Convicted Killer Charged in 1973 Murder of FBI Agent's Daughter; 22-year-Old's Body Found at Fort Huachuca
Image: Wisconsin Department of Corrections
A convicted killer serving a life sentence in Wisconsin for a 1978 double-murder has been charged in the 1973 murder of 22-year-old Leesa Jo Shaner.
According to an article last year in the Wisconsin's Journal-Sentinel, Shaner was on her way to pick up her husband at the Tucson Airport when she was kidnapped. Her two kids were at home with her father; they were planning a welcome-home party for Shaner's husband, Gary, who was returning home from a military trip to Okinawa, Japan.
Her naked body was found four months later in the desert at Fort Huachuca by two soldiers.
Shaner's father, James A. Miller, was an FBI agent who made finding his daughter's killer his life's work, says the Journal-Sentinel. A retired FBI agent maintained a Web site about Leesa Jo after Miller died in 2007.
Investigators focused in on William Floyd Zamastil, 57, (pictured above) last year, requesting a DNA comparison. The 2008 Wisconsin articles states:
The FBI cannot comment on the case because it is open, said Special Agent Manuel Johnson, spokesman for the Phoenix division.
"Although it's more than 30 years old, we are not going to stop investigating," Johnson said. "We are confident we can bring the case to a conclusion."
Zamastil is serving a life sentence after he was convicted in 1978 for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a woman here. He is being held at Waupun Correctional Institution.
The search warrant says that Zamastil told a fellow prisoner about other crimes he committed. That prisoner passed on the information to a Wisconsin Department of Justice agent.
Zamastil also told the prisoner he clubbed to death a brother and sister in 1978 -- he was convicted of that crime in 2003.
Now he's charged in this new cold case. The federal indictment unsealed today by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona is for first-degree murder. Zamastil killed the woman "in perpetration of a rape," according to a news release issued today by the office.
They say he might get life in prison.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.