30-Year-Old Cold Case Rape & Murder of Kristy Wesselman Solved

By: Catherine Townsend

Kristy Wesselman

Photo by: WGN TV (screenshot)

WGN TV (screenshot)

Kristy Wesselman

GLEN ELLYN, IL — It was over 30 years ago when 15-year-old Kristy Wesselman left her suburban home to pick up a candy bar and some soda from a nearby grocery store. She was never seen alive again.

This week, the man accused of raping and murdering Wesselman was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Michael Jones, 64, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and killing the teen on July 21, 1985.

Michael Jones

Photo by: DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office

DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office

Michael Jones

Wesselman was last seen walking to the grocery store from her Glen Ellyn home. Her body was found the next day along the path she had taken. Investigators determined that she had been stabbed multiple times and sexually assaulted.

Jones has been living in Champaign for the past 30 years — and has been assaulting other women. But now he has finally been caught due to DNA linking him to Wesselman’s death. The DNA was collected from a sexual assault kit taken during Wesselman’s autopsy, and was submitted to a national database in 2000.

The DNA sample came up as a match to Jones in September of 2015, when he pleaded guilty to an aggravated domestic battery charge.

At the time of Wesselman’s murder, Jones had already been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting 18-year-old Geri Michael at gunpoint in 1977. He only served six years of that 10-year sentence.

In a victim-impact statement, Wesselman’s mother, Sandy Wesselman, talked about the positive things that her daughter had done in life before sentencing — and referred to her daughter’s life as “an unfinished book.”

And as Geri Michael pointed out, “Had he served at least the 10 years, we wouldn’t be here today for this.” DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said that there is now a Sexually Violent Person’s Act, that enables prosecutors to fight to keep men like Jones in prison longer than their sentences.

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