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Crime News Cold Cases

Widower Speaks Out After Convict Is Indicted In His Wife's 1980 Murder And Sexual Assault

Following the indictment of Ronald Richards in the death of Evelyn Fisher-Bamforth, her widower spoke about the 43-year-old case.

By Cydney Contreras
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After more than 40 years, a man has been indicted for the 1980 murder of nurse Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth.

Miramar, Florida police announced Thursday that Ronald E. Richards, 75, was indicted by a grand jury on sexual battery and murder charges in the Jan. 22, 1980 killing of the 32-year-old woman.

"We are one step closer to justice for Evelyn," the announcement read in part.

Fisher-Bamforth, a psychiatric nurse from Canada, was found bludgeoned and raped in her home. It's believed the assailant attacked her while she was asleep.

Tania Rues, public information officer for the Miramar Police Department, told Oxygen.com that the cold case unit regularly reviewed the case over the years, but were unable to officially link Richards to the murder until last year, when Det. Johnathan Zeller decided to retest DNA evidence.

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Rues said that Richards, who lived 12 trailers down from the Bamforths, was named a person of interest shortly after Fisher-Bamforth was found dead.

Investigators zeroed in on the suspect after learning of "an arrest warrant for rape and attempted murder, and it was the same MO as our case as well, and that’s how he became a person of interest,” Zeller said, according to Fox affiliate WSVN.

A police handout of Ronald Eugene Richards

However, there wasn't enough evidence to arrest Richards, who was on parole for manslaughter. 

Fisher-Bamforth's husband, John Bamforth, 77 and devastated by his wife's death, recently spoke to Rues via Zoom about the moment he came home to a crime scene and learned his wife had died.

"I noticed a little police sticker ... and that’s when I saw what I saw, which was furniture disturbed, cushions disturbed, and then I walked back to the bedroom, half of the bed, at least, was soaked with blood," he recalled in a video obtained by Oxygen.com.

Bamforth said that his wife's murder "changed my whole character," prompting him to begin drinking and doing drugs to cope with the loss. He explained, "I had a lot of guilt at the time because I wasn't home when I should have been."

Eventually, Bamforth said he quit drinking because he knew that he couldn't continue "moping" — though the murder has irrevocably altered his course of life. 

"From that moment to today, I've been a different person altogether, because it changed the way I look at life," he said. "It changed how I feel about other people because I was very trusting before. Now, I'm not."

Bamforth, who now lives in England, teared up as he spoke about Evelyn, describing her as "the calmest person you could ever meet."

"Everybody loved her. She was just great to be around," he shared. "I never had any regrets about being with her."

With Richards' arrest, Bamforth said he feels some relief in knowing that her alleged murderer is behind bars.

"I'm not a vindictive person, but I would certainly want to see justice for Evelyn," he said, adding, "I don't believe in this closure thing. One never has closure, as far as you can tell."

Rues said the next step in the case is the extradition of Richards, who is currently incarcerated in Ohio on voluntary manslaughter. 

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