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DA: 1972 Pecheone Murder Case Closed

Utica, NY (WIBX) – The man believed to be responsible for the 1972 murder of a 19-year-old Utica woman will never stand trial for the crime. That’s because John Hopkins committed suicide in prison in 2000, as he was serving time for the murder of two teenaged girls and the attempted murder of another.

The Oneida County District Attorney’s Office has released a detailed report of multiple investigations and the reason why investigators believe Hopkins is the man who raped and murdered Joanne Pecheone nearly four decades ago.

There are similarities in Pecheone’s case and that of Hopkins’ other victims, revealed in the report released today.

Also, the report says Hopkins admitted to a corrections officer that he killed three people…previously he was only believed to have been responsible for two murders.

The DA’s office says the case is now officially closed, and considered solved.

Hopkins’ body was discovered on January 12, 1972 on a wooded pathway that intersected and ran diagonally off South Park Drive in Utica.


The report released to local media on Friday included 15 pages of information, including similarities to other cases Hopkins was convicted of, a criminal profile which was created, descriptions of Hopkins’ vehicle and the vehicle that was spotted near the crime scene on the day of the murder and statements from relatives, friends and witnesses.

These points below highlight some of the similarities discovered in Pecheone’s case and that of a 15-year-old girl who Hopkins’ was accused of trying to kill.

  • In 2007, Oneida County Assistant DA Todd Carville mentioned to the Task Force examining Pecheone’s case that his cousin, Sharrie Carville a former Utica resident killed in 1978 in Johnstown, NY where she was then living, was murdered by Hopkins. Hopkins later admitted to murdering Carville, and the abduction, rape and murder of Cecelia Genatiempo in 1976.
  • A 15-year-old victim, who survived an attack by Hopkins, had her shoelace removed by Hopkins and tied up with during the ordeal. Hopkins was later convicted of attempted murder in this case. Pecheone’s hands were tied with her own shoelaces.
  • The 15-year-old victim’s bra was cut through the front during her encounter, as was Pecheone’s.
  • The 15-year-old victim was gagged with a sponge in her mouth and rope tied around her. Pecheone was gagged with a piece of her own clothing and strap from her purse was used and tied around her head.
  • After his arraignment in Montgomery County Jail awaiting trial concerning the attempted murder of the 15-year-old, Hopkins acknowledged that he was responsible for not two, but three killings, during a conversation with a corrections officer

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