Crime - Sacto 911

Any information about the rape and murder of a West Sacramento woman in 1979?

Q: Any info on the rape and murder of a handicapped woman, Barbara Knight, in West Sacramento in the late 1970s or early ’80s?

Mandarenee, Sacramento

A: Barbara Marie Knight was found strangled to death in her West Sacramento home in June 1979, on the night of her 37th birthday, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

A recently paroled rapist was arrested for a parole violation and questioned in connection Knight’s murder. Knight reportedly was acquainted with the man, who had been released from state prison in April 1979 after serving time for sex crimes. Authorities did not release his name at the time of Knight’s death, and no stories were found in The Bee’s archives indicating that he or anyone else was arrested for her murder.

Knight’s nude body was discovered by her 16-year-old son, who had returned to the Virginia Street residence to pick up personal belongings he had left there when he moved out a week earlier. She reportedly had been dead for about 24 hours, and a preliminary autopsy indicated she might have been sexually assaulted prior to her death

Knight had lost partial use of her legs as a result of polio.

Authorities said there was no sign of forced entry to the two-bedroom house that Knight had rented three months earlier after moving to West Sacramento from Rancho Cordova.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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