Can DNA Testing Help Catch Montana Mom’s ‘Rage’ Killer 25 Years Later?

Julianne Stallman was stabbed multiple times in the chest at her home in Butte, Montana.

By Aly Vander Hayden
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Montana Mom Found Stabbed To Death on Floor of Kitchen

During the late afternoon to early evening hours of Nov. 29, 1994, devoted mother of two Julianne Stallman was stabbed to death in what cold case investigator Paul Holes called a “prolonged battle” with her offender.

Stallman, 41, had suffered multiple wounds to the chest, and her throat had been slit. When her adult son, John Stallman, came home around 6 p.m., he discovered Julianne dead on their kitchen floor. The crime scene was covered in blood, and there were several spatters on the fridge, walls and cabinets.

“What strikes me about Julie’s crime scene is the amount of rage that the offender is expressing and the amount of fight that Julie was able to put back,” Holes told “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes,” airing Saturdays at 7/6c on Oxygen.

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To this day, the murder weapon has not been found, but investigators believe Julianne could have been attacked with a knife that her killer stole from the kitchen of her Butte, Montana, home.

While speaking with authorities from Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement, Holes learned an unknown male DNA profile had been recovered from a rug and hand towel found at the scene, but no samples had been taken from Julianne’s body or clothing.

To analyze the interaction Julianne had with her offender and identify more potential areas for DNA testing, Holes met with forensic criminologist Dr. Laura Pettler, who reconstructed Julianne’s crime scene.

By re-examining the location of the blood staining and pooling, Pettler theorized that after Julianne was first stabbed, she tried to escape the kitchen and make her way toward the front door. The offender, however, then pulled her back into the kitchen and inflicted the final, fatal stab wounds.

Because there were two large pools of blood near her remains, but not directly underneath the body, Holes and Pettler speculated that Julianne had been moved after she died.

“I would love to see that same unknown male DNA profile on Julie herself because we know the offender is … grabbing her during the violence and then manipulating the body afterwards,” Holes said.

Holes had Julianne’s clothing analyzed, and unknown male DNA was found on her jeans and shoes.

Before her murder, Julianne had been involved in two love triangles — one with her ex-husband, Van Stallman, and his wife, Sherry Stallman, and another with her former boyfriend, Brian Skinner, and his girlfriend, Jamie LeProwse. 

Both Skinner and LeProwse were interviewed by Holes and denied any involvement in the killing. Neither have ever been arrested or charged in connection with Julianne’s murder. 

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The unknown male DNA sample was tested against that of Skinner’s, Van's and close family members’, and they have all subsequently been eliminated as the source of the DNA.

Additional testing has resulted in more male DNA being recovered from surfaces on Julianne’s body, and it was found to be a match to the DNA recovered from the area rug and hand towel as well as Julianne’s jeans and shoes.

Investigators believe this unknown male DNA is from the killer, and The Silver Bow Sheriff’s Office is actively pursuing any new avenues of investigation.

To hear more about the case, watch “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes” on Oxygen.

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