Police Find DNA Match In Cold Murder Case

Thursday, May 3rd 2007, 7:43 pm
By: News On 6

Modern science and old fashioned police work solve a murder mystery. Victoria Knight was killed during a robbery of a Cash and Flash store in 2004. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports police recently got a DNA match from blood at the scene to a man who is currently in an Oklahoma prison.

Knight was a 24-year-old mother of a little boy. Many people remember this case because it was an especially brutal murder. Her throat was slit four times, she was stabbed in the back, her nose was broken, her skull fractured and her lung punctured, all, it seems, because of money.

Knight's mother is more numb than relieved to hear police now believe they know who murdered her daughter. Catherine Doak says she has wondered every day what the killer's face might look like. Now, she knows.

"I pulled it up on the computer last night and I looked at his face, and I was very angry, and I started to shake," said Doak.

Thirty-six-year-old Anthony McClanahan is a man who's been in prison so many times, he has 12 mug shots on the prison website. He has served time for a number of crimes in a several counties. Records show he was released in March of 2004. Knight was murdered two months later. Two months after that, he was back in prison on other charges.

"This person's a monster, a monster," said Doak.

Solving this case began at the crime scene when detectives noticed blood drops by the store safe they suspected didn't belong to the victim, so they collected a sample and sent it to the lab. The lab pulled DNA from the blood and entered it into the database and got a match to McClanahan.

Detectives got a warrant for a new DNA sample and went to the prison and got it. The DNA was tested again and it matched. They say he admits to being in Tulsa, but denies being involved in the crime. Police interviewed a lot of people and tested a lot of DNA, so they were thrilled to finally have success.

"So many times, the victims and families are calling, wanting answers,” said Tulsa Police Cpl. Gene Watkins. “This time it's nice to call and say we do have answers for you."

Knight’s family knows the journey isn't over. Charges must be filed, court hearings attended, but they will see it through.

"For me, there's no closure in murder,” Doak said. “There's no relief in it, but there's justice."

McClanahan is currently in the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington, which is a medium security prison. Police say they got the match, thanks to a new law that requires the DNA of all violent offenders put into the database. Knight's siblings told us they'd like to talk to him, not to ask him the why or how, but to see if he has any remorse in his heart.

Related stories:

6/7/2004 Tulsa Police investigate a weekend homicide

1/6/2007 Still No Justice For Family Of Tulsa Murder Victim