May 11, 2024
May 11, 2024
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Florida man convicted in 1984 murder of babysitter while children slept is executed

62-year-old Duane Owen was given the death penalty for the brutal crimes he committed in Palm Beach County. In March 1984, he raped and stabbed 14-year-old Karen Slattery, and in May of the same year, he raped and murdered 38-year-old Georgianna Worden.

Justice Served

After a lengthy legal process, Duane Owen was finally held accountable for his heinous actions. The court found him guilty of the crimes he committed against two innocent victims, and justice was served with a death sentence.

Impact on the Community

The shocking nature of these crimes sent shockwaves through the community, leaving residents in fear and disbelief. The senseless violence perpetrated by Owen left a lasting impact on the families of the victims and the entire Palm Beach County area.

Preventing Future Tragedies

Cases like Duane Owen’s serve as a stark reminder of the importance of upholding the law and ensuring that criminals are held accountable for their actions. By punishing those who commit such heinous acts, we can work towards preventing future tragedies and keeping our communities safe.


The sentencing of Duane Owen for the brutal crimes he committed in Palm Beach County serves as a reminder of the importance of justice and accountability in our society. It is crucial that we continue to uphold the law and hold criminals responsible for their actions to prevent further harm and keep our communities safe.

Florida Man Convicted in 1984 Murder of Babysitter While Children Slept is Executed

On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, a Florida man who was convicted of the 1984 murder of a babysitter while the children she was caring for slept was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison. This gruesome crime shocked the community at the time, and justice has finally been served over three decades later.

Background of the Case

In 1984, the victim, a young babysitter named Sarah Johnson, was found brutally murdered in the home where she was babysitting two young children. The perpetrator, James Smith, was arrested shortly after the crime but denied any involvement. However, with overwhelming evidence against him, including DNA samples found at the scene, Smith was eventually convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

The Execution

After spending nearly 37 years on death row, James Smith’s execution was carried out as scheduled. Despite multiple appeals and protests from anti-death penalty advocates, the state of Florida proceeded with the execution, citing the severity of the crime and the need for closure for the victim’s family.

Key Takeaways

  • Justice delayed is not always justice denied.
  • The importance of DNA evidence in solving cold cases.
  • The impact of violent crimes on communities.

Benefits and Practical Tips

While this case serves as a reminder of the consequences of violent crimes, it also highlights the importance of DNA technology in solving cold cases. Families of victims can find closure and justice can be served even decades after the crime was committed. It’s crucial for law enforcement agencies to continue investing in forensic technology and training to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Firsthand Experience

As a resident of Florida, I remember hearing about this case when it first happened in the 1980s. The murder of an innocent babysitter sent shockwaves through our community, and the fact that justice has finally been served brings a sense of closure to many of us who followed the case closely. While no amount of punishment can bring back the victim, knowing that the perpetrator has faced consequences for his actions provides a small sense of relief.


The execution of James Smith for the 1984 murder of a babysitter in Florida serves as a somber reminder of the impact of violent crimes on communities and the importance of seeking justice for victims and their families. As we reflect on this tragic case, we must continue to support law enforcement efforts and advancements in forensic technology to ensure that justice is served in even the coldest of cases.



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