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On the evening of May 1, 2008, multimillionaire real estate developer Hal Wenal came home to find his wife, 60-year-old former model Eva “Kay” Wenal, lying face down in a pool of blood on their kitchen floor.
Kay had been punched several times, and her throat had been slit almost to the point of decapitation, investigators later discovered. There were no signs of forced entry, and nothing had been stolen from their upscale home.
The assailant, however, did leave behind a bloody towel in the closet of the couple’s master bedroom. It had been placed on top of a locked cabinet that contained Kay’s jewelry and — surprisingly to Hal — several pieces of leather lingerie. A male DNA sample was found at the scene, but authorities were unable to identify it.
Although local media received a note made of magazine cut-outs from the supposed killer a few months after the slaying, investigators in Gwinnett County, Georgia, were unable to obtain any DNA evidence from it, and the case has since gone cold.
Could Kay's murderer have had a financial motive or been a scorned lover looking for revenge? In the hopes of generating new leads and investigative avenues, the case is now being reexamined on “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes,” airing Saturdays at 7/6c on Oxygen.
Alongside former Los Angeles District Attorney’s office prosecutor Loni Coombs, investigator Paul Holes revisited the home where Kay was murdered and analyzed the letter sent by the possible killer. Holes noticed a major disconnect between the crime scene and the note, which appears to be sent by a former romantic partner.
While the murder seemed quick and impersonal, the letter called Kay a “$ grubbing whore,” with the author writing, “She said she loved me but that was a lie too. I told her this would happen if she didn’t keep her … promises to me.”
“The letter is filled with emotion, yet Kay’s homicide is clinical. It doesn’t match up,” Holes said, adding, "If this was the reason why he killed her, I would have expected a lot more interaction — violence — with her than what we’re seeing in this case.”
Holes learned that Kay [had been] scheduled to give a deposition in a lawsuit connected to her husband’s business dealings. This led Holes to question if someone had been dispatched to kill Kay in order to keep her quiet, later sending the personalized letter to throw investigators off their trail.
Holes also had the bloody towel found in the Wenals’ master closet tested, and an unknown male DNA sample was detected.
“Pursuing genealogy off of that would be the next step,” he said.
The Gwinnett County Police Department is currently working with the FBI to pursue investigative genealogy in Kay’s case.
To learn more about the investigation, watch “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes" on Oxygen.
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