DNA Leads To Charges For Inmate In 1980 Boston Hotel Killing

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A man already serving life in prison now faces charges in connection with the rape and killing of a woman in a Boston hotel room nearly 40 years ago, Massachusetts prosecutors said Thursday.

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Steven Fike on rape and first-degree murder charges in the March 1980 killing of Wendy Dansereau, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a written statement.

Fike is behind bars in Alabama for a 1982 rape and murder but is eligible for parole, her office said. An arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

"Ms. Dansereau was 19 years old when she was murdered, and her family has waited nearly four decades to know what happened to her," Rollins said.

Dansereau's daughter was 4 months old when her mother was killed, prosecutors said.

An employee of the Hotel Diplomat in Boston's South End discovered Dansereau's body. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled, authorities said.

A sample of DNA collected during the early stages of the investigation was recently entered into an FBI database and matched to Fike's genetic profile, the district attorney's office said.

His DNA had been entered into the national database as the result of his 1982 rape and murder convictions in Alabama.

Rollins has made it a priority to review unsolved homicides. A spokesman for her office said the Dansereau case was under review even before Rollins announced her Project for Unsolved Suffolk Homicides initiative in September.

The district attorney's office did not know if Fike has an attorney.

CORRECTION: Due to an Associated Press error, an earlier version of this story listed the wrong year in the headline. The story has been upodated to include the correct year. 

Resources: You can reach the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also visit to receive support via confidential online chat.

This article was originally published on December 12, 2019.