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Convicted Killer Charged In 1992 Lexington Murder, Suspected In Others

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Kathleen Dempsey was killed in 1992. (Image credit: Bernice Corpuz/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

Kathleen Dempsey was killed in 1992. (Image credit: Bernice Corpuz/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

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LEXINGTON (CBS) – Authorities said Wednesday that a man already in prison for murder is also responsible for the unsolved murder of a Lexington woman 19 years ago.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Bernice Corpuz reports

Craig Conkey, 45, allegedly stabbed 31-year-old Kathleen Dempsey in the chest, back and neck on August 23, 1992 and then fled the home.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said new forensic technology and Conkey’s own words led investigators to him.

“Mr. Conkey made several admissions,” Leone told reporters Wednesday.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports:

Leone said Conkey broke into Dempsey’s home on Ridge Road with the intent to commit burglary, but Dempsey woke up and he stabbed her multiple times.

Dempsey, who was a graphic designer about to enter grad school, had tried calling 911 after the attack, but a series of tragic mistakes by the operator led to a delay in the police response.

When police arrived at around 10:45 a.m., they found Dempsey dead.

“It’s never going to be over for us, but at least we know that somebody’s going to pay the price,” said her mother Evelyn Tobin.

Tobin says she is grateful to the investigators for never giving up on her daughter’s case.

“They never gave up on this case, this case was never on the back burner,” she said. “My daughter believed in justice very strongly and she would be very happy for her family today that this is happening.”

Tobin says there have been a lot of ups and downs, and they didn’t always have hope.

“We all feel a sense of relief that we are not going to have to be be as vigilant as we have been the past 20 years. We can rest a little. It’s never going to be over for us, but at least we know someone is going to pay the price,” she said.

Dempsey’s brother Kenny’s emotions are still raw.

“She was just a real sweet girl… we were really close in age, we spent a lot of time together,” he explained. “She didn’t have a malicious one in her body, she liked to do things which kids, she was really creative, talented, that’s one regret I have is that she didn’t got to meet my kids.”

Conkey is currently serving a life-sentence for the 1994 murder of another Lexington woman, Mary Lou Sale.

D.A. Leone says Conkey did not know either victim.

“He was breaking into homes and burglarizing them, and the unfortunate reality in Kathy’s killing and Mary Lou’s killing is that they were the inhabitants of those homes who woke up when he broke into those homes and he sought to remedy that by killing them.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

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