Conn. man gets 120 years for tying up father and son and slashing their throats in 1987
02/01/2023 12:50 pm PST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (TCD) -- A 55-year-old man was ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison for the deaths of a father and son at their home in 1987.
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office announced a judge sentenced Willie McFarland to 120 years behind bars for tying up 59-year-old Fred Harris and his 23-year-old son, Greg Harris, and slashing their throats. A jury convicted McFarland in November of two counts of murder.
Greg and Fred Harris were found dead in their Hamden residence in Aug. 27, 1987, with their throats slashed and bodies bound. The State’s Attorney’s Office said investigators linked McFarland to the crime through evidence found at the scene.
At the sentencing, Judge Elpedio Vitale reportedly called the killings "a demonic level of violence and terror" and that McFarland "is an unqualified menace to society."
Vitale sentenced McFarland to 60 years for each murder and ordered they be served consecutively.
Hamden Police arrested McFarland in November 2019.
According to The New York Times, police reportedly interviewed McFarland in 1987 following the killings, and he supposedly confessed in 1996. Investigators, however, could not arrest him at the time due to a lack of evidence.
Greg and Fred Harris were reportedly killed in the evening of Aug. 21 or the morning of Aug. 22, 1987. McFarland went into the home to steal from them, then bound the two men up with a phone cord. Greg, the son, reportedly freed himself while McFarland was in the other room. McFarland reportedly sexually assaulted Greg, stabbed him in the chest, then slashed his throat. After, he did the same to Fred.
Hamden Police Capt. Ronald Smith told the New York Times, "Any murder is horrific, but this was over the top."
- Willie McFarland Sentenced to 120 years in Prison for the August 1987 Murders of Fred and Greg Harris in Hamden - New Haven State's Attorney's Office
- Jury Convicts Willie McFarland of the August 1987 Murders of Fred and Greg Harris in Hamden, 11/2/2022 - New Haven State's Attorney's Office
- Arrest of Willie McFarland - 2 Counts of Murder - 1987 Incident, 11/13/2019 - Hamden Police Department
- A Father and Son, Brutally Murdered. 32 Years Later, an Arrest., 12/10/2019 - The New York Times
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