Gladys Bodine and Fritz Donahue Murders: Is Gary Quinlivan Dead or Alive?

The residents of Kent, Washington, were left petrified in December 1963 when a double homicide spread terror in the city. While Gladys Bodine was found murdered in her home on December 20, the police found Fritz Donahue’s deceased body inside a car in a different part of the city. Lifetime’s ’12 Desperate Hours’ chronicles the gruesome double homicide and portrays how authorities found a sinister link between the seemingly unrelated murders. Well, let’s study the details and find out where the perpetrator is at present, shall we?

How Did Gladys Bodine and Fritz Donahue Die?

A resident of Kent, Gladys Bodine was described as a loving and caring individual who never hesitated to help others in need and always treated everyone with kindness. People who knew her talked about her amicable nature and how it helped her maintain friendly relationships with most. Moreover, she was close to her daughter, Joan Marlatt, who reportedly returned to live with her mother after escaping an abusive boyfriend. Neighbors claimed that Joan and Gladys were respected community members, and there was nothing to suggest that their lives were in danger.

Hence, the locals were shocked when they found Gladys dead inside her house. On the other hand, Fritz Donahue’s friends described him as a lively young man in love with life. He was there whenever others required his help and was known for his friendly and charming nature. Despite Fritz having all kinds of friends, he was never in trouble with the law. Besides, the police noted that he did not have a criminal record at the time of his death. Therefore, there was no indication of Fritz being in danger, which made his sudden demise all the more surprising.

On December 20, 1963, 911 operators in Kent received a call about a possible homicide in a nearby neighborhood. Once first responders rushed to the site, they found Gladys Bodine lying unresponsive on the floor of her house. An initial medical examination noted evidence of strangulation, and first responders declared her dead. Later, an autopsy determined that Gladys was strangled to death and even ascertained that she had fought for her life as her body was covered in bruises and injuries.

The same day, authorities received word about another possible deceased body beside a vehicle in a different part of the city. They immediately dispatched a team to the location and found a young man lying on the ground in a pool of blood. While the victim was identified as Fritz Donahue, an initial medical examination took note of a gunshot wound to the head. Later, the autopsy determined he was shot at close range with a shotgun, killing him instantly.

Who Killed Gladys Bodine and Fritz Donahue?

Although the initial investigation into Gladys and Fritz’s murders was pretty challenging, law enforcement officials received a massive breakthrough when authorities near Tacoma, Washington, apprehended a car driven by Mrs. Patricia Jean Jaque. Once officers spotted the car, they realized she was being coerced; after forcing the vehicle to stop, they realized she was being held at gunpoint by a man named Gary Lee Quinlivan. Besides, when questioned, Patricia mentioned that he broke into her house on December 20 before ordering her to drive him to Tacoma in her car.

Interestingly, when looking into Gary, the police realized that he was the abusive boyfriend Gladys’ daughter, Joan Marlatt, had escaped from. On the other hand, Patricia’s house was close to where Fritz Donahue was found murdered. This made authorities quite suspicious, and when interrogated, Gary gave a statement that shocked even the most experienced police officers.

Gary mentioned that on December 19, he traveled from Seattle to Kent intending to talk to Joan Marlatt. While he did not find Joan at her home, he came face to face with Gladys, who asked him to leave immediately. Naturally, she and Gary got into an altercation, and even though he admitted to being rough with her, he claimed she was still alive when he left. The next day, he convinced his friend, Fritz, to drive him to Kent for the second time, but the two got lost on the way.

Gary then mentioned that he got out of the vehicle to relieve himself and showed off his shotgun to his friend when he slipped in the mud and accidentally pressed the trigger. The suspect initially insisted that this was how Fritz met his end, but after further interrogation, he confessed to aiming and shooting at his friend’s head. Gary then ran into the woods before breaking into Patricia’s house and forcing her to drive him to Tacoma.

Gary Quinlivan Died at Age 77

Although Gary Quinlivan was arrested in 1963, he was ruled incapable of standing trial in 1964 and 1968, and prosecutors had to wait until they could try him in court. Finally, he was produced in court in 1971; despite his pleading not guilty due to insanity, the jury believed otherwise. Thus, the accused was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of Gladys Bodine and first-degree murder for Fritz Donahue’s demise. Additionally, Gary was convicted of the first-degree kidnapping of Patricia Jaque. As a result, he was sentenced to death in 1971.

Gary immediately appealed his conviction and surprisingly got it overturned the following year. Nonetheless, he pled guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in his 1973 retrial and was handed two life sentences to run concurrently. Furthermore, in 1973 it was determined that people with life sentences must serve 25 years before being eligible for parole. Hence, Gary Quinlivan was paroled in 1985, following which he served six years of supervised parole. He embraced privacy after serving his prison sentence, yet sources indicated that he settled in Renton, Washington, and passed away at 77 on August 21, 2011.

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