What Really Happened to Sarah Kate Hutchings?
Sarah Kate Hutchings would be in her bathtub dead. It at first appeared that Sarah Kate Hutchings drowned.
Upon more investigation, it showed that Sarah Kate Hutchings was strangled before she could ever drown in her bathtub. Sarah was only 35 years old at the time of her death.
Because investigators assumed that Sarah drowned in her bathtub at first, Sarah’s family could disturb what was the crime scene along with removing her stuff from her home.
The case of Sarah Kate Hutchings has been a cold case for many years, and even with an extensive investigation, no one was ever brought to justice.
However, just recently a renowned attorney wants to bust this case wide open once again.
Sarah’s Mother Point of View
Sarah Kate Hutchings was found dead in her bathtub on August 16, 1991. Sarah was only 35 years and 9 months old.
Sarah would be found in her bathtub dead when did need not show up to work for her scheduled shift as a Hospitality Supervisor at the famous Korbel Winery. Her co-workers would be the first people to become concern as Sarah was always punctual and reliable.
What no one could ever expect was only a few hours later, they would find Sarah Kate Hutchings dead in her bathtub.
When Sarah Kate Hutchings first died, everyone thought she died from having a heart attack. However, just two days after she died, when the medical examiner was performing a routine autopsy on her, they would inform the authorities that Sarah Kate Hutchings did not die from a heart attack, but she was strangled to death.
However, it was far too late for authorities to preserve the crime scene, as Sarah’s friends and family already disturbed it without knowing it was going to be an active investigation just a short few days later.
Sarah’s mother throughout all of this was on an England vacation to visit her friends and families. Her mother would get a call from her husband who was back in the states stating that their daughter Sarah died from a heart attack.
The couple was just slowly starting to recover from the death of their 19-year-old grandson, who just passed away eight months prior. To say it put her mother in shock was an understatement.
Then just twenty-four hours after talking to her husband about the death of their daughter, her mother would get a call from the state of California telling her it was not a heart attack, but it was a homicide case. That Sarah was drowned and strangled.
During the next nine years, investigators would launch three more investigations. The first suspect would take two years for them to get arrested. During this time, there also was a Grand Jury hearing, which would ultimately lead to the suspect getting arrested.
Later the suspect attorney would file a lawsuit worth $1.3 million for harassment against the City of Santa Rosa. Then this investigation would take yet another year before the suspect would finally drop the ridiculous lawsuit.
Then Sarah Kate Hutchings case would have to get looped back to the police station for yet another investigation, which they received help from the District Attorney’s office.
Both the district attorney’s office and the police station spent many hours investigating all of Sarah’s acquaintances and friends and it turned up nothing. Both the DA’s office and the police department also assured everyone that Sarah Kate Hutchings case is still very much an active cold case.
Attorney Revisits Sarah Kate Hutchings Case
A renown Virginia attorney who became popular when promoting the JFK murder theory will ask the state of California’s newest attorney general to go into investigation mode of the Santa Rosa’s infamous cold case that had to do with the death of Sarah Kate Hutchings.
In this latest twist of a nearly two-decade-old unsolved homicide case, which had already had thousands of thousands of hours of investigations, dollars, and even miles to try and find out who was the person that killed Sarah Kate Hutchings.
As previously mentioned, Sarah worked for the Korbel Winery and it is to be believed that she was choked and bound on her bed, then unconscious body was placed in her bathtub, where she was drowned in August of 1991.
Unfortunately, for the first police investigation, it did not start off on the right foot. First and foremost, the crime scene was already tainted, but even after that the investigation was riddled with numerous mistakes and overall was a sloppy investigation. And even law enforcement knew it was a non-decent investigation as well.
While the second investigation was successful in some respects as finding a few possible suspects along with working through many leads, but then it would grow cold.
Mark Lane the one who oversaw investigation of the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr., stated that it cries out to be resolved.
Lane along with his partner Steve Jaffe are hoping that they can convince Jerry Brown to allow the Sarah Kate Hutchings case to have an outside investigation as it should since it has been cold for nearly two decades.
Jaffe and Lane have studied the Hutchings case on and off for the last two decades. The duo has many leads that could point law enforcement to a suspect since they have prior knowledge that Hutchings had known and dating a few police officers from a few Bay Area agencies. The duo is essentially suggesting that it could be a very plausible police conspiracy as it could have been motivation for not securing the crime scene during the beginning.
The current Santa Rosa’s police administration has no issue with anyone wanting to review Sarah Kate Hutchings cold case.
New Lawyer has Civil Rights Background
For Mark Lane, the interest in Sarah Kate Hutchings case comes with his solid career.
Lane, 79, has fought for the civil rights for individuals since the 1950s as he was once a New York Legislator along with being in the 1960 campaign for the Kennedy’s presidential run. After Kennedy was assassinated, Lane was a part of the Warren Commission’s review of his murder that was documented in the Rush to Judgement book that came out in 1966.
Jaffe and Lane were longtime friends as well as investigator partners, who were originally contracted and paid by Korbel Champagne Cellars to investigate this case as Sarah’s employer Korbel wanted to seek justice for Sarah’s parents who were just as frustrated with the lack of movement in the case as everyone else was.
However, when the money ran out from Korbel, the case was still very much unsolved. The two investigators would go to Sarah’s stepfather and mother and let them know that the case could still very much be solved, and her parents gave them a few more thousand dollars to try and solve it.
But, as usual, for many cases money and private effort would soon stop due to many things.
Slaying Was First Known an Accident
You would assume that the murder and the investigation that followed was the start of a highly unrated mystery novel, but no, it was the start of Sarah Kate Hutchings murder case.
Even though Sarah had marks on her wrists and her neck along with the blood on her bed, at first her murder was simply classified as an accident.
The local police did not even try and preserve the scene of the crime. The local police would allow her friends and family to remove her personal items from the home.
It would not be until an autopsy happens when it was finally revealed that Sarah was choked and then finally drowned in her bathtub. The case was then assigned to a rookie homicide detective who could not properly investigate if it saved his life. The detective had a laundry list of men who Sarah was once romantically involved with and this list also included law enforcement officers as well.
18 months after her murder, they would finally arrest a Sonoma businessman, but the case against him was weak at best and would eventually fall apart. This man would also sue the city of Santa Rosa for the malicious prosecution and false arrest
The homicide investigation would move on after this. The next investigation would start just four years after Sarah as brutally murdered. This time the investigation was better at looking at all the man Sarah was once involved with.
Troubling Questions Still Stand
There are still many troubling questions to this day that calls for a new independent investigation of the entire case. that Rhonda and he had an argument about some medication that Rhonda was required to take.
The detectives back in 1997 have a signed statement from a friend of Sarah’s who states that an investigator stated that it was indeed a police officer that killed her.
However, John Kilass, that very investigator stated that he told the friend it was a possibility that the murderer was a police officer.
Jaffe and Lane stating that they were casually told by the police lieutenant that a few officers declined to have their blood taken for a simple DNA check, so the department could rule out all officers for being suspects.
However, Kilass stating that no officers during the second investigation refused to have their blood drawn to be eliminated from the suspect pool.
He stated that around 12 men have had their blood drawn and these men also including a few police officers that were also involved with her.