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Murder of Priscilla Strole by Robert Hathaway featured on Betrayed

Priscilla Strole and Robert Hathaway photo
Priscilla Strole was murdered by Robert Hathaway. Pic Credit: Fairfield Police Department

Patricia Strole was murdered by her son’s friend Robert Hathaway. Betrayed on Investigation Discovery features this tragic case.

It was around 7:30 pm on August 31, 1983, when 15-year-old Kyle Stracner left his home on 930 Buchanan Street in Fairfield, California, to hang out with his friends.

When he returned several hours later, he found his mom’s dead body on the living room floor.

The 40-year-old was naked, and she had been brutally beaten and sexually assaulted.

Although the house was in complete disarray, police said Strole may have let her killer inside her home as there was no sign of forced entry.

Police collected semen and fingerprints from the crime scene, but there was no match.

Strole’s death went unsolved for three decades until January 28, 2014, when the evidence was sent to the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services, Sacramento Laboratory.

This time there was a match.

Hathaway was linked to the crime.

At the time of Strole’s death, Hathaway was 17, and he was a friend of the victim’s son.

Police said Hathaway did not have a criminal record at the time, but his fingerprints were uploaded to the Automated Fingerprint Identification System when he was arrested in 1986 for burglary.

On February 10, 2014, a warrant was issued to collect a sample of Hathaway’s semen.

When officers went to Hathaway’s home, he claimed he didn’t have anything to do with Strole’s murder.

Just five days later, Hathaway committed suicide by hanging himself in his home at the age of 48.

He left behind a suicide note that said he “took the coward way out.”

On February 20, 2014, the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services confirmed that Hathaway’s DNA matched the DNA found at the crime scene.

Betrayed — Welcome to Murderhood, airs at 10:00 pm on Investigation Discovery.

Angelica N. Sumter is a freelance journalist who has covered true crime for more than 10 years. In addition to Monsters and Critics, her work... read more
Angelica N. Sumter

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