Linda Wheeler Holloway

The Murder

On February 11, 1987, the body of Peggy Hettrick was discovered by a bicyclist in a field south of Fort Collins, Colorado. She had been stabbed to death. Timothy Masters, fifteen years old, lived near the field and had walked by the body on his way to school but had failed to notify authorities. Police searched his locker at school and found graphically violent sketches that he had drawn. However, there was no evidence linking him to the crime.

Linda Wheeler-Holloway

In June of 1991, Linda was assigned to the cold case as the lead detective for the Fort Collins police department. In 1992, the police department issued an arrest warrant for Masters. But after interviewing him, Linda decided to suppress the arrest warrant. Subsequently, Linda retired from the police department.

The Investigation Continues

The Fort Collins police department continued to pursue Masters as the prime suspect in the murder of Peggy Hettrick, and in 1998 they finally arrested him.

A Conviction

A year later, Tim is convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Meanwhile, Linda continued to have doubts about his guilt and quietly began reinvestigating the case. Finally, in 2005, while on vacation in Holland, Linda decided to visit the private DNA laboratory of Richard and Selma Eikelenboom and talk to them about the Masters case.

Touch DNA and the Masters case

The Eikelenbooms talked to Linda about their sample recovery methods for isolating epithelial skin cells of a perpetrator from the clothing of crime victims and agreed to take on the Masters case. In late 2006 they began their DNA testing of Peggy Hettrick’s clothing.