Murder of Laurie Harm by Jose Rodriguez Medrano investigated in On The Case With Paula Zahn

Profile pic of Laurie Harm
Laurie Harm was just 16 when she was savagely killed by Jose Medrano. Pic credit: @PaulaZahn/Facebook

On The Case With Paula Zahn examines the tragic murder of teenager Laurie Harm. She was brutally stabbed to death by Jose Rodriguez Medrano in her home in Kennewick, Washington, in 1989.

On April 27, 1989, Harm’s mother left their home with her 16-year-old daughter sleeping on the bed in the master bedroom. When she returned a few hours later, she found that Harm was lying on the floor, having been brutally stabbed.

When the cops arrived at the scene, they found a terrifying quantity of blood. There were pools of blood on the bed, blood smeared over the walls, and there were trails of it throughout several rooms. There was also a trail of blood leading from the bed out the patio doors and down the drive. A knife was left on the bed.

Most of the blood found belonged to Harm, but a significant amount belonged to a second individual, presumably the killer. The cops kept a blood sample, which would later prove crucial in bringing the Medrano to justice.

An autopsy on Harm’s body showed the extent of the brutal attack; she had been stabbed 25 times in the head and neck, seven times in her torso, and 29 times in her hands, arms, and legs. A shocking 61 stabs wounds in total.

Jose Rodriguez Medrano was caught using DNA evidence

The detectives would learn years later that her killer, Jose Medrano, had gone to an emergency room after the attack, where he was treated for severe lacerations to his hand. He underwent surgery a few months later for the injuries. At the time, he told medical staff that he hurt himself on a broken mirror.

Medrano avoided justice for eight years until he was arrested on an unconnected charge of rape. The cops took a routine DNA sample from him and found it matched the blood at the Harm crime scene.

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In July 1998, Medrano pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

More from On The Case With Paula Zahn

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on On The Case With Paula Zahn.

Braulio Castillo broke into the home of his estranged wife, Michelle Castillo, and waited to jump out and murder her. At the time, four of their five children were sleeping in the house.

The sickening Earl Webster Cox kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured, and raped 9-year-old Angie Housman for up to a week before tying her to a tree in the woods and leaving her to die.

The Case With Paula Zahn airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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