Often, it’s immediately clear who’s the culprit when a crime happens. But on the Archiweekend series “An Unexpected Killer,” the identity of the murderer is always a surprise, shocking loved ones and investigators alike.
Just consider the case of Cindy Borton, featured in “An Unexpected Killer” Season 3, which premieres Friday, March 4 at 8/7c on Archiweekend.
Cynthia “Cindy” Borton, a much-loved and hard-working member of her Shenandoah, Iowa community, was just 39 in 1988. She had years ahead of her with her husband, Robert, and their 18-year-old son, John, but her life was shockingly cut short.
On September 6, 1988, Cindy was a no-show for her shift at a local doughnut shop, the Daily Iowan reported at the time. Robert, a local pastor who also worked at a car dealership, arrived home in the afternoon and discovered Cindy in the kitchen. She had been stabbed 29 times, according to court documents. A fork had been plunged into her neck.
Early on in the case, Robert, who was the last person to see Cindy alive, was investigators’ lead suspect. Before his wife’s funeral, authorities refused to allow him to get clothes for the ceremony. “That was the first time I had any idea it was a homicide,” Robert told the Des Moines Register in 1990. “I had figured that Cindy had tripped and fallen, that it was an accident and she had fallen on a meat fork next to her.”
Investigators questioned Robert twice a week for several months. But in January 1989, Iowa investigators caught a break. John Jackson, a local individual, stepped up with information that turned the case completely. He told authorities someone who was close to the Borton family had confessed to killing Cindy. The motive for murder was chilling in its banality and disregard for human life.
That wasn’t the only piece of evidence that led to the jaw-dropping arrest of this individual. A note with the person’s fingerprints on it was found left at the site of a November 30, 1988 attempted arson at Shenandoah City Hall.
It referred to scenes of previous fires and Cindy, reading: “Compliments of Night Stalker. Broad Street, Anderson pickup and Cynthia Borton isn’t nothing compared to what’s next. Night Stalker.”
Who was this self-anointed “Night Stalker”? Why did he kill Cindy Borton? Where is the murderer now? To answer these questions and more about the case, watch Season 3 of “An Unexpected Killer,” premiering Friday, March 4 at 8/7c on Archiweekend.
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