Thursday, April 26, 2001

Slain man knew his killer, Newport police suspect

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — James Gasser died from repeated stab wounds to the head, neck and torso, and his assailant probably was someone he knew and admitted to his 13th Street apartment, according to Newport police investigating the killing.

        Mr. Gasser, 62, was found in his West Newport apartment Monday after his employer notified police that he had not reported for work at a business in Cincinnati where he had worked for many years.

        Officers responding to the scene found the door unlocked and no signs of forced entry into the apartment, where the victim had lived alone for several years.

        “The coroner has not determined a time of death so far, but (Mr. Gasser) was last seen Sunday evening,” Newport Police Lt. Phil Liles said Wednesday.

        Lt. Liles said there was blood on the walls and floor of the apartment.

        “The detectives are talking to some people who knew the victim,” Lt. Liles said, pointing out that because there were no signs of a break-in, Mr. Gasser probably knew the person who attacked him.

        Police did not immediately release the victim's identity, Lt. Liles said, until a distant relative eventually was found in New Orleans.

        “We don't have a suspect at this time, but we are continuing to question several people,” Lt. Liles said.

        Mr. Gasser's death is the first slaying in Newport since Craig A. Bertram, 29, of Covington, was shot to death behind a house on Lexington Avenue in September. That case remains open.


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