TV Show Focuses on Snohomish County Cold Case Solved This Year

The investigation into the murder of Susan Schwarz in 1979 airs Saturday on Investigation Discovery.

A cold-case homicide solved this year in Snohomish County will be featured Saturday, Dec. 1, on the Investigation Discovery channel series "Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case."

The show, airing at 9 p.m. and titled "Queen of Hearts," follows the 1979 murder of Susan Schwarz in the Alderwood Manor area near Lynnwood, as well as the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and its attempt to bring the perpetrator to justice.

Gregory Johnson was convicted this year for Schwarz’s murder and sentenced to 24 years in prison. The show has interviews with Schwarz's family and Snohomish County detectives who worked the case.

Schwarz was 26 when she was found dead on Oct. 22, 1979, at about 4 p.m., in her home in the 22800 block of Locust Way in Alderwood Manor. Property was missing from the home. 

Here's the Investigation Discovery's description of the episode:

Bill Hassler returns home to find his high school sweetheart, Susan Schwarz, naked under a towel, hands bound, and shot three times in the head. Detectives first suspect a botched home invasion or a crime of passion, but with Hassler’s solid alibi and no evidence from the crime scene, Schwarz’s case goes cold. Eight years later, a disturbingly similar murder in Seattle steers cops to a possible suspect, but with no direct connection between him and Schwarz’s murder, the investigation stalls. Despite the lack of new leads, detectives are determined to bring her killer to justice. 

The episode includes interviews with:

  • Gary Schwarz, Susan’s brother
  • Valerie Rau, Susan’s sister
  • Mary Johnson, Susan’s friend
  • Detective Barry Fagan, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
  • Detective Jim Scharf, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
  • Detective Kenneth O’Christensen, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
  • Detective Allen Zurlo, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
  • Detective Sheriff Steven O’Connor, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lisa Paul, Deputy District Attorney, Snohomish County

See list of all Snohomish County Sheriff's Office cold cases.


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