News from BSO

PARLANTE MURDER MYSTERY SOLVED

PALM AND FINGERPRINTS LED DETECTIVES TO MAN WHO KILLED ELDERLY WIDOW IN 1997

BSO Case Number: BS97-03-7021
PIO Number: 12-6-23
Date: March 13, 1997
Time: 8:40 a.m.
Place of Occurrence: 4200 S.W. 53rd Court, Apt. #3, Dania Beach
Jurisdiction: Dania Beach

Victim(s):

  • Olga Parlante, 1/21/26, 71, female, 4200 S.W. 53rd Court, Apt. #3, Dania Beach (DECEASED)

Suspect(s):

  • Bennie Hall, male, 44, 11/2/67, 272 N.W. 59th St., Miami (IN CUSTODY)

Description of Incident:

When Olga Parlante’s killer left her apartment on a March morning in 1997, he left behind the brutalized remains of a beloved grandmother, a bloodied and ransacked apartment and a mystery that would take one determined detective15 years to solve.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that evidence collected at the murder scene belongs to career criminal Bennie Hall, who is serving an unrelated prison sentence in Martin County. Hall will face one charge of first-degree murder. Detectives do not believe he acted alone. For years on the anniversary of Parlante’s death, her relatives traveled to Broward County from Connecticut to hold a vigil in the hopes of generating a lead that would help detectives find her killer. Parlante, was known as the “Bingo Queen,” had nine grown children, lived alone and was partially paralyzed. On the morning of her death, her assailant beat her, strangled her with a blouse and dragged her back inside the apartment when she tried to crawl away. He dumped purses and drawers out on the floor, presumably foraging for valuables, and stole a television set, portable radio and mantel clock. For years, Det. Frank Ilarraza diligently worked the case but eventually it went cold.

Ilarraza, who has worked in law enforcement since 1981 and was in homicide for 21 years, recently asked BSO’s Crime Lab to reevaluate evidence from the Parlante homicide scene. While palm prints were collected in 1997, technology at the time didn’t allow them to be compared to other prints in a nationwide database. In April, Ilarraza was notified that Hall’s palm prints were found on Parlante’s bedroom wall and on a receipt that had been dumped from her purse onto the apartment floor. His fingerprints matched those taken from a small dresser drawer that had been emptied on the bed, on another receipt and on a business card. Hall has an extensive history of arrests for burglary and robbery during which his victims were elderly people he beat during the crimes. Five days after Parlante’s homicide, he was arrested in Miami-Dade for possession of cocaine.

Media note: Sheriff Lamberti and BSO Det. Frank Ilarraza will be available for comments at 3 p.m. today. For more information about Olga Parlante, visit www.murdervictims.com/voices/olga_parlante.htm

INVESTIGATORS: Homicide Det. Ilarraza, CID, BSO Crime Lab
THIS REPORT BY: Dani Moschella/PIO June 21, 2012 1330

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