Death row inmate indicted for 1975 rape and slaying

Author: AP

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A man already on Florida’s death row for 1976 murder of an 8-year-old girl has been indicted for another killing committed one year earlier.

The Palm Beach Post reports Saturday that James Franklin Rose, 70, was indicted by a grand jury this week for the April 4, 1975, slaying and rape of 37-year-old Jean Savage.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says Rose admitted killing Savage after newly tested DNA from her home tied him to the scene. Rose is already sentenced to die for the murder of Lisa Lynn Berry, whose beaten and nude body was found in a Broward County canal 40 years ago. She was his former girlfriend’s daughter. He is imprisoned at the Union Correctional Institution. It could not be determined if he has an attorney.

Savage, a housewife, was raped, beaten, stabbed and had her throat slashed, authorities said. Her husband, Edwin, found her body when he returned home from his job as an aircraft salesman. He died of cancer four years later.

Authorities told the Post four decades ago that a psychological profile of the killer indicated he would be mentally disturbed and may have been involved in other sex-related slayings.

Berry was with her mother at a bowling alley on Oct. 22, 1976, according to newspaper reports at that time. Her sister saw her standing just outside the door and Rose standing just inside. She was never seen again.

Rose left the bowling alley and returned about two hours later with a large red spot on his pants that was determined to match the girl’s blood type.

Her blouse was found in Rose’s van. Her body was found four days later.

He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1977, but the Florida Supreme Court granted him a new sentencing hearing in 1982. A year later, he was again sentenced to death. He was scheduled to die on Sept. 3, 1986, but the state Supreme Court granted him a stay. In 1992, the court ordered another sentencing hearing after he argued he had received ineffective counsel. Another jury again sentenced him to death in 1998 but no execution date has been set.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.