An Uptown man who killed his mother and her boyfriend in 1979 was charged this week in another murder from nearly two decades ago after investigators were able to trace his DNA to the victim’s fingernails and a condom found near her body.
Marvella Linton was discovered strangled with her wrists bound behind her back in the early-morning hours of Aug. 26, 1997, by her 19-year-old daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Barry Quinn said Thursday.
Linton had dried blood on her face and was naked from the waist down in a hallway between her bedroom and powder room. The 39-year-old, a drug user, had been dead for several hours when she was found in her second-floor apartment in Austin, Quinn said.
Linton’s then 12-year-old daughter had seen Borgie Humphrey doing drugs with her mother in the apartment, in the 100 block of North Pine Avenue, shortly before the murder, Quinn said.
But the girl wasn’t interviewed in 1997 because she had intermittently lived with her mother.
When detectives recently showed the now adult woman a picture of 56-year-old Humphrey, she identified him as being the man who had been snorting drugs in the living room, Quinn said.
Hair and fingernail samples had been taken of Linton in 1997. No suitable fingerprints were found on two pieces of a condom wrapper that were sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab. But they were stored away with the other evidence, Quinn said.
The case was re-opened last year when detectives resent the evidence to the crime lab due to advancements in DNA analysis and testing, Quinn said.
After a male DNA profile was obtained from Linton’s right fingernails it was entered into the CODIS database. The DNA matched Humphrey’s sample stored in the database, Quinn said.
A partial DNA profile taken from the condom wrapper also matched Humphrey’s, Quinn said.
Humphrey, who was wearing a dress shirt and long khaki shorts in court, was arrested Wednesday. He told police he did not know Linton nor did he ever go in her neighborhood, prosecutors said. When shown her picture, Humphrey said he never saw her before.
Humphrey, who is married, suffers from major depression and is bipolar, an assistant public defender told Judge Peggy Chiampas on Thursday. He is on disability, the public defender said.
Chiampas ordered Humphrey held without bail for Linton’s murder.
The judge also ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation while he awaits trial in Cook County Jail.
Humphrey, of the 4500 block of North Sheridan Road, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stabbing his mom and her boyfriend to death on Aug. 14, 1979.
He also received an 8-year prison sentence for beating a woman who he gave crack cocaine in exchange for oral sex on March 3, 1993, Quinn said.
Humphrey tied that woman’s wrists and feet with electrical wire, cut her knee with a knife and began to choke her while threatening her life, Quinn said.
He fled when a witness heard the woman’s screams. That victim, who told police “Borgie did it,” suffered scratches, a lacerated windpipe and additional injuries to her mouth and teeth, Quinn said.