Florida Man Arrested for Rape and Murder of Nurse in 1980: 'We Are One Step Closer to Justice'

Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth was sexually assaulted and killed on January 22, 1980

Ronald E. Richards, Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth
Photo: Miramar Police Department (2)

Evelyn Marie Fisher-Bamforth was relaxing at her Miramar, Fla., home after work on January 22, 1980 when an intruder broke in, sexually assaulted her and killed her.

For more than four decades, the murder has gone frustratingly unsolved. Authorities later suspected that a neighbor had killed Fisher-Bamforth, who lived with her husband and worked as a licensed psychiatric nurse. At the time, authorities said they had no concrete evidence to tie the suspect to the crime.

But now, due to advances in DNA technology, authorities have made an arrest and have finally charged the neighbor with sexual battery and murder.

"Due to advancements in DNA technology and the diligence and hard work of Detective Johnathan Zeller, Ronald Eugène Richards has been indicted for sexual battery and murder," Tania Rues, spokesperson for Miramar PD, tells WSVN-TV "We are one step closer to obtain justice for Evelyn."

Richards, now 75, is in prison in Ohio after being convicted of an unrelated rape and attempted murder. He has now been charged with killing Fisher-Bamforth, as well. He has not yet entered a plea and it's unclear if he has an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf.

He will be extradited to Broward County, Fla., to formally face the new charges.

According to authorities, Richards lived 12 homes away from Fisher-Bamforth at the time of the murder. They did not seem to know each other prior to her death.

The arrest is a welcome development for Evelyn's husband, John Bamforth, who has spent nearly 43 years mourning his slain wife.

Bamforth tells WSVN that he arrived home after work on the night of his wife's murder to find police tape on his front door.

"And that's when I saw what I saw — which was furniture disturbed, cushions disturbed, and then I walked back to the bedroom, half bed at least was soaked with blood," Bamforth told the station.

John Bamforth says that he never got over the death of his wife. "You never have closure, as you can tell," he told the station. "But certainly justice for Evelyn is the most important thing."

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