DOUBLE MURDER COLD-CASE SOLVED: Couple murdered in 1989 by son-in-law, police say

Louisa and George Peacock (left) in 1989 were murdered by son-in-law Michael Louise (right), now 79, state police say.

The Vermont State Police, through extensive investigation involving detectives and cold-case specialists over more than 33 years, has identified a suspect in the 1989 double killing of George and Catherine Peacock of Danby.

Thursday morning, detectives with the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit, with the assistance of the New York State Police, arrested Michael Anthony Louise, 79, at his home in Syracuse, New York, on an arrest warrant for two counts of second-degree murder. Louise is jailed in New York pending extradition proceedings to Vermont, where he will face arraignment upon his return.

George Peacock, 76, and Catherine Peacock, 73, were found dead Sept. 17, 1989, by a neighbor inside their home on U.S. Route 7 in Danby. They had been stabbed multiple times, and there were no signs of forced entry or items of significance having been removed from the house.

Louise, who was married to one of the Peacocks’ daughters, was identified as a suspect in the killings about two weeks later. Investigators at the time developed circumstantial evidence tying Louise to the killings, but were unable to establish a conclusive link until forensic testing in May 2020 confirmed a DNA match to George Peacock in a spot of blood found inside Louise’s car in October 1989. The blood sample had been tested previously during the investigation, as DNA testing technology was emerging, and that earlier test had been inconclusive.

The Vermont State Police is unable to comment further at this time. Additional details of the case are available in the affidavit supporting the arrest warrant for Louise, which is filed with the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Rutland.

According to an unsolved murders website, the murder was unreported for several days.

“On September 17, 1989, George did not show up to work and no one had seen the couple for a few days. Someone would go and check on the couple that day and find their bodies inside,” said.

In the home, their bodies were found. Catherine’s body was found in an unfurnished bedroom upstairs and George was found at the bottom of the stairs. The two had been stabbed by the same double-edged knife more than an inch wide.”

Categories: Crime

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