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Detectives crack 36-year-old murder case from Roeland Park

Watson News Conference.jpg
Posted at 1:36 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 15:03:41-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man has been charged in the 1985 murder of Gary Watson in Roeland Park.

During an early Tuesday afternoon news conference, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced his office has filed murder charges against Geter Rhymes.

Howe said Rymes, 65, was recently arrested in the St. Louis area and is undergoing an extradition process to Johnson County.

Detectives said that because of the quality of the evidence Roeland Park police officers originally obtained at the murder scene, forensic analysts were able to retest evidence in the case after being assigned the case in August 2020.

During the news conference, Watson’s sister, Audrey Walker, said the family now has closure.

Walker, who follows cold cases closely, said the family never gave up hope.

“In my spirit, I believed the things I saw on television could eventually happen to our family,” Walker said of the investigation into her brother’s death.

Watson was murdered on the afternoon of March 13, 1985, outside the entrance of the Skyline Apartments in Roeland Park.

The original report indicated Watson had been stabbed multiple times, leading to his death. Original reporting indicated there could have been as many as three suspects.

During Tuesday’s news conference, Howe did not provide additional information on the specific turning point in the investigation that led to the charges against Rhymes.

Online records indicate Rhymes is currently in the St. Charles County, Missouri, jail. When he is extradited to Kansas, a process expected to take about a week, he will be held in Johnson County on a $1 million bond.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the 41 Action News Mug Shot Policy.