Who murdered Karen Klaas?- Here’s all you need to know

Karen Klaas was previously married to Bill Medley, one of The Righteous Brothers. Some of us grew up listening to their songs and they were big names in the industry.

Bill Medley and wife Karen in 1969 (Getty Images)

Bill Medley started singing when he was a child and it can be said he was born with music in his veins.

He formed his first singing duo when he was a teenager with his friend Don Fiduccia and they called themselves The Romancers.

In 1963 he went on to create The Righteous Brothers with his singing partner Bobby Hatfield.

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Bill explained, “The Righteous Brothers started in Orange County, California. It was about the whitest place in the country, but the black marines from the nearby base heard there were two guys singing rhythm and blues, so they came down to hear us. At the end of our songs they’d yell out, ‘That’s righteous, brother!’ and that’s how we got our name.”

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers and singer Aretha Franklin / Getty Images

They went on to create the most played tune in American radio history; You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.

He was conquering the music world alongside his partner and his private life was there on the other hand.

Bill met his first wife Karen O’Grady and their union was a beautiful story at the beginning. They welcomed a son, Darrin but their marriage ended after the singer started having an affair with singer Darlene Love.

Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley / GAB Archive/Redferns

After a couple of years, bill wanted to get back together with his ex-wife but it was too late as she moved on and remarried.

The two still talked to each as they have a child together, but not until the cold hands of death took Karen. She was murdered on a fateful morning of January 30, 1976.


Karen was having breakfast with her friends that morning when she was murdered. They were having a nice until Karen decided to get something in the hours and didn’t return even after they called her name.

Their instinct kicked in immediately as they have seen a strange-looking man around the street.


They called her home number, but no one was picking up. They went into the house and found Karen barely alive.

The murderer tried to strangle her with her bra and was rushed to the hospital immediately. The doctors couldn’t do much as her brain has been deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes.

Jim Spellman/WireImage

Bill was heartbroken and did all he could do to find the murderer but all police investigations yielded nothing.

Bill never gave up on the case and after 41 years the case was finally solved by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A DNA testing was conducted and created a DNA profile of Karen’s killer and it was all traced to Kenneth Troyer, a 29-year-old man at the time of the crime.

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He died in 1982 during a shootout with the police hence couldn’t face trials.

Darrin Medley, Karen’s eldest son, said, “I couldn’t be more blown away with the technology. I want to give hope to other families that this kind of technology can be utilized to identify criminals. It’s extremely important.”

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