Crime - Sacto 911

Crime Q&A: What were circumstances of 1979 stabbing death a Fruitridge-area apartment?

Q: Can you give me any information on the 1979 murder of Lynne Marie Osborne? It occurred on Gaddi Drive in Sacramento.

Melissa, Pomona

A: Marsha (or Marcia) Ellen Kennedy confessed to the 1979 stabbing death of 27-year-old Lynne Marie Osborne nine years after she had been discharged as a suspect.

According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, Kennedy was originally arrested and charged with Osborne’s death a few days after the victim’s body was found in an apartment on Gaddi Drive in the Fruitridge area. But the charge was dismissed when investigators could not come up with enough evidence to prosecute her.

Years passed, during which Kennedy was arrested on various other charges, including assault with a knife. It wasn’t until Sept. 21, 1988, that the Osborne homicide case was reopened. On that date, a California Highway Patrol officer from Los Angeles called Sacramento to confirm a slaying Kennedy had told him about while she was hospitalized at Metropolitan State Hospital, a facility for mental patients.

In a subsequent interview, according to court documents, Kennedy said she had been staying with a friend, when she overheard Osborne make an unkind remark about her. After the friend left for work, Kennedy said, she felt as though she were “possessed” and stabbed Osborne in the right shoulder as she slept on the couch. When Osborne jumped up and started running, Kennedy said she chased her and stabbed her in the chest and Osborne fell.

Kennedy initially was found incompetent to stand trial because of her mental state. After her competency was established in 1990, Kennedy pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in state prison under a negotiated settlement reached with the district attorney’s office.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy