Rape and Murder Charges Filed in 1982 Maryland Cold Case

Wess Haubrich

Laney Lee McGadneyHoward County Maryland

Score another for DNA

28-year-old, mother of four, Laney Lee McGadney left her apartment in Columbia, Maryland to walk to a nearby grocery store in Owen Brown Village Center on March 29, 1982. From there, witnesses describe seeing a man forcibly take the young woman as she made part of her journey along Oakland Mills Road.

She would be found later that day sexually assaulted and mutilated by her assailant’s knife. She was discarded in a vacant lot, now known as Water Lily Way.

Police did a typical investigation of this kind of sex crime: investigating, canvassing, interviewing witnesses and persons of interest, and accumulating any pertinent information. Nevertheless, the long trail to catch McGadney’s killer ultimately went cold – until now.

Advances in DNA science have led investigators to 62-year-old Howard Jackson Bradberry Jr. of Laurel, Maryland, only 15 minutes south of Columbia. Bradberry was arrested on May 25.

There wasn’t much in the way of physical evidence at the original scene but this year, advances in DNA science allowed investigators to get a sample sufficient to inculpate Bradberry from items discarded at the primary crime scene that the killer would’ve touched.

Howard J. Bradberry Jr. MugshotHoward County Sheriff

Bradberry has been charged with first-and second-degree murder, first-and second-degree rape, and kidnapping.

Howard County Police Chief Lisa Myers said, "Nothing will ever erase the pain of losing a loved one in such a violent and tragic way. Our cold case investigators are committed to bringing justice for victims and families, no matter how much time has passed."

Bradberry is currently being held at the Howard County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

Watch this space for more on this case as it develops.

Comments / 48

Published by

Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live


More from Wess Haubrich

Comments / 0