Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Charged in Reopened Death Probes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Charged in Reopened Death Probes

Article excerpt

In 1982, Navy Lt. Verle Lee Hartley died of arsenic poisoning.

In 1985, Joan Clark died of gunshot wounds.

Police suspected Hartley's widow in his death and a career

criminal in Clark's. But both Jacksonville cases went unsolved

and were suspended.

Yesterday, police announced the widow and the ex-con were in

jail, both charged with murder.

Hartley's case was reopened in September by the newly formed

cold case squad of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service

based at Mayport Naval Station. The squad was formed to

investigate old slayings of Navy personnel, said Brian Stamper,

special agent in charge.

An arrest warrant affidavit gave these details:

Hartley was living at Mayport with his wife, Pamela, in 1982

when he was hospitalized twice with diarrhea, vomiting and

abdominal pain. Hartley was 37 when he died on Nov. 18, 1982,

during the second hospital stay.

An autopsy showed that he had been poisoned between July 1982

and November 1982 with arsenic and that he died of a lethal level.

When investigators questioned Hartley's wife about the arsenic,

she denied using it on her husband and the case was closed for lack

of evidence.

After investigators reopened the case, they interviewed

witnesses who said that Pamela Hartley was unhappily married and

had asked two people about hiring a hit man to kill her husband. …

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