Twenty five years ago this week, Beatrice Turi learned her father Richard Finney, 75, had been stabbed to death dozens of times inside his Escondido apartment.
“This man had to be mad as hell at my Dad to stab him 37 times,” Turi said in an exclusive interview with NBCSanDiego.
The killer is still unknown despite the efforts of detectives who classify the murder mystery as one of the top three unsolved crimes in Escondido history.
The only solid piece of evidence is a bloody hand print on a wall that the killer left behind with his DNA.
In 2007, the cold case unit put the DNA in the national criminal database in hopes of linking the killer the crime, but came up empty.
“We’ve applied the most cutting edge technology available in the United States,” said Detective Chuck Gaylor.
That included spending $25,000 to input the DNA in a state of the art new technology called Familial Testing where a DNA match could be made with a family member who is in the criminal database.
California is only one of two states that have that ability.
“You’re looking for the brother, son or father of the suspect,” Gaylor said.
But once again, detectives found no hits.
The cold case team then focused on the unusual items that the killer stole from Finney’s apartment on East Mission Avenue.
“There were bars of soap, a terrycloth robe, towels,” Gaylor said.
That meant the killer may be homeless, so investigators began looking at Richard Tuite.
Many San Diegans will remember Tuite for his connection in the stabbing death of Escondido murder victim Stephanie Crowe.
The transient was convicted in Crowe’s stabbing but no link could be made in Finney’s killing.
Detectives are now hoping to publicize the case again in hopes of generating new leads.
Finney’s daughter, who is now 72 years old, is asking for help solving the crime before she dies, so she will know who killed her father.
“Who else is he going to kill? Who else is going to suffer because he thinks now that he’s gotten away with it,” Turi said.
If anyone has any information about the case, call Escondido Police at 760-743-TIPS. Investigators would like tipsters to leave their phone number so they can be reached for more information.
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