In a shocking series of events, the 1988 murder of Nijole Siskeviciene, a case that many had thought would never be solved, has been attributed to convicted Irish rapist James Kennedy, the very many who was deemed a “credible witness” during the trial.
Kennedy, 54, who changed his name to Citro after fleeing to England, was a neighbor of Siskeviciene. Kennedy had fled Ireland after serving ten years in jail in Ireland for raping two women in separate attacks in the 1970s, yet was not discovered as Siskeviciene’s killer for nearly 12 years after the murder took place.
Evidence revealed that Siskeviciene “died as a result of ligature strangulation. Her underwear was inside out and, together with evidence of DNA on her body and clothing, that evidence is clear and consistent with there having been sexual activity prior to, or at the time of, her death," according to Prosecutor Phillip Bennetts.
Siskeviciene had moved to London from Lithuania with hopes of becoming a secretary, but she also worked as a cleaner. After moving to Lancelot Road, Wembley, London with her son, Siskeviciene was last seen on the morning of October 20, 1998 appearing to be her “normal, happy self.” She had only lived there for a week before her death.
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Authorities believe that Kennedy lured Siskeviciene into his home after he was out walking his dog one day. After raping and killing her, Kennedy dumped the body and continued to live a normal life.
Throughout the trial, Kennedy had sent a series of bogus letters to authorities, claiming that he saw two black men carry a body out of Siskeviciene’s house. Authorities believed the letters were so credible, according to the Independent, that on multiple occasions they even sought to summon Kennedy to court to testify.
Because Kennedy was treated as a potential witness to the case, authorities never took his DNA or fingerprints. Thus, they never were able to expose the simple lie that Kennedy had created, one that had become large enough to deem the tragedy a cold case file. Kennedy wasn’t always able to keep up the lie, however; on one instance, he told authorities that Siskeviciene had pet his dog, but four days later, he claimed that he had never seen the victim prior to her murder.
Kennedy eventually moved to the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare, changed his name in 2003, and the case simply didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t until he was arrested for drinking and driving and a DNA sample was taken that it was matched to saliva that has been recovered from Siskeviciene’s bra strap and neck.
Now in a wheelchair, Citro faces life in prison after a jury yesterday unanimously convicted him of the murder. Police are now asking anyone who had been attacked during the time Kennedy was living in England to contact them, for fear that he may have been involved in more violent crimes than they have so far discovered. He is due to receive his sentence on December 9th.