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Nevada inmate charged in 1984 hammer murders in the neighborhood of Denver

AURORA, Colorado – A Nevada inmate sentenced for attacking a couple with an axe handle in their bedroom is charged with killing four people with a hammer in a suburb of Denver more than 30 years ago, authorities announced Friday.

Local and national law enforcement officials said DNA evidence links Alexander Christopher Ewing to the slaughter of Patricia Louise Smith, 50, in Lakewood, and three members of the family Bennett in Aurora in 1984.

A hammer was used to kill Smith on Jan. 10, 1984. About a week later, another hammer was used to kill Bruce and Debra Bennett and their 7-year-old daughter Melissa in Aurora. A 3-year-old daughter, Vanessa, was injured and survived.

The two cases were connected by DNA evidence.

Ewing is behind bars in Nevada since the summer of 1984, after he escaped during the transport to Kingman, Arizona, St. George, Utah, for a court appearance on the attempted murder and burglary charges. His sentence runs until 2037 but he would be eligible for parole in 2021.

Nevada court records show a jury found Ewing, under the name Alex C. Ewing, was guilty of escape from the custody of the two Arizona police officers at a petrol station in Henderson, Nevada, in the southeast of Las Vegas on Aug. 9, 1984, and entering an open house and severely beating a woman and her husband with an axe handle in their bedroom. Two young boys slept in the other rooms in the house.

Ewing, then 23, was arrested again two days later, about 15 miles (24 km) to drive with the park rangers at Lake Mead.

The Colorado killings followed two other attacks in the neighborhood of Denver, who are either involved or were suspected of involving a hammer.

On Jan. 4, 1984, a couple in Aurora woke up and see a man in the bedroom of that hit each of them with a hammer for the feeling. Both survived.

At The End Of Jan. 9 or early on Jan 10, a flight attendant was beaten, possibly with a hammer, and victims of sexual violence after she pulled into the garage of her home in Aurora. She survived.

Smith was attacked in the apartment she shared with her daughter and grandchildren, and the hammer was left behind.

The family Bennett was attacked, either the night of Jan. 15 or the morning of Jan. 16. She lived on the other side of the Denver metro area, but their house and Smith’s house were both in the vicinity of one of the main east-west road, Alameda Avenue, and the researchers suspect that the killer used that route.

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