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Murder of 17-year-old Krystal Lynn Beslanowitch by John Simpson profiled on ID

Mugshot of John Simpson
John Simpson was finally arrested for the murder of Krystal Beslanowitch, thanks to a discarded cigarette. Pic credit: Utah Dept. of Corrections

The savage murder of Krystal Lynn Beslanowitch by John Michael Simpson on December 15, 1995, in Midway, Utah, is examined on Investigation Discovery this week.

Beslanowitch was a 17-year-old prostitute who was brutally beaten to death by Simpson, who then left her remains on the banks of the Provo River.

Simpson managed to evade justice for 18 years until DNA evidence and a determined sheriff finally caught up with him.

In 2013, Simpsons DNA was painstakingly extracted from a granite rock that he had used to smash in Beslanowitch’s skull. Simpson’s DNA was already on file from a previous murder he committed in 1987; however, prosecutors insisted that the cops needed a fresh and up to date sample.

Sheriff Bonner tracked Simpson to get a DNA sample

Wasatch County Sheriff Todd Bonner, who had worked the original investigation, flew to Sarasota, Florida, and with the help of local officers, he trailed Simpson for four days. He eventually got a break when Simpson discarded a cigarette, which gave Bonner a fresh sample.

The cops believe that Simpson had picked up the teenager on a Salt Lake City street and then transported her approximately 40 miles to the southeast, near the town of Midway, where he murdered her and left her body by the Provo River.

Her body was discovered the next day by two farmers; she was naked and had a large hole in the back of her skull.

She had last seen alive by her boyfriend when she left the motel they were staying at to visit a grocery store. Her boyfriend called the cops when she failed to return.

At the time, Simpson was a shuttle bus driver for a Utah resort, so the police believe he would have been familiar with the area.

In 2016, Simpson was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Simpson was already a convicted murderer and had been paroled from a Utah state prison just a few months before he killed Beslanowitch.

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on ID.

Another case where DNA evidence proved instrumental in solving an old case was the murders of young couple Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg in 1987. The Canadian couple had traveled to Washington state for an overnight trip, which led to an encounter with murderous William Earl Talbott.

Beth Williams plied her friend Joshua Zachary with alcohol and money before persuading him to murder her ex-boyfriend Chuck Rock. Zachary doused Rock with gasoline before setting him on fire. The police subsequently arrested Zachary as he tried to flee the scene across a river.

Murder on the Rocks airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.


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