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Connecticut Dad Sentenced To 60 Years For Teen Daughter’s 1995 Slaying

Robert Honsch was convicted in March for the 1995 murder of his 17-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Honsch. He's already serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife, Marcia Honsch, that same year.

By Dorian Geiger
Robert Honsch Pd

A New England man was sentenced to six decades behind bars for the fatal shooting of his teenage daughter 27 years ago, prosecutors said.

Robert Honsch was sentenced to 60 years in prison by Connecticut Superior Court Judge Laura F. Baldini for the September 1995 killing of his 17-year-old daughter Elizabeth Honsch, the New Britain State’s Attorney announced Wednesday. He’s currently serving a life sentence in Massachusetts for the murder of his 53-year-old wife, Marcia Honsch, who was killed around the same time.

Honsch was convicted by a jury in his daughter’s murder in March.

“Her body was dumped like a piece of garbage behind a liquor store,” Superior Court Judge Laura F. Baldini said in court, the Hartford Courant reported

Three palm prints lifted from the garbage bags wrapped around Elizabeth Honsch’s body when it was found matched Robert Honsch’s prints, charging documents stated.

At sentencing, the judge described the 17-year-old’s killing as a “cruel, inhuman and unconscionable” crime.

"It is likely that Elizabeth experienced immediate and significant terror when faced with her father choosing to end her life," Baldini added, according to the Daily Record.

Elizabeth Honsch’s then-unidentified body was found in a New Britain, Connecticut parking lot on Sept. 28, 1995. The 17-year-old, who had been fatally shot, was wrapped in trash bags and covered with two sleeping bags. At the time, authorities estimated that the unidentified victim was between 17 and 20 years old.

Days later, a second unidentified body — which was ultimately determined to be to Robert's wife Marcia Honsch — was found by a hiker in the Tolland State Forest in western Massachusetts.

Both victims died of gunshot wounds to the head which were fired by the same firearm, according to case court documents.

DNA testing eventually confirmed the two women were likely mother and daughter. Evidence also suggested the two women had connections to upstate New York, but authorities in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts were unable to find any records of a missing mother and daughter. 

For nearly 20 years, Marcia and Elizabeth Honsch remained unidentified. 

In 2014, a female relative of the two women officially reported the mother and daughter missing. The woman claimed the two disappeared from Brewster, New York — about 60 miles north of New York City — more than two decades earlier.

The unidentified remains discovered in 1995 were then linked to the two women.

Investigators learned that Robert Honsch had told his spouse’s family in 1995 that he was moving his family to Australia for a job, and insisted that Marcia Honsch and their daughter had gone ahead of him. The mother and daughter were never seen or heard from again.

Honsch actually moved to South Africa but returned to the U.S. in 2006.

In 2014, when his wife and daughter’s bodies were finally identified, Robert Honsch had remarried and was living in Ohio under the name Robert Tyree. Detectives say he'd taken his new wife’s last name to avoid detection. Forensic evidence linked him to both murders.

Honsch was convicted by a Hampden County jury in Massachusetts of first-degree murder in his wife's death in 2017.

The wheelchair-bound 78-year-old, who has long-denied involvement in both murders, has also claimed to suffer from amnesia and said he had no recollection of either killing. 

Robert Honsch’s 60-year sentence was welcomed by relatives of Marcia Honsch and Elizabeth Honsch this week.

"This is a long time coming — 27 years," Diana Mirabel, Elizabeth Honsch’s older half-sister told the judge by web conference video in court, the Daily Record reported. "This was a lifelong nightmare for myself and my family... Justice is served for Elizabeth and may she rest in peace."

Mirabel added that she hoped Robert Honsch would one-day "find it in his heart" to “explain why he did what he did.”

Robert Honsch is expected to appeal his homicide conviction in his daughter’s death, according to his legal team. His public defender, Justin Smith, wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by Oxygen.com on Friday morning.