Evil Lives Here is investigating the crimes of Robert Walden, which resulted in the rape and murder of Miguela Burhans and the rape of two other women in Tucson, Arizona.
Walden’s crime spree lasted just a few weeks, but the level of violence exhibited and the speed with which he progressed to murder is terrifying.
In the spring and summer months of 1991, Walden worked for a termite and pest control company that serviced residential homes and apartments in the Tucson area. Unfortunately, this gave the criminal access to multiple homes and victims.
On May 4, 1991, a victim known as Vicki visited a friend at an apartment block in Tucson; unfortunately, instead of meeting her friend, she was intercepted by Walden, who forced her into a laundry room at knifepoint and raped her. He repeatedly threatened to kill her and mentally tortured her by pretending to leave only to return to further harass her.
Just a week later, Walden managed to talk his way into another woman’s apartment by stating he was there to fix the plumbing. When the woman grew suspicious of his intentions, he attacked her and tried to strangle her with the cord from a telephone. He also raped her, and again, repeatedly threatened to kill his victim and pretended to leave only to return and abuse her some more.
Robert Walden murdered next victim, Miguela Burhans
Tragically, Walden took his crimes to the next level a month later, when on June 13, he broke into the home of Miguela Burhans and strangled her to death. He also stabbed her twice in the neck and raped her. Her remains were discovered by her husband, who found her lying facedown in a pool of her own blood.
The cops arrested Walden a couple of weeks later and charged him on 14 counts, which included rape, assault, and first-degree murder, among other crimes.
Walden was incriminated by a fingerprint that he left on a nightstand in Burhans’s home. The two earlier rape victims were also able to point to the killer in a photo lineup. A witness had also spotted a maintenance man that matched his description at Burhans’s apartment.
The cops took samples of DNA from semen found at each crime scene. The DNA tests were not conclusive, but Walden was deemed as the most credible source. Unfortunately, DNA forensic science in 1991 was not at the same level of sophistication as it is today.
In December 1992, Walden was convicted on all charges and was sentenced to death. He currently remains on death row.
More from Evil Lives Here
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Evil Lives Here airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.