Man arrested following ‘brutal slaying’ of Gary woman in 1994


GARY, Ind. — A Kentucky man has been charged in the 1994 “brutal slaying” of a 69-year-old woman inside her Gary home.

On June 17, 1994, Gloria Hansell was found strangled in her home in the 3900 block of Buchanan Street.

Hansell, a widow, lived alone and relied on an in-home oxygen machine, the FBI said.

In 2020, Indiana State Police were requested by the FBI to re-examine evidence and Gerald Smith, 60, of Madisonville, Kentucky was developed as a suspect following analysis of a sexual assault kit.

Investigators said they were able to place Smith in Gary shortly before her murder and claimed he knew Hansell.

A witness told authorities he had gone to her house on at least two occasions. During one occasion, Smith allegedly made an unwanted advance toward her inside her home.

Smith was charged with murder, murder while committing or attempting to commit rape and rape.

He was extradited back to Indiana on Monday, according to court records.

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