Convicted murderer arraigned in 40+ year old rape and murder of 19-year-old Massachusetts woman



Photo courtesy of Alabama Department of Corrections

BOSTON, August 11, 2022—A man incarcerated for murder in Alabama was arraigned Thursday in a Boston courtroom for the 1980 rape and murder of 19-year-old Wendy Dansereau, District Attorney Kevin Hayden said.

Steven Fike was arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court after his extradition from Alabama, where he is currently serving a sentence of life with the possibility of parole for a 1982 rape and murder. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin, Chief of the DA’s Homicide Unit, Fike was ordered held without bail.

Zabin told the court that, on the morning of March 18, 1980, an employee of what was then the Hotel Diplomat found Dansereau dead in a room. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. A DNA sample collected during the early stages of the investigation was entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System and matched to the defendant’s genetic profile. Fike’s DNA had been entered into the database as the result of his 1982 Alabama conviction.

The investigation by Boston Police detectives and Suffolk prosecutors working in the grand jury gathered evidence that Dansereau, who had engaged in sex work, met Fike the previous night. Fike used a fake name when he checked into the hotel with the victim, Zabin said. A red blouse was found wrapped around Dansereau’s neck.

“This is a case where preservation of evidence, diligent investigative work, and science have combined to bring a man into court for the death of young person who never got the chance to discover where life might lead her. I hope her family and friends can find some comfort in knowing that someone will face justice for her death,” Hayden said.

Fike returns to court September 13 for a pre-trial hearing. Under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, a trial date must be scheduled within 120 days of arraignment for a defendant extradited from another state. Fike’s trial is currently scheduled for December 5, 2022. He is represented by Attorney John Hayes.

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