solved a cold case from 1985.

According to Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe, Geter Rhymes has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Gary Watson.

That charges is a Class A felony with a potential life sentence. Rhymes’ bond has been set at $1 million.

Rhymes is currently in Missouri and is going through the extradition process. Howe said they expect him to be transferred to the Johnson County jail over the next week to await arraignment. Then, the case will proceed.

“From this point on, our office will do our very best to provide justice for the family and the community,” Howe said.

According to an older document obtained by KCTV5, Watson was murdered on March 13, 1985 around 3:30 p.m. at the entrance to his apartment in the 5200 block of Skyline Drive in Roeland Park. Watson had been stabbed numerous times.

Investigations Captain Josh Theiss said that what happened to Gary Watson 36 years ago was a tragedy. “He was a son, a husband, a father, a brother,” he said. “We’re very happy today to be able to bring some closure, some sense of a beginning of healing for this family.”

He said the case of Watson’s death was considered a cold case due to the amount of time that it took to solve it.

According to what other officials had to say, it seems new technological and scientific developments allowed for additional analysis that resulted in a breakthrough in the case.

Watson’s family was present at the press conference announcing the case had been solved.

His sister, Audrey Walker, said, “On behalf of my family, my parents — who are now deceased — I just want to say thank you.”

“Thirty-six years is a lifetime and we now have closure,” she said.