A decades-old rape and murder case is under review tonight in southern California for possible links to the East Area Rapist or the Golden State Killer.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to re-open the case involving William Evins who was convicted of killing Joan Anderson in her Fountain Valley home in 1979.
The announcement comes after an attorney identified similarities to attacks by the notorious East Area Rapist.
“Obviously, if we get DNA evidence, this case is simple,” said Anna Della Donna with Innocence Rights of Orange County.
Della Donna says a construction worker was wrongly convicted of raping and killing Anderson in 1979, despite him pleading guilty to the crime.
“When I called his ex-wife, she said ‘I’ve been waiting 30 years for this phone call. I’ve always known he was innocent,'” said Della Donna.
The pro bono group Innocence Rights of Orange County calls the evidence against Evins flimsy and points to the East Area Rapist as the real killer.
“Her ankles were tightly tied with a cord from the window blinds,” said Della Donna. “The killer stayed in Joan Anderson’s house for hours afterwards, cooking and eating in her kitchen as she lay dead. Again, that is a fact that is very similar to the Golden State Killer cases.”
Other similarities according to Della Donna: Anderson matches the victim profile and lived in a middle-class neighborhood where the east area rapist was known to target.
“The reason why we agreed to take a thorough look is because of the nature of the conviction. We want to make sure if somebody is convicted of a murder, we want to make sure that conviction is solid,” said Susan Schroeder with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Evins spent more than 25 years in prison for the crime. He died of a heart attack behind bars in 2013.
The D.A.’s office says it will be looking over the evidence collected by the group over the next couple of weeks to see if DNA testing is even possible.