Naperville Police Arrest Suspect in 1972 Murder
On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, the Naperville Police Department arrested Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, of Mounds View, Minnesota for the 1972 murder of 15-year-old Naperville resident Julie Ann Hanson.
Julie Ann Hanson was reported missing on July 8, 1972. Her body was discovered later that same day in a field in Naperville near 87th Street and Modaff Road. She had been stabbed multiple times.
No suspect was immediately identified, and Naperville Police Detectives have continued to investigate the murder over the last 49 years. The breakthrough in this case came through technological advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis.
Whelpley, who was 27 at the time of Julie Ann Hanson’s murder, is a former resident of Naperville and lived within a mile of the Hanson residence. He was taken into custody in Minnesota, where he is awaiting extradition to Illinois. He has been charged by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office with three (3) counts of First-Degree Murder. His bond was set at $10,000,000.
“This horrific crime has haunted this family, this community and this department for 49 years,” said Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall. “The investigation and resulting charges were truly a team effort that spanned decades, and I could not be more proud of the determination and resourcefulness of our investigators, both past and present, who never gave up on Julie.”
If anyone has additional information regarding this investigation, they are encouraged to contact the Naperville Police Department at (630) 420-6665 and ask for the Investigations Division.
The Naperville Police wish to remind the public and the news media that a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.