On The Case With Paula Zahn is examining the shocking murder of Sandy Bauer, who was sexually assaulted and strangled during a home invasion by Kelly Small at her home in Omark, Washington, in 1998.
On March 6, 1998, Small broke into the basement apartment of Sandy Bauer, where he robbed, raped, and murdered the 51-year-old mother.
At the time, Small was actually one of a number of people who were questioned about Bauer’s murder, but the cops had no firm evidence against him, so he was not detained.
The investigation grew cold but was finally reignited after a similar crime occurred in 2006. On February 26 of that year, Small broke into another Omak woman’s home. After removing an air conditioning unit, he climbed into his 75-year-old victim’s home and raped her. He then strangled her with a telephone cord until she passed out.
Victim’s actions helped bring justice to Kelly Small
However, this time his victim survived, and while she was unable to identify him, her actions would ultimately help put Small behind bars. The unnamed elderly woman had fought hard for her life, and she had whacked him on the head with a telephone receiver. The cops were able to get the attacker’s blood sample off the receiver.
The police recognized the similarities of this attack to the Bauer murder, so they re-interviewed everyone that they had spoken to back in 1998, and crucially, they took DNA samples from, including from Small, who then fled town.
The cops had also retained a single pubic hair found at the Bauer crime scene and compared the DNA with that found on the telephone receiver. The samples matched and they both came from Small.
Small was subsequently convicted of the murder of Sandy Bauer and was sentenced to life in prison. He was also given a 32-year sentence for the 2006 rape.
More from On The Case With Paula Zahn
Follow the links to read about more murders investigated by Paula Zahn.
Bradley St Clair was working in his office in Bakersfield, CA. when he was attacked and murdered by Keith Shell. St Clair was the victim of a botched kidnap plot orchestrated by his secretary and girlfriend of Shell, Susan Clevenger.
Julie Ferguson was just 17-years-old when she vanished while waiting for friends to pick her up from the mall. Her murdered body was found a few miles away, and her killer has never been found.
On The Case With Paula Zahn airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.