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Famous killers linked to 1959 Sarasota murders?

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Walker family, courtesy Pat Myers Walker family, courtesy Pat Myers
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL -

It's one of Florida's oldest and most notorious unsolved mysteries: who brutally killed a family of four, including two young children, in their Sarasota County home in 1959?

Pat Myers and his family have waited decades for that answer.

"My father went to his grave not knowing; my mother went," Myers said in his Bar-B-Q restaurant in Lake Placid.

Myers is the half-brother of Christine Walker. She, her husband Cliff and children Jimmy, 3, and Debbie, a year and a half, were all murdered in their Osprey home right before Christmas 1959.

Now detectives are waiting to confirm if there's a link between their deaths and notorious killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, made infamous in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."

Hickock and Smith were executed in 1965 for murdering and entire family in Kansas. It happened in Holcomb on Nov. 15, 1959. The two killed Herb and Bonnie Clutter along with their children.

That massacre was just a month before the Walker family killing in Sarasota on December 19. Deputies believe Hickock and Smith had made their way to Florida.

The Walkers were all shot. Young Debbie was drowned in the bathtub. Christine Walker was raped.

This past December, the state of Kansas allowed exhumation of Hickock and Smith's bodies. Sarasota deputies want to see if they can match semen found in Christine Walker's undergarment with bone fragments collected from the killers skeletal remains.

"It would just be a closure knowing that it was solved," Pat Myers said. "It would ease our mind ... {if} we're not having to worry about if they're still alive and still out there."

Sarasota County deputies are still awaiting the test results. We could be days, weeks, or even months away from knowing the answers. It's been more than 5 months and there are no DNA results yet.

"I wait every day for that phone call," Myers said.

Watch for the story Thursday at 11:00 on News Channel 8.

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