Rapist expected to admit to 1980 cold case murder

by: Amy Clancy Updated:


Quick Facts: 

  • Sex offender accused in 1980 cold case.
  • Victim, Susan Lowe, was strangled.
  • Sex offender linked to case by DNA.

On Monday, convicted rapist Michael Allan Halgren is expected to admit he's also a murderer. The longtime, frequent sex offender is expected to plead guilty to killing Susan Barbara Lowe in her Bellevue home more than 30 years ago.

The 19-year old Lowe was found dead in the bedroom of her apartment on 148th Avenue Southeast the morning of April 24, 1980. She had been raped and strangled. At the time, detectives from the Bellevue Police Department collected semen from the crime scene but there was no such thing as a DNA test back in the early '80s, and a suspect was never identified.

However, in December 2012, a DNA match to Halgren was made.

On Friday, a police source close to the investigation told KIRO 7 that the now-58-year-old Halgren is "expected to plead guilty in a negotiated agreement to murder 2" on Monday for killing Lowe 34 years ago.

Halgren, a convicted rapist, is currently behind bars at the King County jail.  However, he's been imprisoned at McNeil Island's Special Commitment Center since 2000 when he was civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. Halgren has admitted to raping more than 20 women since the early 1970s.

According to King County Superior Court documents, a DNA profile of the unknown Bellevue killer was entered into the Washington state database in 1999.  That profile was enhanced two years later.  In 2012, Halgren's DNA was entered and a positive match was made.

King County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Dan Donohoe would not confirm the plea deal, but did confirm that Halgren has a hearing in court on Monday.

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